Friday, 28 June 2013

Pilot Dreams - Steinhart Nav B-Chrono 47mm

I have always liked pilot-themed watches. They possess two key elements that I find particular alluring - versatility and simplicity. It's actually their simplicity that makes them so versatile. On my third visit to my most-frequented watch shop, my mind was already made up before I even got there. Thus I was in and out of the place in a matter of minutes. I bet that was one of Gnomon's fastest transaction.

True to its pilot-themed DNA, the Steinhart Nav B-Chrono is packed with a purposeful sense of simplicity, accentuated by clean lines and curves. The matte black dial is encased in a 47mm brushed stainless steel capsule, fringed with a polished bezel and capped with a slightly domed sapphire crystal. Hooded within, is an ever-dependable Valjoux 7750 movement. The dial spots Arabic and stick minute markers, three sub dials and a day/ date window. Yes, it does look a tad busy, actually.

The watch comes with a pair of double-riveted calf straps. But I'm not a fan of such leatherware. As such, I've opted for a pair of distressed black calves.

The sides of the case are surgically finished. The piston style pushers are firm but easy to use. I have, however, a love/ hate relationship with the extra large diamond crown. It is an aesthetically pleasing and practical crown but it's rather painful when worn low on the wrist, which is my preferred maner of donning my watches. It digs into the back of the hand. The lugs are curved but it still has a fair bit of overhang.

Unlike a true pilot watch, however, the movement is not shielded from magnetic fields. The see through case back exhibits the workhorse movement with a signed gold Steinhart logo.

This watch will delight lume freaks. The turquoise, neon-like luminescence is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

On the go, it is actually rather comfortable on my wrist. However, there is some visible overhang due to the lug design. I reckon it should be angled sharper.

In a nutshell, this watch, though, not perfect, is a value for money piece that hits most of the right spots for me. It is subtle yet elegant, sporty yet not overly rugged. It exudes a certain classiness about it. Whether in jeans and tee or with a silk salami around your neck on a regular 9-5 work day, the Nav B-Chrono is equally at home on the wrist.

Case Diameter : 47mm.
Lug Size : 22mm.
Crystal : Sapphire.
Case back : Sapphire.
Case material : Stainless steel.
Movement : Valjoux 7750.
Power reserve : +/- 42 hours.

- Versatility.
- Easy to use extra large diamond crown.
- Common lug size. Easy to find after market straps.
- Classic design.
- Nice lume.
- Value proposition.
- Elegant yet subtle, not loud or ostentatious.

- Discomfort of diamond crown.
- Lug design.
- Wears rather big on smaller wrists.


  1. What is your wrist size? Thanks!

  2. I am 6'1" 250# with an 8" wrist. I have the opposite complaint: Most mens watches look like womens watches on me. My Steinhart 47mm Nav-B is *perfect* for a bigger guy!! My only complaint is the band. It is a very nice band, but at 120/80 (by my tape measure) it just is not long enough. I've ordered Fluco and Hirsch bands in XL, we'll see how that goes...

  3. That's a huge wrist. Yes the straighter lugs on this case accommodates bigger wrists better.