We love AVI-8 watches and when it comes to their limited edition releases, it is always outstanding and something to look forward to. The last AVI-8 watch we reviewed was the Hawker Hunter Dual Atlas. The latest limited edition release is the AVI-8 Hawker Typhoon RB396 Sheila Chronograph. This release is a collaboration with the Hawker Typhoon Preservation Group (HTPG) and it is to pay homage to the often forgotten, Hawker Typhoon, was a powerful and potent ground attack aircraft that played a significant role in redressing the balance in mainland Europe during WWII.
The model we are going to review is the AV-4093-07 Volkel.
|MOVEMENT||Japan Quartz Chronograph, M-SII-VD56-HL|
|CASE MATERIAL||Stainless Steel|
|CASE SIZE (mm)||42|
|CASE THICKNESS (mm)||13.5|
|LENS||Mineral Lens with Anti-Reflective Coating|
|INDEX||Applied Swiss Luminous|
|BAND MATERIAL||Genuine Leather Strap|
|BAND WIDTH (mm)||22|
|WATER RESISTANCE (atm)||5|
The packaging is on point for the AVI-8 Hawker Typhoon RB396. The colourful box with the large logo on the box is very welcoming and feels energetic. After opening the box, the large, multi-layer dial is at the forefront, with the large numerals and the different features grabbing your attention. One particular feature which appeals to the eye is the four sub dials. Each with a unique background and colour pattern.
So far the AVI-8 Hawker Typhoon RB396 has been impressive!
This is the real showstopper for the AVI-8 Hawker Typhoon RB396. There is a lot going on with the dial and each feature has its own life.
Let us start with the index. The outer index comprises of numbers and batons. The batons are black and are in between the numbers which goes from 1 to 11. One interesting feature with the numbers is that they have in a large 3D box and they stand out. The numbers are in a white colour and contrast well against the brown background.
Moving inside, there is another index. This index varies in number and also in size. There are two types of numerals used. One is smaller numbers, with five in total and they are in a light grey colour. Next to these smaller numerals are larger numerals in the form of 10,20,40 and 50. These numerals are in a light gold colour and transparent with the brown background filling the rest. The mixture of numerals and size goes fantastically well together. It creates a potent and alluring concoction while mesmerizes the eyes. Despite the different numerals, the dial does not feel overwhelm or overloaded. Everything is legible and looks well put together.
There are four sub-dials on the watch. The top sub dial is the for chronometer. With a light blue inner index with a white outer index, the chronometer is inside a little pocket labelled ‘1/10 SEC’. The chronograph works to perfection with push and start pusher. Moving to the bottom sub-dial, this is a tracker for the second for the chronometer. With a light green index, blue hand and numbers in quarters, this again is well placed and designed. The top and bottom sub-dial work in tandem. Moving to the right sub-dial, this is for the hour tracker for the hour hand. This sub-dial has a light gold hand with a mixture of blue and white numerals. The final index, on the left, is for the minute counter. Simple with only two numerals, 5 and 45, a little light gold hand and white batons for the numerals. There is a clever design with the 45 as it acts as the minute for the whole dial and also for this sub-dial. This numeral is slightly larger and it is a clever trick with the limited space.
Some simple yet not easy to see features on the AVI-8 Hawker Typhoon RB396 are the screws used on the dial. The are open to see, which we like as it gives the watch a more rugged look and feel. Another feature is the light blue line going around the circumference. It helps break the brown background.
The hands used are large, with a brown filled inside, light brown perimeter, and luminous coating. The key to the hand is that the filled colour creates a transparency trick and in a way gives the dial more space. The second hand has a blue tip, to carry on the brown/blue theme.
42mm by 13.5mm 316l stainless steel casing is a decent size for the watch. Given the features of the dial the 42mm is good. However we do not get the thickness of the watch. Given it is a quartz watch, there should not be too many jewels or pieces inside. It does look on the thick side. With the curved lugs, this helps to push the watch on the wrist and it does sit well and it is comfortable.
The crown has been given a rugged/diamond/teeth cut design. The push/pull crown is easy to manipulate and the deign does add to the aesthetic of the watch. The crown is also protected as with diver watch crown and we definitely love that feature.
The design has also been used on the pushers, which are all stainless steel. The are also a good size, not too big that they will poke your wrist and be uncomfortable.
Mineral crystal lens with AR coating has been used for the watch. While it is a good lens, we think a sapphire lens should have been used, with it been more stronger and also less glare. The lens do pick up glare from angles, however it is not too bad.
The back casing on the AVI-8 Hawker Typhoon RB396 has been engraved with ‘Sheila’ at the back and also the limited edition number of the watch.
Inside the AVI-8 Hawker Typhoon RB396 is a Japan Quartz Chronograph, M-SII-VD56-HL. The VD56 is a solid movement to power the four sub dial. In terms of time accuracy, we are looking at ±30 seconds/month and the life expectancy of the battery is 3 years, subject to usage.
For the chronograph, the movement responds well to the 1/10 of a second split time precision. The stop and start of the pusher is sharp and resetting the chronograph is precise.
The quartz movement is a good choice, but an automatic movement would have been a great choice to have.
The genuine leather strap is very comfortable around the wrist, and there are enough holes for smaller wrist. The cross-hatch cut design on the strap is a great feature and represent the boldness of the Hawker Typhoon. On the sides of the strap, there is a different lining colour which adds colour theme and it is also eye catching.
One missing feature on the strap is the quick release pins. This would have been a great addition if you wanted to change the strap without the hassle of using any tools.
As with most AVI-8 watches, the buckle is signed with the logo.
Buy, Shortlist or Avoid?
This is a very easy answer. This is a buy! When it comes to limited edition watches from AVI-8, they always up their game and knock it out of the park. This is exactly what they have done with the AVI-8 Hawker Typhoon RB396. It is a fantastic watch from every angle and the design is impeccable. Apart from the lens, there is not of other faults with the watch. Starting at $250 and with other variation in colour, this watch needs to be in your watch collection.
One note is that 5% of the net sale of the watch will go to the Hawker Typhoon Preservative Group, a registered charity to keep the Hawker Typhoon in the air.
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