Monday, November 4, 2013

Aristo Flieger Automatic 3H114 Pilot Watch - German Construction Quality But Poor Paint Job Spoils An Otherwise Excellant Watch, A Review

The first "pilot" watch as well as my first German watch that I got was the Aristo Flieger Automatic 3H114. The design concept is similar to the vintage German flieger watch with clean dial with luminous markers and luminous sword hands.

The history behind this watch brand started in the early 20th century. In 1907, Julius Epple in Pforzheim, Germany, founded the company ARISTO. For three generations, the enterprise went under the name Julius Epple, ARISTO Uhren-und Uhrgehausefabrik. In the beginning of the 90's, Helmut Epple, the grandchild of Julius Epple managed more than 100 co-workers. Because none of the descendants of the family could further the business, he sold the company to the trust enterprise UTW Uhrentechnik Weimar. In 1998, Helmut Epple found a suitable successor, Hansjarg Vollmer, which acquired the trademark of ARISTO Watch GmbH.

The watch is 42 mm wide and made out of stainless steel. The surface of the case is sand blasted to give it the vintage looks. The short angled lugs aids in the wear comfort. What really sets this watch from the others is the large diamond shaped crown.

The large crown was a design standard in German Flieger watches as it allows the airman to manipulate the watch without needing to take off his gloves. The width of the watch including the crown is approximately 47 mm.

It has a black dial with Arabic numbering. The bezel is bead blasted and it has a hardened mineral crystal for the face. All the indexes as well as the numbers and hands are lumed generously. Meanwhile, it has a date at the 3 o'clock position.

The display case-back allows you to admire the Aristo signed movement at work. The engine that's powering the watch is the Swiss ETA 2824-2 caliber movement. Operating at 28,800 VPH, this 25 jewel Swiss workhorse has second-hand hacking and winding capabilities. The main springs is able to have on standby approximately 40 hours worth of energy. Meanwhile, the main rotor has been decorated with Aristo's brand name.

The watch comes with a brown padded leather strap. The buckle is simple without any decorations.

Due to the lack of a screw-down crown, the watch is only water rated to 50 meters. This is not unexpected considering its main purpose is to fly high up in the sky!

As mentioned earlier about how generous Aristo has been to the amount of luminous paint on the indexes as well as the numbers and hands, above is a set of pictures of the dial in the dark. The first was taken in partial darkness and the second was taken in complete darkness. The quality of the luminosity is just awesome.

Despite the expected quality of German engineering, after wearing the watch for a few days, I noticed a number of imperfections. The obvious problem was the quality of the painting of the lume on the dial. If you refer to the second photo in this posting, focus on the triangle index at 12 o'clock. You can easily see smudges at the edges of the paint.

If you now focus your attention on the same photo but at the Arabic numeral "3" you can clearly see that the "painter" could not even follow the guide print that must have been printed on the dial prior to adding the lume. See the missing the ends of the number "3" in the photo?

Mechanically, the quality of construction is sound but the paint job on the dial is relatively poor. Hopefully, Aristo has gotten this problem sorted out by now for the sake of its brand franchise.

Nevertheless, I will still recommend the watch. Anyway, my investment for this watch is RM1,212.71.

Photo Gallery


  1. Hi may I know where did you get your Aristo watch from? I'm interested in getting one but can't find it for sale in stores.

    1. Got it via However they don't carry it anymore.


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