We have reviewed a few AVI-8 before. The last review we did of an AVI-8 watch was the AVI-8 Hawker Harrier II. It is a stunning watch and we have to say, the best looking watch we’ve reviewed from the AVI-8 watch collection. But today we are going to review AVI-8 latest watch, the AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Bulman. Will the Bulman be a masterpiece or a drag? Let’s find out.
AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Bulman
The AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Bulman is named after Group Captain Paul Ward Spencer Bulman, also know as George Bulman.
Bulman flew for the Royal Flying Corps (later Royal Air Force) and was awarded the Military Cross and the Air Force Cross for his bravery and service to the country. After his retirement from active service, the remained a remained a dedicated member to the aviation industry by becoming a test pilot and a director of the Hawker Aircraft Company.
To commemorate Bulman, AVI-8 looks to reflect and pay tribute to the behind the scenes efforts of engineers, test pilots, designers all working with the most critical of briefs, the very defence of their country, under the most trying of wartime conditions.
There are 3 models in the Bulman edition and the one we are going to review is the AV-4068 -02.
Material : 316L Stainless Steel
Colour : Stainless Steel
Diameter (mm) : 45
Thickness (mm) : 12
Case back : Stainless steel case back
Type : Quartz – 3 hands with date
Origin : Japan
Caliber : VD51 – TMI
Scratch Resistant Mineral Lens
Material : Hand Stitched Genuine Leather Strap
Buckle : Tang Buckle
Width (mm) : 22
Fixed Case Bezel
Water Resistance : 5 ATM
Watch Weight (g) : 90
First Impression of AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Bulman
Well, our first impression of the Bulman was not the same as the Hawker Harrier II. The watch is a bit quieter and more subtle in design. The look of the watch is very similar to the IWC Pilot’s Chronograph Edition. There are a couple of interesting features on the dial and they do bring the dial to life, however it is not as lively and vibrant as some of the previous AVI-8 watches we’ve reviewed before.
Overall, the AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Bulman is a simple watch with a quiet look and some interesting features.
As we have said before, there are a couple of interesting features on the dial. One feature which stands out is the background of the dial. The dial has a distressed finish layer and it is truly stunning. You can clearly see the fine lines from the layer and it is a great feature. That being said, there are some features which makes you think “why did you add this?” One of the feature is black plastic around the sub dials. It does not go with the flow and theme of the dark blue distressed finish layer and just looks wrong. It breaks the theme of the watch and in a way makes it look cheap. If the distressed layered were to have carried on throughout the watch, it would have been better.
However if you look at the AV-4068 -01 and AV-4068 -023, the plastic around the sub dial is less visible and blends well with the dark background.
Another feature we do not like very much is the RAF roundel. It is all black and again does not suit well with the dial. It just looks like a plastic dot on the left hand side. If the colours of the roundel would have been used, it would have added much colour to the dial and would have suited the theme too.
At the 12 o’clock position you have a second sub dial. It is of a good size and goes not take over. It is a bit of an odd place to put it but it’s breaking the norm. You also have a minute sub dial at the 6 o’clock position. The index on both sub dials are legible and there are some changes in colour to red on some part. The changing contrast in colour from white, red and blue goes really well and we have to say we love the hand on both sub dials.
The index of the watch is pretty simple. It only has 4 digits and the rest are dots. You also have batons for minute/second measurement. The longer batons and square boxes are luminous along with the 4 digits. Overall the index is very simplistic.
The hand design used are Sword Shape Luminous Hands and have similar resemblance of the hands used on the IWC Pilot’s Chronograph Edition. They do go well with the dial and index and they look very sharp. The second hand is not luminous but has been given a red tip to compensate.
The AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Bulman is not thick and it was a bit weird to adjust to. We’ve been spoilt with watches with great thickness. The watch is 12mm thick and 45mm wide. The width of the watch will take much space on your wrist for sure but the 12mm thickness of the watch will make sure it sits well on your wrist.
The crown and pusher are of a good size and does not get in the way of the wrist. The crown, with teeth cut design, is not too large and does not draw too much attention.
The glass is made from mineral glass and reflection and glares are at a minimal.The back casing, as with most AVI-8 quartz watches, has an aircraft engraved and in case for the Bulman, it is the Hawker Hurricane.
The movement inside the watch is a VD51-TMI. It is great to see another movement in an AVI-8 watch, rather than a Miyota. The Hattori Japan Quartz VD51 is a strong movement and in terms of time precision, it is very accurate. It also supports the two sub dial well and their movement do not lag.
The is strong but need to be broken into. The strap will make case stand up, if it is not strapped well around the wrist due to it’s toughness. However given time, it will mould around the wrist. Comfort wise, it is good and the width of the strap is not an issue. At 22mm, it suits the watch and the large dial of the watch.
Buy, Shortlist or Avoid?
We are not sure about the AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane Bulman. It is not a watch we’d tell you to get straightaway. There is a lot of thinking you must do before purchasing this watch. However price will not be one. The Bulman is priced at £165/ $217/ €192. It is a fair price for this watch and also you do get a discount if you sign up early at http://bit.ly/AV-4068_Bulman.
So what do we think? It will better if you shortlist the AV-4068 -02. There are some good features but some not so good design. However we would encourage you to see the 01 and 03 model. They are much better in terms of a flowing design.
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