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  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
  • Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire
Aristo

Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire

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Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire

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One of the most fulfilling aspects of owning a vintage watch is the nostalgic connection to a piece of history and is often appreciated for its rich horological heritage. For the very first time, Gnomon Watches is presenting an exclusive limited series from Aristo Watch Co. that captures the rustic charm of a vintage military flieger, rediscovering the spirit of classic pilot watches with a rare NOS (new old stock) automatic caliber by the legendary Record Watch Company, a distinguished Swiss watch and movement manufacturer back in the early 19th century.

Aristo Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue 98101REC-4 - Sapphire

Tool watches are unquestionably made to be tough, ready to take a beating and handle specific purposes it is designed for. These were traits that were very much needed for timepieces worn in the harshest of conditions, such as watches that would be worn on the wrists of military pilots during combat missions. During the second World War, it marked the birth of German Flieger watches, meaning ‘air man’ (or also referred to as Beobachtungs-Uhren, or B-Uhren) that were originally produced for Germany’s air force ‘German Luftwaffe’ to reference time during combat operations and aerial warfare. 

While the Swiss may represent the pinnacle of haute horlogerie, the impressive production, impeccable precision and engineering mastery from the Germans in the field of watchmaking is truly worth a closer look. Coming from a German watch manufacturer that produced timepieces since 1907, Aristo Uhren (known today as Aristo Watch Co.) was founded by watchmaker Julius Epple in Pforzheim, southwestern Germany, a beautiful city that earned the nickname “Goldstadt” or “Golden City” for its jewelry and watchmaking industry. Today, the brand calls upon their great watchmaking legacy to offer remarkable military-inspired watches with outstanding value. Now, what if both Swiss and German watchmaking comes together? Its definitely a rare opportunity and Aristo recently made it happened.

The Record brand has been around since December 16, 1903, by a group of Tramelan investors and released numerous highly regarded watches before being acquired by Longines in 1961. From producing amazing chronographs and one of the “dirty dozen” contracted by the British military to make W.W.W. watches for the Ministry of Defence. Since the early days, many had regarded Record’s watch movements to be high quality for its time. And today, Aristo managed to source some of these NOS movements for its aviation collection.

Simple and minimal military-inspired layout

Unlike original flieger watches that were massive, with case sizes over 50mm that housed movements meant for pocket watches, the Aristo Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue - Sapphire Ref. 98101REC-4 comes in a wearable, more refined vintage form factor bringing forth a cultivated appearance sitting closer to the dimensions of an elegant dress piece despite having its core design inspired by military pilot’s tool watches. Measuring with a tasteful case diameter of 38.5mm, a lug to lug distance of 43.5mm and a pleasantly slender case thickness of merely 9.5mm thanks to the reliable vintage movement. Naturally, these dimensions allow the watch to fit splendidly on a wide range of wrist sizes.

Built out of 316L stainless steel, the case is finished excellently with old-school satin brushing at the top of the lugs and the side of the case, contrasted with a thick highly-polished bezel around the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal for a dressy flair. Accompanying this suave timepiece, the accompanied German handmade leather strap handsomely elevates the old-school glamour of the timepiece with a delicate full matching stitching.


316L stainless steel with Sapphire crystal

In contrast with many Swiss counterparts, German timepieces are largely influenced by the Bauhaus philosophy of emphasizing functionality over decorative elements. Likewise, the Aristo Aviator Vintage carries a rather simple and minimal military-inspired layout following the dial designs of vintage aviation watches. The sunburst blue dial features half-Arabic, half-Roman for hour markers, cathedral-style handset that provides clear orientation of the dial with a simple glance on the wrist. Beauty lies in Aristo’s fine attention to details in the dial work, depicted by a needle seconds hand that reaches out all the way to reach the ‘railroad’ minute track at the edges of the dial, as well as Aristo’s retro logo for a cool vintage touch. With the lack of a date window, the dial flaunts a delightful symmetry that is certainly gratifying to look at. Oh, don’t forget the “RECROD Automatic” fonts to highlight that this timepiece is truly a special one.

At the core of the watch lies the main highlight of the Aristo Aviator Vintage , the NOS (new old stock) Record automatic Cal. 11 1/2 caliber that came straight out of the golden era of Swiss watchmaking, in 1975. A total of 150 rare NOS movements were sourced by Aristo’s workshop, of which most were utilized to produce this exclusive model (with some remaining sets of movements reserved for repair and servicing). These movements were once sold to Longines for their remarkable timepieces for the era. Now, each of them are freshly serviced and thoroughly inspected by Aristo’s skilful watchmakers. These well-kept movements are assured to be as robust and high-performing as possible.

Record automatic Cal. 11 1/2
Like any well-made mechanical movement, the 17-jewel automatic movement is a capable engine that could very well outlive the wearer if taken care of. Beating at a rate of 21,600 beats per hour (BPH), the movement features a healthy power reserve of approximately 40 hours when fully wound using the crown at the 3 o’clock position, and fitted with the Ultraflex Kif anti-shock system. At the back of the watch reveals a see-through display caseback grants a gorgeous view of the Cal. 11 1/2, in all its glory. Despite having some fancy finishes and decorations, this is a utilitarian workhorse that is meant to last a lifetime with its incredibly robust metal parts.

Limited to only a few pieces, the caseback is screw-down, while withstanding a proper 30m water-resistant which is enough for a true vintage pilot watch design.

The Aristo Aviator Vintage REC Auto Blue - Sapphire Ref. 98101REC-4 is especially appealing for those who crave an authentic vintage experience in a watch that is essentially fresh out of the box, incorporating a NOS movement that is a significant part of the history of the Swiss watchmaking industry. This exclusive release from Aristo is more than just a watch that tells the time, it is a collectable creation that encapsulates the rich history of the brand with both Swiss and German watchmaking in itself.

Specifications

icon-maker

Maker

Aristo, Germany
icon-movement

Movement

Record automatic Cal. 11 1/2
icon-dial

Dial

Sunburst blue
icon-case

Case

316L stainless steel
icon-crown_type

Crown type

Push-in
icon-lug_width

Lug width

20mm
icon-crystal

Crystal material

Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
icon-strap

Strap

Leather strap
icon-water_resistance

Water resistance

30m
icon-dimensions

Dimensions

38.5mm in diameter, 43.5mm lug to lug, 9.5mm thick