Avi-8 Flyboy Bronze
If you are familiar with AVI-8 watches then you are probably familiar with the Flyboy line as it is definitely one of the most popular in their lineup. We have reviewed a few of them here at Watchreport and this time I will be taking a look at the bronze version. Most of the time when someone says bronze watches, you probably think of dive watch, but here we have a bronze pilot or aviation style and I think some choices were interesting and some others I am just not sure about. As always though, continue reading for all my thoughts on the Avi-8 Flyboy Bronze, both good and bad.
Avi-8 Flyboy Bronze Specifications:
- COLLECTION: FLYBOY
- MODEL: AV-4042-02
- MOVEMENT: Automatic Japan 3 Hands with Date
- CASE: Bronze
- CASE DIAMETER (mm): 45
- CASE THICKNESS (mm): 11
- CASE SHAPE: Round
- CASE COLOUR: Bronze
- DIAL COLOUR: Green
- BAND: Genuine Leather Nato Strap and Nubuck Suede Leather Strap
- BAND COLOUR: Brown
- BUCKLE: Strap Buckle
- BAND WIDTH (mm): 22
- WATER RESISTANCE: 5ATM
- WATCH WEIGHT (g): 150
- WARRANTY: 2 Years International
Price $806.00 USD
Aviation themed watches is what Avi-8 is all about and with bronze watches still being so popular, they decided to make a bronze model of the Flyboy. I have reviewed quite a few bronze watches here and I have to say, I do not think I have seen any company do what Avi-8 has done here. When I first opened the box I honestly thought that the entire watch was bronze plated and not actual bronze. To which I thought to myself-well that would be odd considering it is bronze is stamped into the side of the case, but is not real bronze. So I started looking around the watch more, I looked at the case back and the crown, then the buckle, and then the case. I even went over to the window to get some natural light on it so I could investigate more. I can now see the case and crown were different colors than the other parts of the watch and that the buckle underside states stainless steel.
Okay, so I see what they did here. Unlike many brands that use un-coated stainless steel or titanium for the case backs and crown etc, they chose to go with a bronze-ish pvd coating to somewhat match the case to every other part. I get what they were trying to do here in theory, I am just not sure if it will hold up over time, as the bronze case starts to patina. Once that happens, it will look a little odd in my opinion, especially if you get a heavy patina. I honestly do understand the logic behind it, but I almost think if you were going to do bronze pvd, maybe just do it to the entire watch, this way you get the look of bronze, but you do not have to worry about it tarnishing and it will always look the same color. Below you can really see the difference in color between the case back and case/crown.
The Avi-8 Flyboy Bronze is pretty much identical to a steel Flyboy that was reviewed here almost 4 years ago now on Watchreport, the 4021-01. The dial layout is identical, the crown is the same, even the same movement is being used (Miyota 8215). The only differences would be the size (45mm vs. 42mm) and of course the fact this is bronze. Looking back at that review and the photos, I almost feel a little let down that in a 3-4 year time frame that this watch is almost identical to the past models. I just think maybe a newer dial layout or possibly some new dial colors or something, just to change it up. On the other hand, keeping it looking the same allows it to be instantly recognized as an Avi-8 Flyboy.
As I just mentioned, the movement in the Flyboy has not changed, and is still the Miyota 8215. I think many here know I am not against Miyota movements at all, but I prefer the 9000 series as opposed to the non-hacking and irratic 8200 series. I know some will say they have never had an issue with this movement, but I will state that at this price, I would expect a higher beat and hacking movement. Even if you can find this watch for cheaper online, or you have a discount, I still would hope for a better movement. The Seiko NH35 would have been a better and still inexpensive choice, but again, at this price point I would have preferred the Miyota 9015 movement.
When it comes to comfort and wear, I think the Avi-8 Flyboy Bronze feels nice on the wrist and the large crown really does not seem to dig into my wrist or bother me that much. I would probably like it even more in a 42mm case size though. Unfortunately, I do not really care for either of the included straps. The red leather Nato is just not for me at all, and the creme colored suede strap is soft and pliable but the color just does not go with this watch at all. It is just too light in my opinion and a nice dark brown leather would have made this watch look so much better. The suede strap does have quick-change pins though and there are two standard spring pins included as well if you want to use the supplied Nato or your own. One nice thing is the suede strap is not short as so many seem to do these days, and should probably fit at least an 8 inch wrist. Below is a picture on my 7 1/2 inch wrist.
Avi-8 Flyboy Bronze Lume
Out of all the bronze watches I have seen or reviewed, the Avi-8 Flyboy Bronze is not my personal favorite, but as far as aesthetics, I can see its appeal. I do find the dial layout, the bronze colored markers and overall design to be pleasing and as I have not mentioned it yet, this model does come with sapphire, not something usually seen on an Avi-8 piece. The bronze plated case back and buckle is hard for me to overlook for some reason and the bronze words engraved in the side of the case is just something I always find tacky. Combine that with the movement and this is just not a win for me. I admit that I am picky when it comes to aviation or pilot watches in general and of course, this is just one mans opinion. If you like the looks of this model and want to purchase, a 15% off discount pops up when you go to the Avi-8 website linked above, so you can save yourself some coin. As for me, this one just wouldn’t end up in my rotation.