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The AVI-8 AV-4094-03 Kent Automatic is designed to honor the extraordinary achievements of Flight Commander John Kent. Wiith his Squadron 303, Kent had the highest kill rate of German aircraft in the Battle of Britain during World War II.
For this watch review, I took a closer look at the Hampshire (reference number AV-4094-03). The design of the pilot’s watch is based on the Hawker Hurricane fighter plane. Traditionalists and aviation enthusiasts can rejoice….
AVI-8 revives the history
The AVI-8 Kent Automatic Hampshire is a textbook pilot’s watch. If I had to explain to someone what an aviator is, I would describe the AVI-8 Kent Automatic. The timeless wristwatch knows how to please visually. The dark green dial, the well readable indices and the genuine leather strap contribute at first glance. At second glance, however, it is the loving details that give the Kent Automatic Hampshire a soul. For example, there is John Kent’s aircraft code, neatly engraved above 6 o’clock, or the second hand, whose shape is reminiscent of the silhouette of the Hawker Hurricane. Those interested in the history behind the watch will appreciate the features when wearing it.
Still, above all, there is functionality. The dial of the AVI-8 Kent Automatic Hampshire is easy to read in any situation. The large indices are covered with Swiss luminous material. A date window, a 24-hour display and a 60-minute hand leave nothing to be desired.
Good on the outside – and on the inside?
Externally, the AVI-8 Kent Automatic Hampshire can convince, but what about the craftsmanship? What quality level can I expect for the entry-level price of 280 Euro? A surprisingly high one, is the answer. The finish of the classic and simple 43mm aviator case is good, there’s nothing to complain about. AVI-8 uses high-quality stainless steel, whose surfaces are brushed. Very nice: the classic domed watch crystal, which is made of sapphire. The case is water resistant to a depth of 50 meters.
Inside the AVI-8 Kent Automatic Hampshire works an automatic movement from Miyota, which delivers solid performance in the test. The good overall impression is rounded off by a strap made of brown genuine leather. It has a high-quality finish and offers good wearing comfort. Light-colored accent stitching gives it a vintage feel. The width between the lugs is 22 millimeters.
In the entry-level segment, there’s no getting around the AVI-8 Kent Automatic Hampshire and its sister models. Those who appreciate excellent value for money as well as inspired design will be well served by the timeless pilot’s watch complete with automatic movement. AVI-8 calls a moderate price of 280, – euros.