AVI-8 makes watches that are aviation inspired, and has for some time. They’re almost always tasteful, easy to read, and a great way to wear a distinctive automatic watch subtly. Until now.
The AVI-8 Hawker Harrier II Pegasus Concept AV4047 is a watch that’s available for pre-order now, and I’ve been wearing one for the past few weeks. It’s a departure from the normal AVI-8 fare, and a walk away from the way many watches are made. You don’t tell time with hands here.
Like SevenFRIDAY, there are no hands. The time is instead told by numerical discs that rotate. You read the time by looking at the red elements of the face that point at the correct time. At the top dead center of the face is a double arrow that points at the hours. Directly south of the hours wheel is the AVI-8 signing. Below that is the seconds, the smallest of the concentric numerical wheels. Below that is the minutes, with a bright red line crossing the center of it. Only about half of the wheels are exposed at any time, making it easier to read.
The face is hard to describe. I’ll try. The central design element is a black silhouette of a Harrier aircraft. It conveniently separates the watch horizontally. Instead of being a dial, it’s several pieces of machined and finished metal that separate the wheels. This metal is secured to the watch with big slotted oval head screws. The semicirclular metal that divides the hour wheel from the rest of the case is slotted with marks where the hours would be if this were a traditional watch. It’s beveled sharply on its outer rim. Next up is the rim that divides the inner ring of the hour wheel from the seconds wheel. Here, it’s got the AVI-8 signing machined to stand proud from the surface, and four recesses are machined and roughly textured in their recesses. Just above the center of the face is the circular Geneva striped inner hub of the seconds wheel. The center body of the Harrier airplane silhouette is here, and the tail points to the seconds readout. Below that is a smaller version of the beveled arc that’s screwed to the backdrop of it all, the minute wheel, and a metal piece that combines all these elements, Geneva stripes, machined recesses, and is signed Hawker Harrier II. The face, to put it mildly, is a symphony of multi-level machining. Baby’s got depth.
The top of the bezel is brushed. The sides of the bezel and the sides of the watch are polished. The tops of the lugs are brushed. The sides of them are polished. The space between the lugs is brushed. The crown is signed with a target like you might see in RAF examples. The crown guards prevent it from being turned easily, and it isn’t a screw down crown. You could wind it like this, but it’s best to just let the rotor of the Miyota movement do the winding for you. The caseback is a sapphire exhibition style, and you can see the signed rotor at work.
The strap is a thick, but very pliable and comfortable leather. It’s got X box stitching around the spring bars, two keepers, and has its sides finished in red. It’s unusual to me, but very nice on the wrist. The pin and buckle closure are signed AVI-8 as well.
The sapphire crystals on the face and exhibition case back house a reliable Miyota. This total package of unique, high quality watch might find a home on your wrist, but take note, it’s exclusively available for pre-order from AVI-8’s website,Â at the price of GBP 350 in stainless steel as reviewed, or 370 GBP for the ionic-coated black version.
- Brand & Model: AVI-8 Hawker Harrier II Pegasus Concept AV4047
- Price: 350 to 370 GBP, or about 435 to 460 USD
- Who we think it might be for: You like a watch that doesn’t look like anyone else’s, and don’t object to an airplane silhouette on the face
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: This watch gets respect. It’s visually different.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Please improve the lume brightness. There is lume, but the red indicators are brighter than the numerals on the wheels.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The unique way of viewing time, and the machined details. Circular Geneva stripes are great.
Tech Specs from AVI-8
- Case size: 45mm
- Height: 13mm
- Case material: stainless steel, or ionic coated black
- Crystal: flat, sapphire
- Strap: leather strap with pin and buckle
- Movement: Miyota automatic
- Water resistance: 50M