AVI-8 is a new brand to the Windup Watch Shop, and they’re debuting with the all-new Bell X-1 Automatic Limited Edition. Formed in 2012, AVI-8 set out to explore the world of aviation through horology. The brand draws inspiration from all facets of aviation, whether it’s an iconic aircraft, record-breaking feat, or act of bravery. The Bell X-1 Automatic pulls from all three, commemorating Chuck Yeager’s history making flight of the Bell X-1 aircraft well past the speed of sound.
In October of 1947, Chuck Yeager (a legendary test pilot and instructor to nearly half of the original space program astronauts) launched his Bell X-1 from the bay of a B-29 bomber and cruised well past the 662 mile per hour sound barrier. Eventually topping out at 700 mph and gliding to a safe landing on a dried out lake bed, the historic flight represents the first time that man broke the barrier of sound. The Bell X-1 Automatic from AVI-8 pulls design inspiration from the plane, with cockpit-inspired details on the dial and a custom rotor in the shape of the aircraft’s engines.
The angular 41mm case makes a bold appearance on the wrist, with sharp angles, accent screws, and a mix of brushed and polished finishes. A large applied 0 and a 6 stand out, while SuperLuminova paint makes all of the indices glow long into the night. At 3 o’clock, you’ll find a date display, and Bell’s logo on the left. The case is crafted from 316L stainless steel and is available in natural steel, a stealthy black coating, or a vibrant gold tone. You can choose from a bright “Muroc Orange”, a deep “Buffalo Blue, a vibrant “Mohave Green” or a classic “Pinecastle black”. A generously sized push down crown is loaded with texture, making it especially easy to set the time. Inside, an SII NH35 automatic movement with a custom rotor tracks the time and can be seen through the display case back. There’s a lot to love about the AVI-8 Bell X-1.
You can secure your own Bell X-1 Automatic right now in the Windup Watch Shop. It starts at $435 for the Orange or Blue with steel case, and $455 for the Black or Green with black coated or gold coated cases, respectively. The limited edition includes 150 pieces per color and includes a commemorative hat, miniature model of the Bell X-1 aircraft, and a field box for the watch. If you’d like to check these out in person, we’ll have these and more at the Windup Watch Fair in New York this week October 20th - 22nd, so stop on by and see us!