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The DAVOSA Newton Pilot Automatic celebrates 120 years of aviation history. The manufacturer has launched a whole collection with several references on the occasion of the anniversary. The first pictures are promising. A typical pilot’s watch could hardly be more classic, could it? 

The dream of flying – a reality for 120 years 


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Buy the black version at WATCHDAVID.SHOP: DAVOSA Newton Pilot Automatic 161.530.55 Pilot’s Watch

At the end of last year, the DAVOSA Newton Pilot Moonphase Chronograph fell into my hands. The sporty pilot watch was my first encounter with a pilot of the Swiss brand. I am gradually discovering DAVOSA’s collection – a process that is far from complete. Because what you can wear as a chronograph on your wrist is of course also available as a classic three-hand watch. The Newton Pilot collection is no exception, and its base model is the subject of this watch test for the first time today. I have already completed my list of the 20 Best Pilot’s Watches 2022/23 in spring. Now I want to find out if the base model also deserves a place in this squad. 

Reference 161.530.55 – Photo © 2023 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

The whole Newton Pilot collection is quite new. 120 years ago, the Wright brothers made their first flight attempt. They were the beginning of what has now become a great passion, a huge business and an indispensable means of transportation for our society. DAVOSA takes this anniversary as an opportunity to introduce the Newton Pilot Automatic. To begin, let’s take a look at the hard facts. The pilot’s watch is available in a total of three different dial variants and two different bracelet variants. 3 times 2 makes six references. My test reference is the 161.530.55 with black dial and black leather strap. Prices start just below four digits. Starting at 998 Euros, you can buy the Newton Pilot Automatic. Will Davosa’s Pilot all-rounder deliver premium quality for that?

THE pilot watch par excellence?

Reference 161.530.70 – Photo © 2023 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

Visually, the Newton Pilot makes a very classic impression. Who needs a timepiece with surprises, is wrong here. If I hadn’t photographed it, I would describe the Newton Pilot Automatic as the pilot’s watch par excellence. It has exactly the design elements that we have appreciated in pilot watches for decades. In short, the Newton Pilot celebrates history. And it “embodies the spirit of its pioneers (note: of aviation history) with a strong presence,” as Corinna Bohle, DAVOSA managing director, reveals. The name Newton, by the way, comes from the mother collection of the same name. There is in fact already longer and is named after the mathematician Isaac Newton. 

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The DAVOSA Newton Pilot Automatic on the wrist

Reference 161.530.70 – Photo © 2023 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

With a case diameter of 40 millimeters, the new references remain relatively compact. For comparison: the DAVOSA Newton Pilot Moonphase Chronograph measures a proud 44 millimeters. On the other hand, at 14 millimeters, it is 1.5 millimeters flatter than the three-hand watch. However, in my opinion, more decisive for the accuracy of fit is the distance from lug to lug, which is 49 millimeters here. Even people with a large wrist circumference will therefore still be able to wear the Newton Pilot Automatic comfortably. 

Even at first glance, it becomes clear: this watch is a daily rocker – made to be worn every day and everywhere. Whether at work, during leisure time or in the cockpit of a glider – the Newton Pilot Automatic cuts a fine figure. It may not stand out immediately, but it never gets boring either. Its high functionality also suits the daily-rocker suitability.

The case of the DAVOSA Newton Pilot Automatic

Reference 161.530.70 – Photo © 2023 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

A watch, which I would like to wear every or almost every day, must be able to withstand a lot. If you guard the timepiece like the apple of your eye during the first few days, you will collect annoying touches with everyday objects afterwards at the latest. High-quality materials are therefore the be-all and end-all. Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal is indispensable if you want to keep your watch in good condition for years and possibly decades. The domed sapphire crystal of the DAVOSA Newton Pilot Automatic is fortunately anti-reflective. Reflections from sunlight are avoided and readability remains optimal in any situation. What is essential for pilots in the cockpit, nevertheless makes everyday life more pleasant for us. 

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I’m really taken with the finish of the case and bezel. How could it be otherwise, 316L stainless steel is used here. Its matte finish has a sporty look and is just as functional. Side fluting of the crown is another must-have of a good pilot’s watch. In the past, this made it possible to operate the timepiece even with gloves on. DAVOSA claims an unusual water resistance of up to 70 meters. For a pilot watch, this is perfectly adequate. The DAVOSA Newton Pilot Automatic withstands water splashes without any problems. 

The DAV3021ND – even in the quality level elaboré

Reference 161.530.55 – Photo © 2023 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

Behind the fourfold screwed case back, the automatic movement can be observed impressively. This is thanks to DAVOSA’s decision to equip the Newton Pilot Automatic with a viewing window. Inside the pilot watch works the DAV3021ND. As is so often the case, the Swiss manufacturer gives the movement a new name. Behind the abbreviation is a Sellita SW200-1, which serves as the basis. The Swiss-made caliber is often found in three-hand watches of the premium class. The popular alternative to the legendary ETA2824-2 has proven itself on the market for years. With a frequency of 28800 vibrations per hour, it has a power reserve of 38 hours. By the way: The movement is built in the quality level elaboré. According to the manufacture, this guarantees a rate accuracy of +7 to -7 seconds per day – a decent value. 

A strong symbolism

Reference 161.530.55 – Photo © 2023 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

You can quickly find your way around the dial. The DAV3021ND drives the hour, minute and seconds. That’s all you really need. Everything is reduced to the bare essentials. DAVOSA even omitted a date display. Nevertheless, the Newton Pilot Automatic remains extremely functional. Large, easy-to-read Arabic numerals make it possible to read the time quickly and easily. According to the company, it is particularly proud of the satin-finished sword hands and their – indeed – successful proportions. The second hand, whose tip is supposed to be reminiscent of a small airplane, demonstrates a love of detail. 

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Great imagery is also found in other places, for example, the noble sunburst. It is supposed to remind of the rising sun. Besides my dignified black, you can also wear the dial in blue or green. Hands and indices are covered with Superluminova luminous material. This guarantees an even and bright illumination and thus a good readability in the dark.

Reference 161.530.55 – Photo © 2023 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

The only thing left is to choose the right bracelet. In the photos you can see the Newton Pilot Automatic on the aniline leather strap. DAVOSA points out its naturalness. I like the sporty contrast stitching. Alternatively, you can choose a five-link so-called PentaLink bracelet. In the test, the leather strap convinced me with its wearing comfort and excellent material quality.

My final conclusion about the DAVOSA Newton Pilot Automatic

The DAVOSA Newton Pilot Automatic does not reinvent the wheel. Neither does it reinvent the pilot watch. Does that make the ambitious three-hand pilot from DAVOSA a bad watch? Not at all! The test showed how mature the watch and thus the collection is. One gets the impression that the Newton Pilot Automatic could have been on the market for decades, so familiar it seems. With this, the Swiss brand primarily serves a clientele that knows what it wants and does not get involved in experiments. The DAVOSA Newton Pilot Automatic embodies the typical pilot’s watch. Three successful dial colors and accents on the bracelet serve every taste. 

Reference 161.530.70 – Photo © 2023 by WATCHDAVID® David Drilling – All rights reserved

Then there is the quality. As we are used to from DAVOSA, we get materials and manufacturing on a premium level. For this, a price of 998, – euros is relatively cheap. A clear buy recommendation to all, which do not call yet dozens of pilot watches in the glass cabinet their own, high-quality estimate and the purse nevertheless would like to preserve!

All further information and links to the store can be found below.

More about DAVOSA and the Newton Pilot Automatic

Here you can find the reference 161.530.55 in the store

The reference 161.530.70 in the store

The collection at a glance

More DAVOSA watch reviews in my blog

Watch photography


Technical Details

NameNewton Pilot Automatic

Reference number161.530.55 (black dial), 161.530.70 (green dial)


Categorypilot watches

Price from998.00 - 1,098.00 euros

Warranty2 years

Case Material316L stainless steel

Diameter40.00 mm

High11.60 mm

Watch GlassAntireflexbeschichtung / Saphirglas

Watch TypeAutomatic

Waterproof7 bar (70 m / 229 ft)

Movement NameDAV 3021ND

Power Reserve38 hours

Functionshour / Minute / second

Dialblack, green

Indicesdashes, Arabic numerals

Special FeaturesBGW9 Super Luminova / transparent caseback

Bezelgrey / stainless steel

Bracelet Colorblack / grey

Bracelet Material316L stainless steel / leather

Claspfolding clasp / pin buckle

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