When we think of German watchmaking, we think precision engineering and quality. And this is what we have here today from Aristo. Aristo was founded in 1907 by Julius Epple in Pforzheim, jewelry, and watchmaking in the Black Forest, Germany. The company has been producing timepieces for the last three generations.
Let’s kick things off with the Swiss heart within the German pilot watch. The Aristo Navigator Vintage 42 Type B 7H118 - Sapphire is powered by a Swiss Made Sellita automatic caliber, Sw200-1 operating at 28,800 BPH (4 Hertz) hacking and hand winding capabilities. It has 26 jewels with a power reserve of 40 hours.
|Aristo Navigator Vintage 42 Type B - 7H118 - Sapphire
The Aristo Navigator Vintage is clearly inspired by the Type B Flieger (German for Pilot) watches from the 40s created for the Luftwaffe. A “Type B” model, the dial is sectored into two, with an outer ring for minutes and seconds, and an additional inner circle for hours. Notably, instead of the usual 12 hour markers within, Aristo uniquely replaced them with 360 markings for a quirky look. Underneath the sapphire crystal, the dial is further paired with a pair of broad sword hands. The shorter hand indicates the hours; while another longer one for the minutes. In other words, that means it is unambiguously designed with legibility in mind.
Just like the original Type B watches during those war times, the dial gets large Arabic numerals to aid the task of precise time-reading. The dial is clean and sticks to the basics, only to have a date display at 3 o’clock, along with minimal texts that imbued a refreshing manner. In keeping the vintage theme, Aristo uses the “Old Radium” SuperLuminova for both the numbers on the dial and on the hands, contrasting with the white 360 markings. Best yet, the periphery minute markers are done so in a way that brings one to mind of a “railway track”.
|SuperLuminova. Quite a sight in the dark.
Now, to the case. As the name implies, the watch measures the right size of 42mm, lug-to-lug length of 48mm, a thickness of 10.5mm, and a lug width of 20mm. The 316L stainless steel case is well finished by hand with a full satin brushed on the top and sides of the case to give it a robust, tool watch feel. The case comprises three parts; the bezel, the mid-case, and the screw-down case back. The bezel is beveled elegantly from the top to the mid-case, resulting in a refined look. In continuing the Flieger appeal, a large sand-blasted crown with pronounced grooves enlivens the Aristo Flieger Vintage much utilitarianism.
Flipping the timepiece over, it comes with a display back for us watch enthusiasts admire the SW200-1 at work. The size of the case, coupled with the sturdy short lugs that curved nicely to conform one’s wrist comfortably, makes this a great fit on all wrist sizes. Oh, did we mention this watch is made specifically for Gnomon Watches with a sapphire crystal?
|Display back with Aristo signed
Another interesting point of the Navigator Vintage 42 is the rather huge dial opening. That means this watch is all dial. It makes it look visually more prominent than the size suggests. This also takes legibility to another level.
To complete the vintage theme, Aristo has paired this watch with a 20mm tan calf leather strap with whipstitching, manufactured by another German Maison - Rios 1931 strap company.
The Aristo Navigator Vintage draws you in with its iconic Type B look with a rugged allure. This timepiece finds its way into your heart when one seeks a pilot watch that’s designed with a purpose and well onto your wrist. Crafted with utmost precision from the inside out, this pilot watch tells athletes and explorers' adventure from all walks of life. Make time for your own experience with this signature timepiece that tells the time of.