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Avi-8’s latest release, the Hawker Hunter Day Date, is available from today for a pre-order price of £125 until September 22nd 2017, after which it’ll be available for the RRP of a reasonable £155.

At a glance, it’s plain to see it’s aviation themed, as is their custom, but it also looks well detailed and skilfully constructed – especially the dial.

Let’s take a closer look to see how their latest offering stacks up.

The specs

The case

The Hawker Hunter Day Date has an obvious aviation themed case; there’s no doubt that it’s based on a dial of an instrument panel. It’s rather angular, with a variety of facets and angles on show. Whilst the majority of the case is brushed, there’s also a couple of polished elements which is a nice touch: namely the top shoulders of the lugs, bezel piece and the screw heads in the corners of the top (which are likely to be fake).

The general finishing of the case leaves a bit to be desired; it’s not the most refined in terms of brushing or edging. But, the RRP of the watch probably matches this.

The push-pull crown has the RAF roundel on the end: bright blue and red rings which looks great. It also has good grip and is easy to use. The crown guards are a shapely triangle exuding out of either side – mimicking plane wings.

The screw-in caseback is fully brushed, and features an illustration of the Hawker Hunter plane. Various specifics surround this; all markings are lightly engraved.

The crystal is mineral with a sapphire coating, which many believe is the best option – it has the scratch resistance of sapphire, and shatterproof properties of mineral. It’s flat, which naturally keeps the reflections at bay. This is a good thing, as the anti-reflective coating doesn’t seem to do a whole lot.

The dial

The dial is extremely complex and multilayered – and is actually constructed to an impressive degree for the price. It does have 4 fake screw heads (Avi-8 love using them for some reason), but they don’t look as tacky as usual and fit in quite well.

The complexity of the dial is rather splendid when you consider the RRP; especially with the custom date and day wheels taken into account. These are displayed at 12 (day) and 6 (date); I always enjoy vertical positioning – a little bit different to usual.

The prominent features of the dial are the turbine-esqe central disc which contains the date indicator. It’s accurately moulded (most likely plastic over metal) and is a real eye-catcher.

The hour markers are all rather bold – they’re sat on top of the highest level of the multi-layered dial so are the highest points; with the large applied numerals at 12 (displaying a 0) and 6 being particularly prominent.

The hands are flat in appearance, sword shaped, and on the large side of things to compliment the aviation theme. They have a thick border to them and are filled with lume to provide clear legibility.

The logo, sadly, is the only thing that’s not quite up to scratch on the dial. Everything else is very impressively done, but the logo’s just a little too flat and doesn’t signify the same amount of quality.

The lume is of average strength, nothing that exceeds expectations considering the price of the watch.

The strap

The strap is constructed with lovely thick leather. I’ve always found the straps on Avi-8 watches to be great quality, and this is no different.

It is oil tanned finished; giving it a cool low-sheen, semi-matte appearance. There are two aesthetic stitches at the top ends which provides some interest. The two thick keeper loops are made of the same quality leather.

The strap comes with a standard tang buckle with the logo engraved on the top bar.

The movement

The movement powering this Avi-8 is the TMI VX43E21C. Ever heard of it? Me neither.

Information on this movement is extremely difficult to find, but it’s worth thinking about a couple of things: TMI are part of the Seiko group, and it’s a quartz. So whilst it’s hard to say for sure, I’d be willing to bet that it’ll be a faithful servant for a while.

Normally the day and date are located at 3, so Avi-8 have made custom wheels to alter the positioning to 12 for the day and 6 for the date.

Final comments

Firstly, I’m glad to see Avi-8 are understanding their pricing structure more. Gone are the days of ridiculously inflated RRPs and offering their watches with a massive “discount”. Instead, its much better to just put out a watch that’s competitively priced and allow it to sit in its natural market.

Secondly, the Hawker Hunter Day Date just a pretty impressive watch for the money. The pre-order of £125 is of course nice, but the RRP of £155 is still a good price for the calibre of finish. The dial in particular is very detailed and constructed, and the watch comes fitted with a lovely strap too.

I’m pleased Avi-8 have taken such effort with their latest release; and I’m even happier when I see the price tag.


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