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Road Flyer

Those hoping to avoid road-going mishaps while scrutinizing tiny numbers on a wristwatch can turn to a practical solution: the pilot’s watch. Although theoretically form should follow function, in reality many watch designs are more concerned with cultivating a silk scarf image than with practical considerations. But the pilot’s watches bearing the name of Ernst Benz are serious about function.
An engineer and serious glider enthusiast long before he got involved in watches, Ernst Benz made the obvious choice in creating an easy-to-read timepiece: The thing is big. At 47mm in diameter, Ernst Benzes are as large as the other monster timepieces fashionable now, but the primary purpose of the large numerals and high contrast colors is readability.

The company features all-mechanical movements and has selected a proven ETA design for its automatic (self-winding) models, and the equally reliable Valjoux movement for its chronograph models. The latest Ernst Benz chronograph sports a moonphase display. All are cased in stainless steel and come in smaller 40mm versions for those who don’t wish to carry so much hardware on their wrists. Perhaps the most attractive aspect of the brand is in the subtle good looks Benz has achieved by his focus on practical design. Their function, not their styling, makes them rugged—and good companions on the road.


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