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Review: Avi-8 Flyboy Automatic Watch with Nato Strap

Aviation watches are some of the most popular watch styles on the market today. As such, there is no shortage of options available. Standing out in this crowded field is definitely a challenge, but AVI-8 has done an amazing job of getting into the fray and holding their own at a price point that puts it smack dab in the middle of the fashion watch space.

Avi-8 Flyboy Watch

So, we were very pleased to be given the opportunity to review the Avi-8 Flyboy AV-4021-0F. Sticking close to its military aviation roots, this first thing that’s apparent is the stealth look. The face of the watch has a nice black matt finish with a light texture to it that allows the white hour indicators to really pop. And in poor lighting conditions there is enough luminosity to make the watch quite readable thanks to Super-LumiNova added to the dials and hands. In the lower center area is the date window outlined in white which is also a nice touch. Sticking to the aviation theme, the seconds hand has a neat red arrow in the general shape of a plane at the tip.

Avi-8 Flyboy Watch

The case is 43mm, which is perfect if you don’t have an Arnold Schwarzenegger-sized wrist. Yes, this is smaller than many of the other aviation style watches, but it seems that it would better fit the vast majority of folks. The case is steel and has a clean finish to it. It’s rather tall which, given the smaller case size, gives it a nice aesthetic. The window is made out of mineral, as opposed to the much more durable sapphire crystal, but this is an understandable compromise considering the price. Water-resistant down to 50 feet, the watch will easily survive typical day-to-day activities unless you’re a professional scuba diver.

caseback

One of the coolest features is the clear case back which shows all of the watch’s inner workings based on a Japanese automatic movement, Citizen Miyota caliber 8215. The fact that this provides automatic winding as well as hand winding makes it a particularly useful feature. The chunky crown follows traditional aviation styling and is nicely detailed.

Avi-8 Flyboy Watch

The watch comes with a thin leather Nato-styled strap, which is a cool departure from the nylon ones typically used. It is supple and soft and very easy to wear. It is also not insanely long, and the excess part tucks nicely into the loop, thereby eliminating the common issue of Nato bulge.

Avi-8 Flyboy Watch

And if that doesn’t float your boat, there is also an extra green nylon Nato strap included as well, which is great if you are in a warmer climate and don’t want to wear leather.

Avi-8 Flyboy Watch

At $350, this watch is pretty much a steal. It offers extremely good build quality, solid design, clean aviation styling and a comfortable strap (plus an extra one) for less than $1,000. Odds are you won’t find a better aviation-style watch on the market with more terrific features for anywhere near this price — we highly recommend.

Note: The AVI-8 Flyboy can be purchased at Nordstrom.