Today we review a watch from newcomer Abingdon Watches, a company founded by a female pilot who couldn’t find a watch that she liked for flying. Solving a personal problem is often the source of great ideas, so we were delighted to review their designs. First off is the Jackie model:
•Miyota FS20 Quartz chronograph with date.
•Internal-bezel E6B, operated by the crown at 8 o’clock.
•Lumed hands and indices.
•Water resistant to 50m (165ft).
•64 cubic zirconia stones on the bezel.
•Mother of pearl dial, available in pink, green or white.
•Oyster-style bracelet, polished center links, hollow end links, snap-lock clasp with fliplock, and 4 micro-adjustments.
•41.5mm across by 12mm thick; 125g with all bracelet links.
•Stainless steel case.
The Abingdon line was started by pilot Chelsea Welch, who wanted an aviation watch styled for women. The Jackie is just that, with the E6B inner bezel, luminous hands, stopwatch, and anti-glare-coated crystal. Stylistically, the outer bezel of cubic zirconia is quite tasteful and somehow manages not to distract from the functional dial.
The Jackie model is the largest and heaviest of the current product line, in part due to the well-made bracelet. It sports flat Oyster-style links, with a polished center section and a well-made feel. The clasp snaps, with a fliplock to keep it in place, and four micro-adjustments for incremental sizing to fit. At 125g and 41mm across, the Jackie is on the larger side for women’s watches, but certainly quite wearable.
Here you can see the screwdown caseback with protective sticker still in place. (The watches are on loan from Abingdon, so I tried to keep them in like-new condition.) It’s got a cool company logo engraved on it — quite nice. You can also see the crown at eight o’clock; this operates the E6B bezel for flight calculations. As a former pilot myself, I can testify that using a bezel E6B in flight is impossible without an autopilot, and tricky even with one due to its small size and the vibration levels of a piston-powed aircraft. Realistically, you only use the wrist one as a backup to your preflight calculations, or if your computers fail. Still, a cool thing to have and a nice way to subtly declare your hobby or profession.
Both the main crown and the E6B crown are signed with the logo (etched, actually) — a nice touch.
Dials are available in three colors of mother-of-pearl, with white being the most legible in my opinion. The sheen is subtle enough that it almost looks like a flat white dial.
The Miyota FS20 movement should provide years of reliable service with quartz accuracy, making this a reliable and low-maintenance watch.
Overall, our congratulations and welcome to a new company in an underserved niche: watches for women really haven’t gotten nearly the attention that men’s have, and aviation watches even more so. The Jackie and Amelia (review forthcoming) are both excellent watches which I recommend for the pilot in your life. (Or maybe if you just want to encourage your S.O. to consider learning to fly!)
List price on the Jackie is $400, a good value for the unique design and cubic zirconia jewelling.