Today we have another watch from AVI-8. My readers are probably familiar with this brand. Also, you all should probably know that this is one of the watch companies from Dartmouth brands which also owns Dufa, Spinnaker, James McCabe and Thomas Earnshaw which all I have reviewed in the past. But today we have a special one. I received it pretty early before the official release and was able to spend some time with it before it gets to customers. The new model is called Hawker Harrier II Matador Edition. It is a nicknamed by the Hawker Harrier Jump Jet that was flying in Spanish Navy, the planes were called “Matador”.
The watch came in the same influencers box (customers box will be different). The first impressions of the watch are that it looks pretty stunning and that skeletonized dial where you can see the date wheels and gear turning, it just looks really cool! 1/20 second counter that spins around is also a very nice feature although it isn’t that useful if you ask me.
The case is made of 316L stainless steel. The case as always for this brand is made very well. All the lines and design overall is very sharp. The whole case is coated with Black PVD coating which looks very well applied with no darker or lighter spots, everything is just perfect. The case shape is round with decently sized lugs. The diameter of the case is 44mm, the thickness is 15,1mm and from lug to lug it measures at 52,4mm. At 3 o’clock we have a push-pull crown and pump style pushers for the chronograph function. The upper pusher is in gold colour and the one lower is black. The pushers have a very mechanical feel and they work perfectly. The crown is knurled grip and gold accent in the middle. The solid screw in case back is stainless steel. This is probably the best case back I have seen on a watch in a long time. It has this deep engraving of the plane turbine and it looks killer. It has a mix of finishes like polished, bead-blasted and brushed. The water resistance is 5ATM (50m), but I would go swimming with it as it is chronograph with a push-pull crown. But a light rain, handwash or accidental drop in water it will withstand with no problems.
The dial on this one is pretty busy. There are a lot of subdials and with all that it is skeletonized. The dial has a mix of black, gold, red and white colour. At 12 o’clock we have the grande date complications which are really interesting to watch when it changes as you can see all the gears and date wheels move. At 9 o’clock we have a 60 minute counter, at 3 o’clock we have the customized 1/20 seconds counter and at 6 o’clock we have the small seconds subdial. The gold hour and minute hands are stick shaped and have a little taper to the end, the hands are also lumed. Second’s hand is black with red tip and counterweight. The applied hour markers are gold and also applied with lume. Around the dial, we have a nice black chapter ring with Tachymeter scale with red and white printing. Over the dial, we have a very slightly domed sapphire crystal with a blue AR coating which glows in sun like crazy. The lume on the dial is decent, but not long lasting.
The movement that is inside is Japan made Miyota 6S50 quartz movement. I have had watches with this movement, but with different complications and it did its job well. This one is pretty good too and I really like how AVI-8 skeletonized the dial to see the movement and this is actually the first time I have seen a company do skeleton dial on a quartz movement watch and it looks stunning. The battery life on this movement is around 2-3 years.
As this is an aviation-inspired watch, it comes on an aviation-style leather strap. The leather is tan brown with black stitching. The underside has a black leather in which you have AVI-8 logo embossed. As always AVI-8 delivers a very well made and good quality strap. If you need a new strap for any of your watches, I suggest buying one of the AVI-8 straps as they are one of the best straps that come with the watch in stock. The buckle is made from stainless steel with the same black PVD coating and it is signed with AVI-8 logo.
Overall the watch is pretty cool. In my opinion, this is one of the coolest looking quartz watches I have reviewed. I like the functions it has like the big date and that 1/20 seconds counter. The watch maybe is a bit too big, but on my wrist, it wears fairly good, but I think it would look killer in 42mm size. Right now you can sign up for the pre-order of this watch (it also comes in two other colour variations and they look as cool as this one) and they are now selling for a big discount, this one is available for 275£ right now! So be quick to sign up as they will go up in price afterwards. They ship out in the last week of January.