Sunday, April 21, 2024

Wristwatch Review: AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Chronograph Watch

Examining a Chronograph Watch Inspired by a Famed World War II Fighter Plane 

This watch review takes a closer look at a unique watch that commemorates its famed namesake aircraft through a variety of design features.

The AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Chronograph Watch

Every watch has a purpose. Some watches simply tell time. Some watches stand up to the rigors of diving. Other watches make bold fashion statements. A rarefied few watches communicate high social status. But, the AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane watch is a little different. 

Inspired by one of the most significant fighter planes of World War II, the AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane evokes the image of a famed propeller-driven fighter sitting on a dew covered grass airfield in the English countryside 

AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane watch foreground.  OV-1 Mohawk Background

Watch Design

It must have been quite a challenge for AVI-8 designers to evoke an airplane that first flew in 1935. They had to conjure up the feeling of bygone era using modern materials and meet an attainable price point. I think they succeeded with the AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane watch. They gave this watch a classic case in black with traditional looking pusher buttons for the chronograph features. The watch also has a soft supple brown leather strap with white stitching that looks like something from the 1940s. I think the colors and case design of this watch successfully evoke a vintage feel. 

The next challenge for designers was to summon the spirit of a specific plane: the Hawker Hurricane. They did this via insignia, lettering, and art. When you look at the watch dial, your attention is immediately drawn to an RAF roundel insignia just inboard of the nine o'clock position. The disc is actually the chronograph sub-dial for tracking elapsed minutes. The red dot forms the base of that sub-dials minute hand. It is surrounded by a white circle inside a blue circle inside a yellow circle. Two more sub-dials one at twelve o'clock and the other at six o'clock cover elapsed time in 1/10 of a second and one second intervals respectively. The three o'clock position is occupied by the AVI-8 logo and date window. Just above that is a front silhouette of a Hawker Hurricane. Below the logo and date, the name of the watch is spelled out: Hawker Hurricane. The dial is ringed by a tachymeter scale. The back of the case is shiny stainless steel and features a line drawing of the Hawker Hurricane fighter plane from a top down perspective.

Watch Dimensions

The dial is sensibly sized at 42 millimeters by 49 millimeters in diameter and 10 millimeters thick. The Hurricane is not a bulky watch by any means.

At 10mm thick, the case of the AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane is sensibly sized

Watch Construction 

The case is constructed of all stainless steel and the strap is genuine leather. The case and buckle are ion plated (IP) for a deep black color. The Hawker Hurricane is water resistant to 50 meters. Like any good Hurricane pilot, you'll prefer to stay above the English Channel rather than below. While the original Hawker Hurricane was powered by a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, this watch is powered by a reliable Japanese quartz movement.

The AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane prior to surgery to get a new watch strap

[As of 2024, I've owned this watch for just over a decade.  It still looks great. I did end up replacing the watch strap with a Ritche Leather Strap since I broke a loop on the original strap.]


I was initially somewhat concerned about the price of this watch. The AVI-8 website lists the Hawker Hurricane for $470.
However, the entire AVI-8 collection is now available on sale at and price points are in a much more attainable. This puts all the unique goodness of the Hurricane watch into the same price category as most Fossil watches. 


Since I grew up reading all about the Battle of Britain, I really like having a watch that commemorates the Hawker Hurricane. The Hawker Hurricane was the backbone of the Royal Air Force (RAF) during that pivotal time in history. Now the AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane watch is one of the mainstays of my collection. The black, brown, and green colors of this watch blend well into a business casual wardrobe. You can easily sit in a cube or a conference room with this watch. But, once you strap on the Hurricane, you immediately want escape your cube, find a leather jacket, tie on a silk scarf, and take to the skies in defense of democracy, western civilization, and the King.  Overall, this is a very cool watch.

[I originally published this article in the 2012 timeframe on Associated Content which evolved into Yahoo Voices. The watch was provided by AVI-8. The watch is still available here on Amazon.]

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