Iron Annie Flight Control (Review) – Affordable Made in Germany Flieger!

Last year I reviewed two Zeppelin watches that were provided by the Pointdec company who own Zeppelin, Iron Annie, Junkers, Rosenthal and some other brands. And today we are taking a look at another of their brands called Iron Annie, which maybe isn’t that well known as it is a relatively new brand that was founded only in 2017. Actually here in my country, they are selling in a couple of shops and as I talked to those stores people are loving them and they are getting popular.

This time I let them choose the watch they want to send me and they sent me both models from the Flight Control series. Flight Control series has many variants ranging from classic Fliegers to aeronautically inspired chronographs, big dates and with quartz or automatic movements from ETA or Sellita. I actually really like classic-looking Flieger watches, yes for some they look very similar (Stowa, IWC, Zenith, Laco, Damasko, Archimede and many others), but each one has it’s own twist and price point.

One of them has black dial with patina printing/lume on the dial and hands with black leather strap (ref. 51562) and the other one has a full lume dial in this cream white colour with black printing/lume on the dial and hands with a brown leather strap (ref. 51565). My favourite must be the one with black dial but the full lume dialed one is a very cool watch to wear at night. I actually wore it a couple of times when riding a bike at night and the time was visible really good at low light situations and the lume lasted a pretty long time (around 3-4 hours), which usually isn’t the case with many full lume dials.

The watches came with very nice, straight to the deal boxes. The inside is actually kind fo aeronautical based and pretty cool looking. Inside the box, you will find the watch, warranty card and instructions on how to use the watch an everything. The first impressions are actually pretty good! This is another case where photos don’t do justice for these watches, in real life they look a ton better! In real life, you can see the amazing finishing on these watches, all the sharp case edges and corners, the polished bevels on the side of the case and of course the very crisp print work on the dial. The only thing that I like and at the same time dislike is the date window. I like it because it is in the centre making the dial symmetrical, but the thing I don’t like is the date window in general. I know many people will disagree with me, but if you own more than 3 watches, and you change them each day, it is hard to set the date every day. I don’t know, I have a calendar for that on my wall and I don’t find it that useful.

The case of the Flight Control is made of 316L stainless steel. The case is very well manufactured as a German watch should! All the lines, edges and surfaces are made to the highest quality standards. It has a satin-brushed finished mostly on the case, but to give a small accent they polished the bevels on the case sides. On top, we have this fixed bevelled bezel which is a bit smaller than the diameter of the main case. The case diameter is 42mm (46,5mm with crown), the thickness is 12mm, from lug to lug it measures at 52mm and the lug width is 22mm. I think these are the best Flieger watch proportions for a modern one, I know that Flieger watches should be 44-45mm big as pilots would wear them over the suit and it should be big to be legible, but for a modern-day, I think 42mm is a perfect size! On the wrist, it actually wears like a 40mm watch in my opinion. At 3 o’clock we have a push-pull big crown in the shape of cone. It is very typical for Fliegers and it is very easy to use and the crown action is really nice. The screw-in exhibition case back is a nice addition, the Sellita SW200 or ETA 2824 isn’t a particularly interesting movement to look at, but it is a nice addition! On the top, we have a slightly domed sapphire crystal and on the case back we have a flat sapphire. The water resistance is 50m (5ATM) which is quite normal for the pilot’s watches. That means that no swimming with it, basically it can handle some rain, maybe drop in not so deep water or handwash, but nothing more.

The dials on these are also made to the Flieger standards. No applied indices or anything, just printing. All the print work is very crisp and very legible. My watchmaker always says if you can’t understand whats the time by looking at the watch in 3 seconds, it isn’t a watch, but a toy. On the outside, we have the minute track and on the inside the hour track and each hand lines up with each track. At 12 o’clock we have the Iron Annie logo. At 6 o’clock we have a date window. On the black one, the date wheel colour is matching the dial colour, but on the full lume cream dial, it is in black colour, but from a design standpoint and legibility I understand why they did that. Also at 6 o’clock, it says “Automatic” and “Made in Germany”.  The sword-shaped hour and minute hands are filled with old radium lume in the middle on the black dialed one, but the cream dialed one has black middles on the hands. The cream dial the lume is just on the dial, but the black dialed one has the lume on all the print work. Both have very strong lume and thy shine about 3-4 hours which is plenty enough for a daily basis.

The movements inside are either a Sellita SW200 or ETA 2824-2. They have some small differences like the Sellita has more jewels some parts are different, but overall they are the same movements and bot are made in Switzerland, just by two different manufacturers. I don’t know why companies do this as I don’t think you can choose which one of these movements you want in your watch as purists would prefer the ETA and some prefer the Sellita. I personally would go with ETA as the original is always better and ETA has been making these movements for a very long time and they have proven their reliability. Sellitas aren’t bad either, but my watchmaker says that they aren’t that good. They have some problems with the quality of some parts and stuff, but they are just as precise and specifications are the same as ETA’s. The power reserve is something around 40 hours, self winding etc.

The straps that came on these watches are vintage-style calfskin straps. On the cream dialed one we have brown calfskin strap and on the black dialed one a black strap. Both have white contrasting stitching at the lugs and at the ends. Both have tang style buckles signed nicely with a deeply engraved Iron Annie logo. The leather is a bit stiff at first, but after a couple of days of wearing the watch, it will take your wrist shape and will be much comfortable to wear. The strap nicely tapers from 22mm at the lugs to 20mm at the ends. Both straps are handcrafted.

Overall I really like both of these watches! They are really well made and finished. The price on the tags is 499€, but you can find them a bit cheaper on some stores. Both of the watches are really well built and finished, have Swiss movement, are Made in Germany, has a sapphire crystal on both sides and has a really nice leather strap. Even my girlfriend loved these watches and wore the cream dial one for some time. Can I suggest this watch? I think yes, the brand maybe isn’t that known as Laco or Stowa, but I think they have been getting some attention from watch enthusiasts!

Price: 499€ (Price may vary)


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