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TheTimeBum AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane and Hawker Harrier

Discussion in 'Affordable Watches' started by The Time Bum, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. The Time Bum

    The Time Bum Guest

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    Some watch brands change their designs to whatever style happens to strike them, others find a distinctive look and produce variations on that theme, and other choose one path and run with it. AVI-8 fits that last category. They set out to make watches inited by British aircraft and they have not wavered. Recently, they gave me two new chronographs for review: the vintage Hawker Hurricane AV-4011-0G, and the black and blue Hawker Hunter AV-4036-04. Both hew closely to the aviation theme and contain enough novel details to keep things interesting.
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    Both watches arrived in neat display boxes faced in olive green canvas. I don't generally mention packaging, but in this case, I got a kick out of the vintage military presentation.
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    The Hurricane has a 42mm stainless steel case with flat sides and tapered lugs. At just 11mm thick, it is an easy fit on most wrists and under buttoned shirt cuffs. The bead blasted finish sets an appropriately toolish tone but is not without decoration, specifically a deep roundel design on the crown, and a polished, aircraft-emblazoned case back.
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    Like a proper pilot's watch, the Hurricane sports a broad, highly legible dial. It is a vertical three-eye layout with recessed subdials, a 3 o'clock date window, lumed markers and hands, and finished in what Avi-8 calls "antique brass." It is not patinaed as you might think, but rather a dark moss green color and a heavily brushed texture. I think it looks fantastic, particularly set off the way it is by the white rehaut tachymeter index.
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    AVI-8 does not identify the movement as anything other than "Japanese Quartz." The two large, textured silver subdials for tenths and seconds cut into the large Arabic numerals at 12 and 6, while a smaller minute dial tucks in neatly beside the 9 and adds a pop of color in the style of an RAF roundel. The subdials and their contrasting needles are easily legible in all but the dimmest light, as are the green sword hands thanks to a white lume fill. The primary second hand; however, is nearly invisible as its green color nearly disappears against the dial. I found this irritating, but given that it does not run with the chronograph, it may not bother you quite so much.
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    The AV-4011-0G arrives on a lightly padded matte olive leather strap, that is 22mm wide tapering to a 20mm signed buckle in a matte finish that matches the case. It is an ideal pairing for the watch and one that even an incorrigible strap swapper like me would likely leave alone.
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    The Hawker Hunter AV-4036-04 is all black and blue: brushed IP black case, matte black dial, a turbine style bezel and brown, and a black leather strap with black hardware, all accented in electric blue. The brushed case back is nicely decorated with a squadron of its namesake warplanes. All hands are easy to view, even the black skeletonized hour and minute hands thanks to their blue lumed tips. Lume is good, slightly brighter than the white on the Hurricane.
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    At 45mm wide, it is larger than the Hurricane although you would be hard-pressed to tell. I actually had to whip out the calipers to prove it (45.6mm to be precise). Both watches are 52mm long and 11mm thick which goes far to create the illusion that they are the same size.

    The Hunter's 22mm black leather strap and dapper blue pilot style stitching is rather sharp looking, but it is not your only option. The watch also comes with a bright blue nylon NATO with black hardware.
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    Like its stablemate, it is also fitted with an anonymous quartz. While I always encourage manufacturers to publish their movements, in this case, I have to ask if it even matters. Sure, the Hunter has a tachymeter index, small seconds, 60-minute, and 12-hour dials, but you'll never use them because the gray printing on the indices renders the chronograph functions all but useless. This watch is all about style, and that is not a bad thing so long as you are honest with yourself when you buy it.

    Both of these watches are fun and fashionable, and neither will break the bank. The Hurricane lists for $229 and the Hunter for $281. For more information, visit the AVI-8 web store. ⬩
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