I was able to pick up a Advolat Flieger Automatic recently and have spent several weeks with it on the wrist. I already knew that a Flieger-style watch was as classic as they come, yet Advolat has been able to put an original mark on this timeless design.
Advolat’s workshop is based in Basel, Switzerland, and they are able to bring true Swiss timepieces to customers here in the United States and beyond. Further, they have created a watch company with a genuine personality and an incredible story, better than a lot of other watchmakers out there right now. It’s nice to see a company that is truly proud to tell you about their mission, history, and inspiration behind all they do.
All of this is evident if you spend a few minutes on their website. They have lots of information you can dive into about the company’s founding, history, mission, and also how it’s a veteran-owned business. This is a wonderfully different message, especially when so many micro-brands try to have a sleek website without any “meat”.
It’s always a risk when a watch company puts out a model that has been done before, especially when it’s been done by many others. How do you carve out a niche in that situation? Easy, build an excellent timepiece. That is exactly what Advolat has done here. For your hard earned money you get a genuine, Swiss made watch, hand assembled, with a nice set of specs and a 36-month warranty.
My Flieger sports the Type-B dial, with hour markings and the traditional directional triangle at the 12 o’clock position. The dial is crisp and the numbers and hash marks look sharp against the matte black background. The hands are well-defined and stand out when you glance at the watch to check the time.
Those distinct hands are coated with several layers of Swiss Super-Luminova and then topped off with a flat piece of sapphire that has an anti-reflective coating on the glass. All in all, the layout works, as has been proven by its long-standing design. I appreciate the nice touch of the date being set on a white background for easy legibility, which is the whole point of a Flieger.
Advolat also kept the dial clean by keeping branding and writing to a minimum. The company logo is just below 12 o’clock and two small lines of text are at 6 o’clock letting you know the watch is an AUTOMATIC and SAPPHIRE.
The stainless steel case is finished well and my black PVD model was perfect with no burrs, ill-finished spots, or rough edges.The underside of the watch has a screw down case back with a see through window. Advalot gives you something to look at with the glass (besides the movement): the rotor is engraved with the company logo and also a line of text letting you know it’s a limited edition run.
If I have any complaints, it’s here while we are talking about the movement. Advolat opted to go with a Myiota 8215 rather than a series with hacking. Considering all the other features and specs are top-notch, and that the watch is Swiss made and the price comes in under $500, I guess a trade off had to be made someplace. You will definitely get years of use out of an 8215, but my psychosis of setting exact times comes in here. Yes, you can hold the crown a touch and pause the seconds hand, but it’s not ideal.
Since we are mentioning the crown, I will note that it has a super smooth action and a nice ‘pop’ when you pull it out to set the time. It also rotates smoothly if you decide to hand wind the movement with no clicky or crunchy feeling. This is not always the case with an 8215 and shows that hand assembly does make for a nicer watch.
The Flieger has several strap options you can purchase with the watch including a solid rubber option with matching signed hardware. The lug width is 22mm and leaves you a lot of options to swap out straps based on personal taste.
The case has a modern diameter of 42mm, so it’s smaller than some of the World War II era 50mm behemoths we’re used to. The size also makes the watch extremely versatile as it will wear well on almost all but the smallest wrist sizes. With a quick glance, you would be hard pressed to think the watch was actually 42mm, the glass goes almost to the edge of the dial and it has a slim case with a nice bevel on the bezel, making it look a little smaller than what the ruler says.
If you are on the hunt for a well-built watch, then the Advolat Flieger is a serious contender for your money.