Although the watch comes fitted with a 20-millimeter mil-strap in Air Force Blue, the lugs are actually 19 millimeters wide. That one-millimeter difference isn’t all too noticeable once the strap wears in and the material has a little “give.” Mil-style straps are going to work best with both the lugs and the history of this watch, and the muted blue is also a nice pairing with the black dial and muted gray case.As I wrote above when discussing the case dimensions, this style of strap does lead to a little added height on a watch that wasn’t overly slim to begin with. The height is the only attribute that makes it wear large though. The watch is fairly light and doesn’t take up too much visual real estate. It’s going to be hard to dress this one up, but if you don’t need to wear suits regularly or just fancy a weekend wearer, it’s going to make a great casual watch.
There are positives and negatives to NOS watches such as this. On the one hand, you are purchasing a tool, and one with history. It’s an object designed and crafted purely to meet its intended function. On the other hand, there are quirks that come with that, such as the diminished tritium paint and the fixed bars that limit the sorts of straps you can use (though I bet few would argue against some creamy tritium patina). Whereas many other watches from this period housing the Valjoux 7765 sought to create a greater sense of balance by more prominent framing of the date display at three o’clock, the CWC RN Fleet Air Arm Pilot’s Chronograph remains unapologetic in its design. All in all, the quirky styling is derived directly from its intended usage and chosen movement, and that makes for an interesting, useful, and comfortable watch that will fly under the radar. CWC