Horaire Aviateur: NIVREL's first aviator watch

von Guido Grohmann - 1 Jul, 2011

Horaire Aviateur: NIVREL's first aviator watch

The pilot watch design theme enjoys great popularity within German and Swiss watchmaking. Historically, it was the German and the English army of the late 1930s who desired and ordered special timekeepers for their pilots. Since then, pilot or aviator watches in the style of the old days have been truly popular, especially among male watch aficionados.

The new NIVREL Horaire Aviateur is a true homage to the original pilot watches and is characterized by showing the just the complications a pilot watch was designed for. Despite other models on the market, the NIVREL Horaire Aviateur pays special attention to the quality of each component. Also, it plays with the fact that the original pilot watches were produced by German and Swiss companies at the same time.

The Horaire Aviateur offers all classical characteristics of a pilot watch: a robust steel case and a highly detailed dial with numerals, pilot navigation triangle and hands covered with Superluminova lacquer to guarantee a perfect reading during night.  The pilot crown is constructed large and handy, so that the watch can also be adjusted with gloves.

Moreover, the Horaire Aviateur would not be a NIVREL watch, if we hadn’t paid special attention to the details. Each component of the watch was well-chosen in order to stick to the historical DNA of pilot watches: 

For sure, the most striking characteristic of a pilot watch is the dial. Therefore, also NIVREL spent a special focus on that part: The dark ground is black galvanized in traditional German craftsmanship. The typography of the minutes, the big Arabic numerals, the triangular navigation index at 12 o’clock as well as the indicators of the small second at 6 o’clock are printed in white and coated with Superluminova. The Superluminova type that is used here is called ‘BG W9’ and has the most powerful luminosity that is available. In the dark, the dial is lumed in a mysterious blue-green color. The typical watch hands with their distinctive red border are coverd with Superluminova BG W9 as well.

The case of the NIVREL Aviateur is a solid German production in stainless steel 316L. The case body is matt brushed while the bezel is polished. The antireflective sapphire crystal guarantees perfect readability and maximum robustness. The case back is screwed, and an extra large backside crystal gives view to the wonderfully refined movement. In total the case has a diameter of 42 mm and a height of 10.7 mm. Even though this seems to be comparably small for a pilot watch, NIVREL’s goal was not to rebuild an original, but to present a modern interpretation of a historical classic in the watch world. Finally, the big crown at 3 o’clock allows a quick winding of the movement and an easy adjusting of time.

Traditional pilot watches were equipped with a hand-wound movement corresponding to the state-of-the-art technology in that era. Therefore, also NIVREL decided for such a movement. The Swiss heart in the German watch is the caliber ETA Unitas 6498-2, TOP-graded by ETA. Also here, the German interpretation is made on basis of this Swiss movement: bridges decorated with stripes, circular-grained plates, beautiful finished ratchets and bridges, flames-blued screws as well as a flame-blued swan’s neck.

In terms of functionality, The NIVREL Aviateur presents hours, minutes and a small second indication. A soft leather strap with pilot rives and a historical steel buckle with two pins complete the beautiful appearance of this “timeless” classic.

One last thing has to be mentioned. Next to the normal version, NIVREL also offers a limited edition of 100 pieces. The difference is quite visible, but only at a second glance: The movement of the ‘Aviateur De Luxe’ 100 is additionally equipped with a gold-plated and screwed balance.