Watches: Perrelet Turbine Pilot Collection (+live pics)

By Thierry Ané on April 28, 2014

With a turbine design at the heart of its bestseller collections, it was just a matter of time before Perrelet entered the world of pilot’s watches. And, dare I say, it is absolutely fitting that this creative brand offers its own tribute to the world of aviation.

The new Turbine Pilot maintains the brand’s signature rotating turbine dial but combines it with a circular aviation slide rule. The bezel inscriptions and the bi-directional rotating inner ring activated via the crown at 3 o’clock allow the owner to make all the usual pre-flight calculations like fuel burn, wind correction or time en route. For most of us who don’t need such functions though, the slide rule simply represents a strong aesthetic reminder of the aeronautical origins of these resolutely masculine and sporty timepieces.

With luminescent hour markers and four Arabic numerals at the cardinal points meticulously applied on a sapphire dial, the watch is extremely legible as any pilot’s model should be. Below this sapphire dial spin the 12 titanium blades of Perrelet’s hypnotic turbine, revealing in doing so the yellow and black background clearly inspired by the aviation’s hazard signs. The clever layered arrangement of these elements gives the watch a distinctive three-dimensional look.

With generous proportions of 48.00 x 13.65 mm, the case is certainly not designed for lovers of restrained and inconspicuous models. It is, however, perfectly in line with the pilot theme and fits so nicely on the wrist that the watch is an absolute pleasure to wear. Two versions are offered: one in stainless steel and a stealthier rendition in black PVD steel and it is honestly hard to decide which one I prefer since the watch looks great in both versions.

The Black PVD versions, with rubber or leather straps

The stainless steel versions

Each model is offered with either a conventional black rubber strap (here are the stainsless steel and the black PVD steel versions) or else with a new black calfskin leather strap with grey stitches (again, for the stainsless steel or black PVD steel model), raising to four the number of references in the collection. They are secured by a pin buckle in the same finish as the case. Although I was hesitant on the selection of my favourite case version, I would go for the new leather strap without second thoughts: it is really beautiful and enhances the aviation aesthetic of the watch.

Inside all models, Perrelet placed its time-only P-331 calibre. This extremely reliable self-winding movement entirely developed and produced by the brand can be admired by the sapphire exhibition back. This aperture also lets you admire the brand’s hollowed and decorated oscillating weight.

All in all, I think it is safe to say that the Turbine Pilot collection presents an original and highly accomplished design well in line with the aviation theme. A closer inspection also reveals that these watches are very well crafted, with a lot of attention to details and a much welcomed sense of depth on the dial. Given that they also sport a reliable in-house movement, these four watches have all the attributes to experience an incredible success.