This month Avi-8 releases yet another special edition model which pays respect to a historic individual in the aviation industry. This P-51 Mustang Hitchcock pays tribute to the Lafayette Escadrille member and national polo champion who directly influenced the development of the P-51 Mustang during WWII.
The colourways of the Hitchcock Automatic are inspired by the various polo clubs Hitchcock represented over the years, which is a well-thought-out touch. This one being the “Cooperstown” blue.
At £275, is it worth it? Let’s check it out.
- Dimensions: 43mm diameter x 14mm height x 51mm lug to lug
- Weight: 91g
- Water resistance rating: 5ATM / 50m
- Movement: Seiko NH35
- Accuracy: -2.1 sec / day
- Lug width: 22mm
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: RRP £275, use code WIAB for 15% off making it £233.75
- Buy here: https://avi-8.co.uk/pages/p-51-hitchcock-automatic
There are two key standout features on the P-51 Mustang Hitchcock: the dial, and that eye-catching crown guard.
Firstly, the crown guard, which supposedly echos the engine exhaust of the aircraft this watch is in honour to. It’s slightly reminiscent of Panerai, however, this guard cannot be manipulated or opened in any way – it’s simply a bar over the crown, allowing you just enough room to pull it out to set the watch. Setting it is pretty fiddly too, as you have to navigate around the bar and use just the very tips of your fingers. But, it sure does look cool.
The second outstanding thing about this watch is the dial. The Hitchcock’s multilayered dial is drawn from both the cockpit and body of the P-51 Mustang, offering depth, texture, detail and all sorts of style wrapped into one. The sandwich aspects of a number of the hour markers exemplify the industrial feel, as well as the faux screws which look pretty good. The plate sitting on the top right corner of the dial is a neat touch too.
The hands are just the right size, width and length, with a bold border to provide great legibility.
The lume has surprised me too. It’s not stated what type it is, but it sure is strong and charges fast.
The case itself has a sleek contoured shape, which wears better than the 43mm diameter and 13mm height suggests. Whilst the mirror-like polished finishing on the sides is not going to stay perfect for long, it does impress on the wrist.
The domed sapphire crystal is very reflective, but you do get a pleasing flash of blue anti-reflective coating at certain angles, albeit not very effective.
The identifiable padded leather strap is a genius design, inspired by the style of the P-51 Mustang’s seats. It’s beautifully soft, supple and comfortable straight out of the box, with a complimentary deep blue colour and light blue stitching.
Found within the Avi-8 P-51 is the Seiko NH35 movement. A tried-and-tested movement that’s in nearly every sub-£500 automatic. In a tribute to Hitchcock’s heroics outside the cockpit, the case back features the words “Ten Goal Tommy,” referencing his 10-goal handicap in polo. It’s coming in at a pretty amazing -2.1 sec/day.
I think it’s a strong watch for £233.75 with code WIAB. Very clever design, and above-standard execution for the price point. It’s going to appeal to aviation fans more than anyone else, of course, but I’m impressed by the thought that’s gone into the various aspects linking back to the P-51 Mustang plane itself, but also to Tommy Hitchcock too.