Rolex vs Breitling vs IWC – Classic Pilot Watches

Flight watch, Pilot watch, Aviation watch, Flieger watch. Whatever you wish to call them the Rolex GMT Master II, IWC Mark XVI and Breitling Navitimer are three classic watches with a rich aviation heritage. In this video we take a look at three different takes on the classic pilot watch. Which one is for you?

About the channel:

I’m just a passionate collector of watches, cars and well-crafted goods. I’ve been fortunate in life and I enjoy sharing my passions with others. I created this channel to connect with like-minded individuals that appreciate fine craftsmanship regardless of price. My videos are casual and have occasional swearing and sarcasm. Elitism and snobbery free, here is a place we can come together to celebrate the finer things in life where all passionate souls are welcome.

Welcome to J. Anthony

Below are just a few of the brands I review on my channel.

Audemars Piguet, Breitling, Cartier, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Omega, Panerai, Rolex, Tag Heuer, Vacheron Constantin, Zenith, Seiko, Citizen, Orient, Casio, Mondaine, Hamilton, Longines and many more.

I also provide expertise on automatic watches, quartz watches, and automobiles including Lexus, Chevrolet, BMW, Mini and others.

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Beat Your Competition by Vibe Tracks

Chicago by Joe Bagale

DOCTOR VOX – Frontier


michael newman says:

Good video, good channel.


nice video thank you…but you said 3 million subscribers? says 8,600?


Great video. I love the GMT M2 😀

Steve Benesh says:

The “flight computer” is the same as the E6-B circular slide ruler, as used by pilots to calculate time-speed-distance solutions for flight planning and while in flight.  It was all we had before electronic “pilot calculators”, GPS and all the crap a new pilot relies on today. It was easy to use and a must for any x-country flight. You wouldn’t pass a check ride without knowing how to use both sides, which included a “wind drift” calculator on the opposite side.  You best have one in the flight bag ‘cuz when the electrical system fails in the aircraft it (and a sectional map) will be all you need, assuming you are proficient at good old fashion (real) navigation.  E6-B…., don’t leave home with out it.

Snafu says:

Damn I didn’t know you were a car enthusiast as well!! I am totally into European cars, I own a 2011 911 Carrera GTS and a 2015 Mercedes S550. I’m really into British luxury cars, but I’m not to a point in my 26 year life that I can afford to order a Bentley from the factory with the exact spec I want haha (hopefully by the time I’m 30, fingers crossed). That’s the reason the most expensive watch I have is a chunk less than $10k, otherwise I would have definitely bought something more exclusive.

Fity7Eleven says:


Tiger25NYC Brooklyn says:

The Navi timer is the winner then the Rolex GMT. I don’t really like the IWC.

Ace says:

I thought I’d add a pilot’s perspective here, sorry if I’m late to the party. I own a 2011 Breitling Aerospace.While not a very classic aesthetic, I think it’s the perfect pilot watch. It’s incredibly lightweight and understated (for a Breitling). It has a two-tier digital display, which I typically use in the 24hr GMT setting or a Chronograph. It also has count-down, day/date and an alarm. Overall everything a pilot needs. I don’t really think a flight computer is a necessity these days. That said, while it’s away for service, I’ve fallen in love with a Seiko SNK809. I’ve also been enjoying my AVI-8 Hawker Harrier II which was a gift from my girlfriend.

Shawnee Union says:

great video! audio and video are really spot on, I like the IWC too.

munawar hussain says:

HI …”J”love your content very informative looking forward to your upcoming videos .

iron wolf says:

Navytimer’s dial business and small numbers is its history and functions as a decoration, it gives the watch that special unique aesthetics, no one really cares to use those calculations for living nowadays, as no one really needs a mechanical watch to tell the time… quartz would tell better time anyway… but we love history, that’s why we still love mechanical watches, and that’s why Navitimer’s dial is really cool!! the history and aesthetics, and not really unrealistic case scenario calculations))

Isblocket says:

IWC is my favourite of them.

silvian basha says:

Great video !

goneflying140 says:

All 3 watches are nice timepieces, but as far as a pure Pilot’s watch, the Breitling Navitimer wins hands down. You can do an entire flight plan off this watch. They convert statute to nautical miles, figure time,speed, and distance calculations instantly, and even have a Celsius to Fahrenheit conversion scale on the back. Not to mention the stopwatch feature, and the subdials that I use exclusively to switch fuel tanks every half bour. There is even a basic sun compass built into it. The Rolex allows for converting to military time, GMT, or Zulu time, or a basic alarm, and the IWC, well, it pretty much just tells time. I would be proud to wear any one of them, but the Breitling IS the definitive Pilot’s watch.

itsKibble Talks Watches says:

Quality on this video is incredible!! Really pushing the bar up here and I love it! Keep it up mate 🙂

Benjamin Pivac says:

*Schaffhausen not Schaffenhausen 😉

Louis James Iocca says:

Personally I feel a flieger should always have small seconds and be a manual winder, not an auto. And have no date. Like the IWC Heritage line.

Neuro says:

Breitling and IWC watches are beautifully made, very goodlooking watches. Although, I prefer brands with their own inhouse movements. Gives them character. Rolex, Seiko, etc..

flash burt says:

Hi Tony, Did you buy the 43mm or the 46mm breathing navitimer 01? I tried both of them and they both looked good. Im really into it to buy the 01 duo with the black original leather. What do you think, the dial is amazing but I have a doubt of the sized….

Philip S. Jones says:

What really is appealing is I saw a demo and the guy had a fresh manicure. Very important paid attention to his demo without any distractions from hemorraging finger nails.

Cedar Canoe says:

You actually got me interested in that IWC. Afraid of the price though.. will check right away. Thanks for yet another good video J.

John Dziki says:

I think you needed to have included Omega Man on the Moon. $3,300

Jack Stanislow says:

I wouldnt call the Navi’s dial “busy.” I hate busy dials and I think of the Navi’s as a functional dial, elegant. I really dont like the Rolex though, its essentially a submariner with an extra hand (basically the same movement, same size, same casing, etc, nothing special) it certainly is not a aviation inspired piece.

J.R. Regenold says:

Great work … enjoy your channel.

sam says:

How can I get this tone bro???

MK. Harvey says:

Sinn bought the rights to the navitimer so they are okay.

CG AWC Channel says:

Great video and you are absolutely right, they all really have a specific appeal that makes “this is better than that” comparison a bit irrelevant without considering the specifics of each that would be important to each individual. For me personally, I like all three! The coke bezel GMT is my absolute favorite of all the GMT master iterations.

likeris subruknem says:

i have waiting this comparison for ages. awesome!

A- Wall says:

Great video! Also, I had heard in a previous video that you were from Michigan and into the car scene, were you part of the xceedspeed and Motown Muscle forums? I’m from Windsor and the car scene is pretty much the same. Tons of LS swaps, (i have one…) 2jz’s, gtr’s, fox bodys, f-bodys etc. I used to go to Milan waaay for North vs South event to help by buddy’s with their 8 sec street cars, oh and with T56 that would need a rebuild every track day… Ah the good old days lol…

Anyways, I’ve shifted a little from cars to watches so keep the vids coming!

Ana Isidro says:

I have mixed feelings about the Navitimer, I think the dial is indeed very busy but there is something there that looks powerful. and I love that bracelete. The rolex I just love it!. great video. cheers.

An W says:

Great video, J! Been busy so I need to catch up on the new vids!

Sorry, this is kind of off topic but I’m looking into buying a pre-owned Submariner or maybe a Portugieser. Regarding the Submariner, there are production models going back to the 80’s on the pre-owned market so I was wondering what to look for. I believe some of the models had hollow end-links etc right? What production year should I begin looking to get a Sub with solid endlinks? What about the Glidelock clasp?

Thanks in advance!

Bengalsfan9595 says:

I’m a few days late, but watches aside, great job of improving the video quality. This one really struck me in terms of refinement. Great job and keep it up!

Just ROM says:

Nice observation on the watches….the Navitimer is actually a bling bling watch, for practicality it’s a power dress watch. Actual usage on the Navitimer, if you are flying an aircraft with full EFIS instruments and they go out and the only thing you can rely on is analog critical T then this watch becomes really handy. The Citizen Blue Angels Navihawk Wr100 watch out performs both Breitling and Rolex by functionality and it’s not as expensive as these watches. The Rolex & IWC are also bling bling too but you would get more mileage out of both of them in everyday usage. Thanks for the video.

minitwatch says:

I am going to have to go with the IWC as I love the size and I love german pilot watches. I would opt for a Type-B instead of that Type-A. All good pieces, though!

chr1s60 says:

I think the IWC would maybe be a better comparison to the new Rolex Air King. Many dislike it, but I am a fan of the new Air King 116900 and somehow keep finding myself looking at it. Of the three shown here, I say the Breitling takes it hands down. The design of it just speaks to me more than the others.

Alex imd says:

Please clean your mourning fingernails

TehShivster says:

What do you think about the BLNR GMT Master 2? The colour scheme and the way it looks rather than the watch itself? Great video btw

acftmxman says:

J. Anthony, another great video. Personally, all three sing to me but for different reasons. You hit it on the head for all three. Breitling for the cool factor of having a flight computer on the bezel. IWC for the pure legibility. And Rolex for the GMT function. Back in the days before controlled flow, pilots would have to fly holding patterns if traffic was too much at the destination. You flew 1 minute legs with 1 minute turns at 3 degrees per second rate. You needed a good, legible watch to time the legs and turns. In today’s glass cockpits ( I know, politically incorrect, it’s flight deck now), you have avionics to show you everything. Again, your production values hit on all marks. I love the brutal honesty and the self deprecation (crappy into-toward the end). I also loved that you started with such a high going emotionally. For me, these are the things that keep me watching. Bravo Zulu my friend!

Drew Smith says:

dog shit ..rolex is the best there and that’s shit …hope this helps

qweruaxdfn says:

What do you think of the Maratac Mid-Sized Pilot? Looks a lot like the IWC for $220-$300.

Lee K says:

While killing time waiting around in airports, I find it fun to notice what flight crew members are wearing. It seems to be a generational thing: older, silver-haired captains almost always have a Rolex GMT on their wrist (they do make the big bucks), whereas the younger co-pilots and flight engineers will have less expensive but still analog watches like a Citizen Skyhawk or some kind of Victorinox. The youngsters who fly the the commuter routes will invariably have an inexpensive digital watch, and military pilots will have either a G-Shock or a Suunto on.

In the 1950s, the US test pilots like Scott Crossfield, Bill Dana, and yes even Chuck Yeager all wore Rolex GMTs. You see photos of the Mercury 7 astronauts carry over that tradition with Rolexes although Scott Carpenter had a Navitimer and Wally Schirra had a Speedmaster. Of course as the Gemini and Apollo missions unfolded we know the Speedmaster became standard issue, but they really only used them as flight equipment, preferring their GMTs for everyday use.

As others have noted, the flieger watch is a category all its own and from those original German designs we have an interesting variety of dials (type A, B, etc) and a tendency for enormous case sizes (47mm and higher) to increase legibility. Modern takes on the flieger change movements, case size, and dial layout.

Ruth Sims says:


Paul Smith says:

Hi thought all genuine Breitling watches had Swiss made on the face

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