Indie watch brand AVI-8 has launched its latest timepiece, the Flyboy Lafayette Chronograph, inspired by a squadron of the French Air Service during WWI known as Lafayette Escadrille. This iconic unit, comprised mainly of American Pilots known as “the founding fathers of American combat aviation” by some. The watch celebrates their legacy through a variety of timekeeping cues made popular during the Escadrille era, including an early 20th-century font that adorns the cream dial, as well as a set of classic-looking cathedral hands. The watch is also 43mm across, echoing the large, legible watch dials of early aviation timepieces.
The rest of the piece, though, is thoroughly steeped in 21st-century timekeeping technology. A Seiko VK64 “mecha-quartz” movement ticks away inside that combines the hand feel of a classic mechanical chronograph with the accuracy and reliability of a modern quartz movement. The case is made of stainless steel, while a hardened mineral crystal protects the dial and hands, making the watch water resistant up to 5 atmospheres.
A thick leather strap adorned with red, white and blue stitching that commemorates the Lafayette Escadrille tops it all off. At a price of $220, the Flyboy is a unique and reasonable watch considering its bevy of features and details.