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I carried a roll full of pilots watches to the show in order to investigate the intersection of industrial design and the aeronautics industries, but after three scorched days of slipping through military-grade bureaucracies and, eventually, onto the planes I believed held my story, it became obvious that any substantive material relationship between planes and watches was largely long gone. However, now unbound by military specifications, watchmakers are free to create all sorts of compelling pilots watches that range from accurate recreations of historical references to dreamy luxury items.
Almost all modern pilots watches are meant for civilians. I asked over a dozen commercial and military pilots if they were issued watches, and every one of them politely smirked at what must have sounded like a naive question. When I posed this question to a US Air Force AH-64 Apache chopper pilot — an outgoing man in his 30s sporting full fatigues and polarized Oakley Blades who had logged over 2,000 hours of active duty flying in Afghanistan and Iraq — his response told me that I was bordering on disrespect. I might as well have asked him why he wasn’t wearing a shearling-lined bomber jacket and RayBan Aviators. Best not to romanticize these brave people and the life-and-death missions they carry out.
https://gearpatrol.com/2019/07/13/the-t ... a106DtjPjU
“Your heart was warm and happy
With the lilt of Irish laughter
Every day and in every way
Now forever and ever after."