Watch Review | AVI-8 Hawker Hunter AV-4043-03
AVI-8 continues to produce a vast lineup of pilot style watches at affordable prices. The latest release in the Hawker Hunter series is the AV-4043. Past Hawker Hunter models provided the general appearance and features that many pilot style watch lovers sought out. The new AV-4043 models add some fantastic aesthetic appeal that I am certain most will find quite pleasing. The Hawker Hurricane AV-4043 has a full retail price point of around $725 USD, however, the AVI-8 brand is heavily discounted and this model will sell at around $249 USD once released. The package will also apparently include a nato strap and an AVI-8 GMT clock. You can read more about AVI-8 and the models the company offers at: http://www.avi-8.co.uk/. The AV-4043-03 model comes with the following basic specifications:
- MOVEMENT: 21 Jewel Japanese Automatic
- CASE: Stainless Steel
- CASE DIAMETER: 44mm
- STRAP: Genuine Leather Strap
- WATER RESISTANCE: 5ATM
- WARRANTY: 2 Years International
The watch case is composed of stainless steel with a very evenly applied PVD coating utilizing contrasting brushed and high polished finishing. The case in the specifications is described as round but I would consider the case as more of an octagon while the dial opening is round. The case measures 44mm in diameter and right around 46mm including the crown. However, measuring 10 to 4 on the case the measurement is a whopping 50mm. The lug tip to lug tip measurement is also a substantial 53mm. Even with some whopping case measurements, the model is 11mm thin which will slide nicely under a dress shirt cuff if necessary. Even though the watch only weighs 100 grams, the other specifications will lead to quite a substantial appearance on the wrist. The weight, however, will keep the watch from feeling cumbersome on the wrist. A proportionately sized 7mm push pull crown is located at the 3 o’clock side of the case. The crown is extremely easy to grasp and engage. Based on my past experience with budget priced watches, I have found that many have quite a bit of play or wiggle in the crown when engaged, but I can report the crown on this particular example is quite firm. One of the coolest features of the model, sticking with the aviation theme, is the colored roundel painted on the crown face, paying homage to the roundel painted on the RAF planes.
This version of the Hawker Hunter is fitted with a flat mineral crystal nearing 39mm in diameter, which provides a great view of the great looking dial. Beneath the crystal is one of the sharpest looking skeletonized dials I have seen on any AVI-8 timepiece. The multi-layered, multi-colored dial is quite striking. I truly love the vintage colors used on the dial and handset. The dial is laid out in semi-NavB format with the minute markers notated around the dial except at the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions. The 0 and the 6 used at these locations remind me of the Hamilton Below Zero watch model, which I have always found quite appealing. I really like the large 24 hour complication located at the 9 o’clock position on the dial, which provides a little bit of flair by utilizing a red hand indicating the 24 hour time. The dial does have a little bit of vintage lume on the markers, as well as, the hour, minute and second hands. The lume has solid glow on initial charge but fades rather quickly, however, my opinion regarding lume remains unchanged as being more of a gimmick than a true necessity. Overall, I think the dial will most certainly catch the eye and create quite a bit of conversation as it provides a significant amount of detail and aesthetic appeal.
The case back is screwed down to the upper part of the case. The case back has general specification information etched around the perimeter about the watch model that is typical of many case backs. However, the 24mm mineral crystal display is quite unique from any other AVI-8 watch model I have ever seen. Beneath the crystal, AVI-8 has applied a coating or sticker displaying the company name and the roundel also found on the crown face. In this case, I am going to give high praise to the feature, even though the movement looks quite a bit nicer than a standard Miyota 8215. Beneath the display case back is a modern 21 jewel Miyota Automatic 8217 movement. The movement has quite a bit of striping and has as I alluded to earlier, much more aesthetic appeal than base Miyota automatic movements. The movement has been fairly accurate as one would expect from a 21 jewel Miyota automatic at around +15-20 seconds a day. I know AVI-8 wants to keep costs down while providing a quality timepiece to consumers, however, I would enjoy seeing the company use some higher grade Miyota automatic movements in future productions. A 9100 series Miyota in this particular model would really present even more consumer appeal in my opinion.
Finishing off this version of the Hawker Hunter is a fantastic tan leather strap. The straps recently provided by AVI-8 truly never disappoint. Typically, I have found that budget priced watches have flimsy watch straps, which tend to make me believe that some watch companies consider their straps as an afterthought. The leather strap provided with this model is quite soft and supple and is extremely comfortable on the wrist. Also, as you will notice in the photographs and my video on my 7 ¾ inch wrist, the strap is constructed with quite a number of sizing holes that will allow for a wide array of wrist sizes. The strap is nearly 4mm thick and measures 22mm at the lug tapering to 20mm at the tail. The strap also has two keepers, one fixed and one floating, which are necessary with any good leather strap. The strap is finished off with a sturdy signed thumbnail style buckle. As far as improvement in this area, the only suggestion I would make would be to eliminate the taper of the strap.
Overall, the newest addition to the Hawker Hunter series is going to present quite a bit of value once released to the general public. The model provides quality specifications outside of the mineral crystal, which I found to be the only detail of the watch lacking. The roundels painted on the crown face and incorporated on the case back provide extra levels of detail not often found on budget priced watches in general. I would like to thank AVI-8 for working with WatchReport.com on this review. I would like to thank each of you for reading and ask that you take a moment to view the brief video presentation included with the review and subscribe to the WatchReport.com YouTube channel. I look forward to your thoughts and comments, as always.