When last we covered AVI-8 (you know, just yesterday) we were introducing you to their newÂ Centenary collection, which is focused in on historical references, rather than pulling ideas from gauge clusters and the like. Â In that 1920s review, I teased that we had a review coming up of theÂ AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940. Â Well, dear reader, today is your lucky day, because weâ€™re delivering on that promise right here and now.
It should surprise no one that I requested to see theÂ blue-dialed version of theÂ AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940 (ref AV-4059-02). Â There is just something about a crisp blue and white dial (particularly when set into a steel case) that just feels right. Â Speaking of cases, this appears (to my highly uncalibrated eye) to be the same case as we saw on the 1920 – 42mm, 12mm thick, sapphire crystal, etc, etc. Â It makes sense, particularly as theyâ€™re housing the same movement (an automatic Miyota 8218) in a cost-savings manner, as well as a design language continuity.
That then begs the question, what makes theÂ AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940 different from the 1920? Â Well, first and foremost, itâ€™s that dial. Â While the 1920s (LINK) had that vintage art deco look, here, weâ€™ve got very much more of aÂ flinger-style feel with the handset, double-dotted triangle, no-nonsense numerals on the sector dial, as well as the diamond crown. Â That means that – if I had to guess – this is the reference that is going to resonate a good bit more with buyers, as itâ€™s the moreÂ familiar look.
Though, itâ€™s not completely familiar. Â TheÂ AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940 does bring a sector dial to the party, which is something we donâ€™t commonly see on aÂ flieger. Â AVI-8 also pulled one of their favorite tricks out of the bag by putting a texture on the dial, which gives things aÂ nice variation, as well as scattering the light that it reflects. Â Like on the 1920s,Â there is additional text (brand and model family), but it works here with their standard font.
Also improved on theÂ AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940? Â The strap. Â Itâ€™s aÂ grayish padded strap, much more comfortable than the one I experienced on the 1920s. Â Itâ€™s still not as high of a quality as if youÂ visited the aftermarket, but it is a good sight nicer than the one on the 1920s. And the grey color they went with for it? Â Spot on with that blue dial.
Given that the case is the same, I found theÂ AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940 a comfortable day-to-day companion as well. Â It didnâ€™t hurt that blue and grey fit in with my ensemble fairly well, and the watch itself – though it does have itâ€™s own littleÂ details to set it apart – is one that can fly under the radar, so to speak. Â And while the white on blue color scheme may not be quite as contrasty as white on black, it still is an eminently readable watch. Â And I canâ€™t fault the inclusion of a darker date wheel either, which is not as common at theÂ price point this watch goes at.
Speaking of price – theÂ AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940 is going to be carrying a retail price tag of $340. Just as with the 1920s version, thereâ€™s going to be a two-phase pre-order period that is going to drop the price a bit (weâ€™ve not been told how much as of yet). Â The regular pre-order period is going to launch on March 7th, with general availability occurring on March 22nd. Â Now, if you pre-order, you will get a discount. Â However, if you visit this page between February 13th and February 19th, youâ€™ll be able to sign up (not to pre-order, but to indicate interest) which will net you an additional discount on top of the pre-order savings.
With that, weâ€™ll wrap things up on these watches. Â If youâ€™re thinking about pre-ordering but have questions, feel free to pop on over to our Slack channel, and Iâ€™ll do my best to answer whatever might be on your mind with these watches. Â And hey, even if you arenâ€™t thinking about ordering one of these, join us over on Slack anyways. Â Thereâ€™s some great discussions going on over there, and weâ€™d love to have you.Â Â AVI-8.CO.UK
- Brand & Model:Â AVI-8 Flyboy Centenary 1940
- Price: $340 (MSRP)
- Who we think it might be for: Â You want a vintage-styled aviator that still feels modern
- Would I buy one for myself based on what Iâ€™ve seen?Â Yes, I could see that with this one
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Â One wonders what this would look like on a bracelet…
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: Â That blue-and-white dial
Tech Specs from AVI-8
- Movement: Â Miyota 8218 automatic (21 jewels)
- 316L stainless steel
- Diameter: Â 42mm
- Thickness: Â 12mm
- Lug width: Â 22mm
- Crystal: Â Sapphire
- Colored Patterned Dial in linen, blue, or black
- Deep Embossed Indexes with LumiNova (the linen dial version does not have lume on indices)
- LumiNova-filled Hands
- Crown: Â Normal
- Bezel: Â Fixed Case Bezel
- Strap: Â leather with tang buckle
- Functions: Â date display, subseconds
- WR: Â 5 ATM
- Weight: Â 80g