AVI-8 are back with their first dual-time chronograph: the AVI 8 Hawker Hunter Atlas Dual Time Chronograph.
AVI 8 Hawker Hunter Atlas Dual Time Chronograph Review
AVI-8 has been on something of an upward spiral recently with – for the most part – their watches matching the quality of sister brand Spinnaker. The brand has had a change of direction recently, raising its prices, closing its UK distribution centre and changing its policy of giving away dozens of watches to reviewers. I was interested to see how this new watch would fare as its £310 price tag is well above the usual AVI-8 price point.
At a glance
AVI 8 Hawker Hunter Atlas Dual Time Chronograph
|Water Resistance||5 ATM|
|Movement||Japanese Quartz dual time|
The watch arrived in the standard AVI-8 two-piece cardboard box. The nylon weave finish gives it a more premium finish than many other brands and it seems sturdy enough to protect the watch from any knocks the postal service might give it.
Case and Movement
The case of the Atlas Dual Time is listed at 43mm, but I found that the squared-off edges increased it by a few millimetres. It’s a big case but easy to wear thanks to its short lugs. The watch is quite thick for a quartz, at 14mm, with a nicely domed crystal. I was disappointed to find the crystal is mineral glass. At this price, I expect sapphire, no question. It’s an attractive watch, and balances well on the wrist. The chronograph pushers operate with just the right amount of resistance. It’s a dual-time watch, so has two hour hands. You set the orange one to GMT (or your preferred time zone) and then use the crown to jump the “normal” hour hand around the dial to the time zone you are currently in. You can use the bezel to track a third time zone too – although AVI-8 has equipped the Atlas with a unidirectional bezel from a dive watch rather than a bidirectional bezel with fewer clicks. This doesn’t really affect you unless you change your time zone a lot. The case back has a laser etched design that is easy to make out (sometimes these etchings are so light they’re illegible).
The movement is quartz and – as with the IOTA GMT – I think that is a decent choice for a dual time watch as it is a lot less faff to set it when you wear it infrequently. The payoff for that cool dual-time function is the chronograph. It is a ticking chronograph so you cannot measure durations of less than one second. You also get a date, a 24-hour indicator and an elapsed minutes dial (that, again is not much use as there are too few marks to accurately read it). Overall, the watch looks good but is more about style than substance.
Dial and Hands
The dial looks great. AVI-8 dials have a wonderful sense of depth and use textures well – and the Hawker Hunter Atlas Dual Time is no exception. I love the way the hour markers float off the dial, and despite the number of dials and hands, I had no trouble making everything out. I wasn’t anticipating much lume on a dual-time watch so was pleasantly surprised to see the dial light up so well in the dark (check out the video review to see the lume). The GMT hand has no lume, so again AVI-8 has gone for aesthetics over practicality.
Strap and Buckle
Another consistent strong point with AVI-8 is their straps. The black leather strap is thick, supple and oozes quality. The buckle is the standard AVI-8 offering but I really can’t complain at all about it.
AVI 8 Hawker Hunter Atlas Dual Time Chronograph – Video Review
What I Liked… and What I Didn’t Like
|þ||The Hawker Hunter Atlas has a stunning dial with great use of texture and depth.|
|þ||The lume is excellent and makes an already attractive watch look even better|
|þ||For such a large watch, the Atlas is extremely wearable thanks to some smart design choices|
|ý||I expect a sapphire crystal for this price, no question|
|ý||Some odd decisions make some of the watch’s features suboptimal: e.g. the lack of lume on the GMT hand and the chronograph elapsed minutes dial only showing 5-minute intervals|
|ý||£310 is a large chunk of change and with the closure of AVI-8’s UK distribution centre you now have to pay VAT on top.|
AVI 8 Hawker Hunter Atlas Dual Time Chronograph- The WRUK Verdict
Overall, I couldn’t help but feel the AVI-8 Hawker Hunter Atlas is a missed opportunity. The hefty price tag means I expected more from it than AVI-8s I’ve reviewed in the past and whilst it gets a lot right, it also gets a few key things wrong. I can forgive the minor issues with the bezel only turning in one direction and the chronograph elapsed minutes dial because I would never use those features. If this watch was £100 less I’d recommend it unreservedly. But at £310 I can’t help but think the IOTA GMT is a better choice if you want a dual-time quartz watch, where for £45 less you get a more expensive Swiss movement.
Buy an AVI 8 Hawker Hunter Atlas Dual Time Chronograph
You can buy this watch from AVI-8 Watches – Use our link and AVI-8 discount code MICHAELRICHMOND20 for 20% off stocked non-discounted lines.