It was early last year when we first introduced you to the Italian brand, Chotovelli & Figli. Â While that last watch was firmly in the world of the automotive, todayâ€™s watch takes us up into the skies. Â In some ways, itâ€™s continuing a theme Iâ€™ve noticed in watches crossing my desk lately – aviation seems to be a popular segment as of late. Â And, of course, the Chotovelli Flieger furthers that supposition.
Right off the bat, theÂ Chotovelli Flieger should feel instantly familiar. Â Youâ€™ve got the handset shape that we would expect, and youâ€™ve got the inner hours track marked out as well, and you have a crisp, high-contrast white-on-black color scheme. Â There is no dotted triangle up at 12 oâ€™clock, but Iâ€™m still comfortable referring to this as a flieger.
One of the first things I noted about theÂ Chotovelli Flieger when I got them in was something not readily apparent from the photos I had first seen of them. Â These dials actually have a bit of a layering to them. Â The central hours track is printed on the dial, but the numerals are raised up, and then outer minutes ring is of a separate piece as well. Â We normally donâ€™t see this sort of dimensionality to a pilot watch, so this was a tidy change of pace.
Also changed up on theÂ Chotovelli Flieger is the crown. Â You might expect a larger diamond crown here, but instead, youâ€™ve got a simple round one, albeit one with a groove cut into it with a red line that picks up the red on the tip of the seconds hand. Â It does protrude a bit, but it wasnâ€™t anything I had a problem with it digging into my wrist. Â Which is surprising, as the diameter spec for the watch is 44mm.
Perhaps itâ€™s because theÂ Chotovelli Flieger is a relatively thin watch (at 12mm), with a tapered profile from front to back. Â I like that the brand has done that. Â Along with giving that profile a different look, itâ€™s also an embracing of the fact that itâ€™s not some massive mechanical movement inside. Â Here, weâ€™ve got the Seiko VH31A quartz movement (which brings a sweeping seconds hand to the party).
That movement is actually the reason for the one design question I had around theÂ Chotovelli Flieger – the handset. Â To my eye, they just look a bit too small for the watch. Â Itâ€™s not something that impacts reading the time, theyâ€™re just not as large as I think would look appropriate for the watch. Â When I spoke to the brand about this, they did admit they were smaller than they might prefer as well. Â However, as this is the first time using this particular movement, they did not want to risk overburdening the drivetrain, nor run the risk a hit to the watch causing it to come off of the spindle. Â The good news here is that they are eying increasing the size in a future revision, so weâ€™ll see what comes down the road.
For our review, we were sent two versions of theÂ Chotovelli Flieger to have a look at – one in a blasted finish on a brown strap, and a black PVD version on a black strap. Â The straps have a nice soft touch to them, being made of calf leather, and have an almost sueded feel to them. Â I did notice some squeaking from the strap, which seems to be due to the edge finishing. Â Surprisingly, it was not from the lugs, but actually from the buckle end of things, a first for me.
Iâ€™ve worn both versions, on and off, to the office, around the house, and just in general, everyday life. Â As you would expect from a slim quartz watch, theÂ Chotovelli Flieger does not weigh down the wrist, and slides out easily from under a cuff when you need to check the time. Â As I mentioned in passing earlier, reading the time on the watch is quick and easy to do (even with the smaller handset). Â While the styling is instantly recognizable (for those into watches, I suppose), itâ€™s what I would call an understated interpretation, meaning that the watch would fit in just about any setting short of a suit.
TheÂ Chotovelli Flieger is taking a different route to getting on your wrist, as well. Â At least, that is, from an established brand. Â You see, the watches are going to be available via Kickstarter. Â While the MSRP of theÂ Chotovelli Flieger is expected to be $180, youâ€™ll be able to pick one up via the project for just $103 (super early bird; 300 backers) orÂ $125. Â And while it is a KS project, the brand is not expecting to be varying things from what you see here in this review. Â Theyâ€™ve got all the components on-hand, itâ€™s just a matter of building them up for you, their new customers. Â Watch snobs might turn their nose up at quartz, but there is certainly a time and place for those movements. Â And when it comes to a tidily built everyday sort of a watch, itâ€™s in a good home. Â Be sure to let us know if you pick one up when the Kickstarter launches later this week, as well as what your favorite Flieger-Style watches are.Â chotovelli.com
UPDATE: Â The Kickstarter Is live
- Brand & Model: Chotovelli Flieger
- Price: $180 (MSRP) / $99 (Kickstarter pricing)
- Who we think it might be for: You want an understated Flieger interpretation that can be picked up at any time, ready to go
- Would I buy one for myself based on what Iâ€™ve seen?Â Probably not – just not my particular style
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: After the hand size adjustment, Iâ€™d say shrinking the overall diameter a bit would be nice
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: It ended up being the multi-layered dial
- 44 diameters
- 12 mm thickness
- Stainless steel316 l
- Seiko Cal. VH31A Â Analog quartz
- 2 jewels, sweepsecond.
- 10-1/2”’ / 4.15 mm
- Manufactured in Japan
- Italian calf leather strap
- Hardened mineral glass
- Layered dial, applied numerals luminous
- WR: Â 50m /5atm /170ft