AVI-8 returns to their uniquely styled pilot watch range with the P51 Mustang inspired Hitchcock Automatic. The watch is named for Tommy Hitchcock Jr., an American polo player and lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force where he played an instrumental role in the development of the P51 Mustang fighter plane. The watch bears his “10 Goal Tommy” nickname on the back, a reference to his 10 goal handicap (the highest ranking in polo), and a dial that recalls the cockpit of one of the most famous planes ever created.
In developing the P51 Mustang, Hitchcock was ultimately responsible for replacing the Allison engine with the legendary Rolls Royce Merlin unit (produced by Packard). He was ultimately killed while piloting such a plane over England in 1944, but he left quite the legacy behind, from his partnership in the Lehman Brothers investment firm, to multiple polo championships, to F. Scott Fitzgerald basing his Great Gatsby character, Tom Buchanan, on him. And now, he’s once again honored in this $330 automatic watch from AVI-8.
The Hitchcock Automatic is built on a 43mm steel case housing a Seiko NH35 automatic movement. A fixed crown guard fully bridges over the crown and keeps a rounded edge along the 3 o’clock side of the case. The dial is split into two levels, a top layer from 12 to 3 o’clock, and a base layer underneath revealing the remainder of the dial. The two levels get different finishes to create contrast, while a mixture of Arabic numerals representing the hours and the minutes appear alongside one another, creating some potential legibility issues in the process.
A padded leather strap is meant to recall the design of the seats you’d see in the P51 Mustang plane, with the color changing depending on dial selection. Four dial variants are offered here, each representing a different polo club for whom Hitchcock represented. The Meadow Brook pairs a black dial with light brown leather; the Cooperstown gets a dark blue dial and navy leather; the Greentree sees a green dial and strap; and finally the Sands Point, which goes uniform grey in appearance (and a $20 price bump).
The P51 Mustang Hitchcock Automatic is available to order from AVI-8 as of today. AVI-8.