Best Pilot Watch Under 500

Being a pilot is not restricted to how perfectly you can land your aircraft, it also incorporates how you present yourself as a person. You have to be presentable at all times irrespective of your flight schedule.

Pilots have a very extravagant lifestyle that revolves around perfectly ironed uniforms and golden framed aviators. They pay special attention to their accessories as these accessories are meant to accentuate their overall aura and not just their outfit.

A good pilot is always confidently dressed with each element making its own statement. If you are looking forward to buying the best pilot watch under 500, you should browse all the available options. Presented below is a list of handpicked watches that will simplify your search for the best and the most affordable pilot watch.

1. Citizen Watches Men's JY8078-01L Eco-drive Promaster Skyhawk A-T

Citizen Watches Men's JY8078-01L Eco-drive Promaster Skyhawk A-T

Promaster Skyhawk A-T is a great addition to Citizen’s wide and appealing catalog. It is a perfect blend of eye-catching aesthetics along with strong built and compelling technical features. The watch is inspired by the precision and skills of the Blue Angels, the flight demonstration squadron of the navy. It also has the eco-drive technology which makes it run of all kinds of light, you will never need a battery with this watch.

The watch is capable of atomic timekeeping in around 43 cities. It has a dual-time feature that presents the time both digitally and in an analog fashion. The product is also equipped with a chronograph, a calendar, and multiple alarms. There are many other small features like a countdown, digital backlight, and UTC display that hold immense significance for a pilot.

It comes in a stainless steel case which enhances the whole experience. The strap has been created out of Italian leather and has a tempting indigo blue shade. You can see yellow stitching on the strap that blends in well with the indigo blue. A similar color pattern can be observed on the dial and the bezel which are dark blue in color and are highlighted with yellow detailing.


  • Atomic Timekeeping
  • Optimized chronograph
  • Date Display
  • Citizen Eco-drive


  • Higher-end of the budget
  • Delicate buttons

2. Seiko Men's SSC007 Stainless Steel Watch with Link Bracelet

Seiko Men's SSC007 Stainless Steel Watch with Link Bracelet

If you are a fan of link bracelets and are not able to find good features along with this look, Seiko has got you covered. Seiko SSC007 is a full package that looks really good on your wrist. It is packed with all the necessary and value-added features that you will expect from a pilot’s watch.

It has a rotary slide rule bezel which is pitch black in color. You will find red and white detailing all throughout the bezel that goes well with the black background. It has a small indicator for the date as well. Seiko has also loaded the watch with a chronograph, stopwatch, timer, and multiple alarms.

The watch is resistant to water for up to 100 meters even with the 43 mm stainless steel case and a hardlex dial. This offering escalates the watch to a notch above the standard. It is a great watch that should be considered if you are a fan of stainless steel pilot watches under 500.


  • Stainless Steel Watch
  • Hardlex crystal dial
  • Date Display


  • Bezel issues after usage

3. Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Promaster Nighthawk

Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Promaster Nighthawk

Citizen has been a trendsetter in the market since the beginning. It is responsible for many shifts in the watch industry. The Promaster Nighthawk variant is a proud product of the same innovative minds.

As the name suggests, the watch is created using Eco-Drive technology. This technology makes the watch independent of batteries as it converts all sorts of lights into its battery. Citizen has used a full stainless steel frame alongside using Japanese quartz movement.

The watch notifies the user when the battery is running low and also has radium in its hands.  It also consists of water resistance for up to 200 feet which makes it eligible for all kinds of water activities except scuba diving. It also has a power-saving mode in case you do not have immediate access to light.


  • Black Dial
  • Japanese Quartz
  • Date Window
  • Eco-drive


  • Water-resistance issues

4. SEIKO Men's Pilot Watch

SEIKO Men's Pilot Watch

Seiko has been very efficient in providing all the necessary requirements at a pocket-friendly price. They have shown the same consistency by creating this aviation-inspired product.

Seiko SNA411 is an extremely detailed watch with multiple sub-dials. Its frame is created using stainless steel with a hardlex dial. There are gear edge bezels and a fluted crown that make the watch look very attractive.

It is equipped with water resistance for up to 200 feet. You can put this watch into the water for days and it will still be working fine. The hands are turned luminous by incorporating the use of radium. The movement of the watch is chosen to be Japanese Quartz. If you like stainless steel watches with intricate detailing and cutting-edge features, Seiko has the perfect product for you in-store.


  • Hardlex dial
  • Multiple subdials
  • Luminous hands
  • Japanese Quartz movement


  • Performance issues after rough usage

5. Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Navihawk Atomic

Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Navihawk Atomic

One of the most intriguing features about Citizen as a brand is its ability to gauge all kinds of audiences. The Navihawk Atomic is a stainless steel watch with a polyurethane band. The watch in its entirety is black in color with quirky orange details.

The watch operates on the Eco-drive mechanism where the need for a battery is eliminated. It runs by converting all sorts of lights into energy. You can find multiple chronographs, alarms, and digital displays on the watch. The dual-time function is very convenient for pilots.

An anti-reflective mineral crystal is used alongside the 48mm stainless steel case. You can also see radium hinted at hands which is a non-negotiable requirement. Citizen has also used its supreme water-resistance technology to convert the product into a wholesome offering.


  • Japanese Quartz
  • Citizen Eco-drive
  • Mineral crystal
  • Date Window


  • Hard to read
  • Delicate buttons

6. Seiko Men's SND255P1 Flightmaster

Seiko Men's SND255P1 Flightmaster

Seiko is widely renowned for creating watches that stand out from the generic crowd. The same thing can be seen in its flight master variant which has a blue-colored dial on a stainless steel watch.

The combination of a stainless steel case and a stainless steel band looks very elite. This watch can be sided with any of your outfits to enhance your persona. The watch consists of a chronograph, a stopwatch, and many alarms. It also has a pilot slide bezel which completes the minimum requirements for any pilot.

The Seiko SND255P1 Flightmaster is a great analog watch within the confines of your budget. You should definitely try to get a hands-on look at this watch if you can. Its visual aesthetics are unparalleled and will leave you spellbound.


  • Visually pleasing
  • Optimized Chronograph
  • Quartz Movement


  • The color of the dial does not look appealing online
  • Smaller than other variants

7. Citizen AW1361-10H Eco-Drive

Citizen AW1361-10H Eco-Drive

Citizen has yet another stunner in store for you. If you are a fan of vintage things, you will definitely love this timeless classic by Citizen. The AW1361-10H comes with a stainless steel case. It is clubbed with a brown-colored leather band that makes it visually pleasing. The brown leather gives the watch an exquisite Citizen look.

It has a very simple and sober round structure with a 45mm case. You will find an analog display with three hands and the classic quartz movement. There is a small panel on the dial that also shows the date. It is also water-resistant for up to 100 meters which ensures that you can take a dip while keeping the watch on.

There is nothing extravagant about the watch like multiple subdials and chronographs. It is also powered by the eco-drive system which enhances usability. Its mute look sets it apart from the other pilot watches.


  • Japanese Quartz
  • Citizen Eco-drive
  • Scratch resistant
  • Date Window


  • No chronograph
  • No timer

8. Bulova Men's Moon Watch - 96B251

Bulova Men's Moon Watch - 96B251

Bulova is a premium watchmaker that has been rendering quality products since its inception. The Moonwatch is a replica of the original Bulova watch that was worn by the commander in the Apollo 15 missions. It is one of the best pilot watches that are present in the market.

Bulova Moonwatch has a very minimalistic look. It looks great with any outfit and is jam-packed with amazing specifications. It has a six-hand calendar chronograph which is covered under sapphire glass. Sapphire was the exact same element that was used in the original Bulova too.

The case is made of stainless steel along with a jet black leather strap. Bulova has also used its proprietary UHF quartz movement in this watch. The superluminous hands and markers are also a worthy addition to the mix.

If you make your mind around purchasing this watch, one more quirk that can assure you is the three-year global warranty that comes alongside. It is water-resistant up to 50 meters and therefore you might want to skip the watch while diving into the ocean.


  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
  • Black dial
  • UHF quartz movement
  • Date Window


  • Higher-end of the budget
  • Sweaty Straps after long hours

9. AVI-8 Men's AV-4011 Hawker Hurricane

AVI-8 Men's AV-4011 Hawker Hurricane

Equipped with the Japanese quartz movement, AVI 8 men's av is a great watch for pilots. It has a stainless steel case which is aided by a genuine leather strap. The dial consists of a tachymeter bezel which adds to the looks and specifications of the watch.

You can also find multicolored chronographs which revamp the entire visual imagery of the watch. The watch is water-resistant for up to 50 meters which means that you should be cautious of too much water around your watch.

It is also resistant to normal wear and tear and works well in rough conditions too. You will not have to worry about your watch being broken from a small shock. If you want a watch that is not extremely filled with details, AVI-8 men's av 4011 has a great offering for you.


  • Japanese Quartz
  • Scratch resistant
  • Multiple chronographs
  • Date Window


  • Casual look
  • Poor Water resistance

10. Hamilton Men's H64611535

Hamilton Men's H64611535

Hamilton is a great brand when it comes to the swiss quartz movement. They have created a special swiss made offering for all the people in the aviation industry with the launch of this product.

The watch consists of a 42 mm stainless steel case. It has a black-colored dial that goes well with the brown colored leather strap. You will also find an anti-reflective sapphire dial window. Sapphire is an extremely strong element and therefore it adds to the overall safety.

The product comes with luminous hands and markers. It also has a small panel on the dial to display the day and date. These small quirks are extremely important for pilots as they hover around various time zones in a single day.

Other features that make the offering complete are water resistance and the energy-saving mode. If you are looking for a classic aviation watch, this product by hamilton can be the place where your search ends.


  • Swiss made excellence
  • Water-resistant
  • Date Window
  • Energy Saving


  • No chronograph
  • Delicate button

Things to check before getting a pilot watch

Being one of the coolest gears a man can have, they have incredible design and are a definite flaunt. Even though they are perfect in every aspect, there are certain characteristics that you have to check on before buying them for you.

If you want to own the best pilot watches, there are a few watch features that you should have an eye for, some of which are mentioned below. Have a look


A very important factor while considering the best pilot watch is its design. Although you would find wonderful pieces to choose from, no matter where you are shopping at. But going for a design that suits your personality more should be your goal.

Pilot Watch Under 500

The design should resonate with your personality as an individual. The use of this watch will not be restricted to your flying routine and therefore you should look for a product that goes well with everything.

Leather strap

You will come across some designs that are vintage while some designs would be inclined towards the military more. They could have a brown leather strap or a genuine leather band. Stating the obvious, a vintage or even military-style watch would give out a rugged or rough look due to its brown leather strap and choice of color.

A pilot watch with a leather band or leather strap will give you the desired look of the earlier times, while also keeping the look trendy. As the leather band is getting popular for all kinds of watches, it could be a good option to try.

Stainless Steel Case

Another category would be completely modern, with silver chains and case. In this, a pilot watch could be made out of stainless steel, including a stainless steel strap and a stainless steel dial.

 A shiny stainless steel watch band would have a more classy and delicate look. Depending on the kind of personality you want to carry, you can choose a suitable option.

Big Dial

Another important point to remember is readability. The watch you wear should have a dial big enough for pilots to read even while flying. This would mean that the minimum case diameter of a pilot watch should be at least 40 to 42 mm.

The numerals in the case should also be big enough to be easy to read. The numerals could either be in roman or even Arabic. The numbers should also be chosen according to the user, whatever is easier to read should be considered.

Pilot Watch Under 500

When considering the dial, the color of the case should also be kept in mind. For the sake of readability, keeping the color of the dial a contrast or even luminous can work great. This would make it very easy for the pilot to check their watch even in low light or sometimes in the dark.

You could come across watches with dials in absolute matte black color or even a blue dial. A blue dial would increase the readability of manifolds.

 Furthermore, the hour markers and even the numerals could be made out of radioactive materials. These luminous markers would provide great convenience to the pilots even in difficult situations.

Water Resistance

Considering the kind of situations in which pilots could be in, wearing high-quality water resistance affordable pilot watches should be one of the important features. In cases of emergency landings, leaks in the cockpit, or some other difficult situation, having a handy watch that is made of water-resistant materials works splendidly.

However, you could check for the kind of materials being used to make the watch repel water. Some materials may make the watch less strong or durable. You could get all the information about the materials at the store or even at the brands' websites.

Triangle Orientation

Apart from luminous hands and markers or numerals, there is another important addition that could make reading a pilot watch easier. In place of the 12 o'clock position, there sits a small triangle with two dots on each side. This triangle is made out of luminous material that could be seen even with low light or no light.

This triangle serves a very essential role in figuring out the orientation of the watch. If a pilot watch has this triangle, the pilot would be able to figure out the 12 o'clock position immediately. This would also show them if they reading watch right even in low light.

The orientation triangle should not be missed from high-quality pilot watches. It should be one of the important features to consider while buying one.


Having a chronograph watch on your wrist saves you a lot of time. The watch lets you record times that are elapsed in one go. The best thing about these watches is that you can set them back to zero and get them started again at one push button. This makes the watch go back to no-time instantly, after which you set the time accordingly.

Although the exact functioning of a chronograph on a pilot watch is difficult to understand. However, once given some time, you would start to figure out how important this feature is.

Pilot Watch Under 500

A chronograph watch does not necessitate operations such as stop or rest or even the start. Instead, all you have to do is click on just one button and you would get to operate all three functions in one go. This definitely saves up a lot of time, especially when you instantly want to change the time in case of an emergency.

This convenient setting has helped pilots during navigation and even while searching for grids. They were allowed to transform the time even during flying. You could find many brands that provide you high-quality chronograph watches.

Red Marking

Red marking comes under some of the most important watch features that would lead to a pilot's safety too. When a red mark is applied on the bezel of the watch that rotates, it can be used as a count-down or even a count-up.

Red marking comes to great help while figuring out navigation or even when during the bombing. Clearly, this is one of the watch features that could be considered under military tools. In the earlier times, the pilots would use this tool to look for specific landmarks.

They would set the red marker according to the minute hand. This would also help them in reading the times that were elapsed. A bezel that comes with notches leaves less or no scope of slipping while operating.

Shock resistant

A pilot watch must be resistant to shocks. Considering the dangers that a pilot could find themselves in, choosing a watch that has shock and water resistance features is important. Making sure to choose watches for every undesirable situation can get you a strong option that will assist you in many ways.

A high-quality pilot watch should also be protected from magnetic fields or even drastic drops in pressure. These features can make sure that the user gets to read the right time at every possible hour without giving to their tough situation.

To make things even better for the user, you could even go for a watch that is anti-reflective. An anti-reflective watch would not let the pilot lose sight of the time they have their eyes on. Due to high altitudes, the chance of the screen reflecting sunlight or even moonlight is high.

Speaking of the screen, going for one that is scratch resistant can also be another feature to look for in pilot watches. A scratch-resistant watch would also allow a clear display of time and date.

Frequency Asked Questions

1. Are pilot watches made for real-life pilots?

Yes, the intention of the watchmakers is to make pilot watches as useful as possible for pilots. Only then can they be deemed as the best pilot watches. These watches would do their best to assist pilots while they are flying with a huge number of civilians on board with them.

Even pilots flying independently can make good use of pilot watches. The time and date display and the resistance to water and many other issues give pilot watches an edge over the rest of the watches available in the market today.

In fact, pilot watches have been considered highly beneficial since the time of world war ii. Even during the time of world war ii, pilots were using the features being used in the pilot watches of today's time.

2. What is the best size for the case dial window of a pilot watch?

Considering the fact that pilot watches should be readable in low light and in case of emergency situations, the dial window should be big enough. The minimum size that can be considered the best for a pilot watch is 42 mm.

Some brands may also give away dial windows with a case diameter of 40 mm. Depending on the wrist of the user, the size could be chosen. A big dial can show time much more easily than the ones with the usual sizes.

Watches with big dial would have bold hands and clearly mentioned date window. For the sake of convenience, you could also watch the color of the dial you choose. You could either go for a black dial or a blue dial.

3. How do luminous markers help pilots?

Luminous markers are added to pilot watches to improve the readability for pilots. These hour markers work best as they are able to tell the time even when there is no scope of light. They illuminate at night or do not need a lot of time to show the time.

The hour markers are covered with luminous paint. They could even be entirely made out of luminous material which works great for pilots that are stuck in strange places.  Luminous markers for date display can also help pilots that need navigation help through their watch.

4. Can pilot watches be used for travelers?

Pilot watches can be worn by anyone, irrespective of their profession. Even researchers or people on the expedition can wear these watches. As pilot watches are great for figuring out time zones, reading maps, finding directions, etc. they work quite well for people going to strange lands.

A high-quality pilot watch also has the scope of power reserve which is very essential when traveling. Watches with power reserves do not require you to change batteries and could have a power source of their own. A feature such as power reserve may add a few additional bucks to the price of the watch but is definitely worth it.

Pilot watches also make the best travel companions as they do not lose their quality that easily. Pilot watches have genuine leather straps or strong stainless steel bands that would stay put even after years. You do not have to worry about them wearing away due to scratches either.

5. Are pilot watches easy to use?

Pilot watches may seem a bit different for new users,  but once adjusted, can give various conveniences to the users. They have easy to use strap which is strong and resistant to wear and tear. The big dial on a pilot watch makes it very easy to read.

You could get a bit confused while getting the watch ready for different time zones or after the time has elapsed. But by following the instruction manual, you will be able to use the watch without any further complications.

With a pilot watch in hand, you would also start to learn the navigation system and ways to calculate hours and days that are a bit different. Although to properly learn all the aspects and features of a pilot watch, you could a few days.

If you are going for a flight or an expedition, it is highly recommended to give a few days to get adjusted to your new pilot watch.

6. Can pilot watches be delivered internationally?

Depending on the brand from which you are buying the watch, you could get an international delivery as well. There are several e-commerce websites that can get you pilot watches without having to spend a lot on delivery or customs.

To buy a good quality watch, you do not necessarily have to be a citizen of the manufacturing country.

Final Verdict

You must consider all the given elements that are mentioned above before taking the final decision. These things are really important when you know that your watch has to serve a purpose.  A clear set of criteria will help you to conduct your analysis faster.

You should browse all the available options in your budget and then you can take the help of this list to evaluate how many green signals you have. You must always keep your taste and preferences in mind. Any watch will be useless if you do not feel like wearing it every day.

The products that are mentioned above have been hand-picked after extensive research. Hundreds of watches were scanned in the preliminary screening so that the top 10 watches can all be neck to neck. If you do not want to conduct extensive research like this, you can restrict your play area to these ten watches.

Features like luminous hands, a stainless steel case, a chronograph and a small panel to show the day hold utmost importance and these small elements should not be ignored at any cost. You should not settle for anything less than perfect because many brands have been working hard to give you that aviation-inspired experience.

You can keep this article handy when you are all set to make a purchase for the best pilot watch under 500.

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