By Jake Fogarty, founder of It's All About Watches:
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This is, in my opinion, one of AVI-8's best watches. The Hawker Harrier II shares the name with the plane it is named after. As with other AVI-8 watches, it comes with a card which gives some information on the plane (Hawker Harrier II, in this case). The movement originates from Japan and is quartz. Let's get to the rest of the review....
Case, Crown, and Pushers
The case is crafted entirely out of stainless steel and is completely brushed. The outer edge of the lugs and the crown guards are beveled. Overall, the case is both very well balanced and nicely crafted. I'm not quite sure how to say this, but you can just sort of feel the quality of the case. It is so smooth when you run you fingers over it and just feels very nice. The case is 45mm in diameter and has a lug to lug length of 55mm, although on the AVI-8 website it is published as 42/50. Please note that you are going to receive a larger watch than you expect.
The finishing on all areas of the case is very nice and is comparable to watches at a higher price point.
The crow and pushers are nicely designed and are, similar to the case, made of stainless steel. To provide some contrast they are completely polished. The push/pull crown (7mm in diameter) has very firm and distinct clicks, but the action when setting the time could be better. Also, there is quite a bit of play in the crown and the crown can rotate about 20% of the way around before the hands begin to move. The pushers, despite their smaller size (4mm in diameter), allow for easy activation of the chronograph. The pusher action, however, isn't that great and there is no distinct click when activating the chronograph. The only thing that alerts you to the fact is that the hands begin to move.
The case back, besides featuring a birds-eye view of the Hawker Harrier II, has the expected information. Rather than being brushed like the rest of the case, the case back is polished.
Overall score: 8.5/10
Strap and Buckle
The strap is plain black leather with white stitching and, in my opinion, is the perfect complement to the watch, especially since it matches the dial. Since it is 3mm thick, it will take some wearing to break in, but even right out of the box I found it very comfortable. The strap starts at 22m near the lugs and tapers down the 20 at the buckle.
The inside of the strap is embossed with the AVI-8 logo while the other side has, like all leather straps seen on watches today, "genuine leather".
The buckle is very nice. I love the fact that it is thin and understated, and I know people will disagree with me, but I don't like PRE-V buckles just because of the large size. The buckle on the Hawker Harrier II is completely brushed with the AVI-8 logo stamped onto it.
Overall score: 9.5/10.
Dial and Hands
The dial is one of the most interesting areas on this watch. Depending on the lighting, the dial can look textureless or like the grand canyon (clearly an exaggeration, but you get the point). The hands and markers provide a significant amount of contrast with the dial, always a must on a pilot-style watch. Please note that the runnings seconds is the center second hand. I know most chronographs have this the other way around, so this is worthy of mention.
Thankfully, both the dial and hands have lume on them, although it fades quickly and is noticeably dimmer just minutes after charging it. The afterglow however, allows the time to be read in the dark for hours after the initial charge.
The hands have the tiniest hint of green during the day, but it is so slight that they might as well be considered white like the markers.
Overall score: 8.5/10
On the Wrist
For reference these photos were taken on a 6.75" wrist. This is about the largest watch I feel comfortable with, maybe it is even a bit too big.
Overall score: 26.5/30
Wow. That's really all I can say because AVI-8 did an impeccable job on this watch. Some of the details like the textured dial blew me away. The design features on this watch are absolutely fantastic and anyone looking for a casual-wear watch that will go with pretty much anything can end their search here. As with all of my reviews, I will include a few areas that could be improved.
1) The crown action when setting the time is not great and there is quite a bit of play as well. It still works, but the job could be done better.
2) The action of the pushers isn't great and although it still functions, if the action was improved it would greatly enhance the watch.
3) That's all I can think of that could be improved on this watch.
Click here for the link to the Hawker Harrier II on the AVI-8 website. Please note that AVI-8 is an advertiser on It's All About Watches and I received this product free of charge.
Please note that all scores are given relative to the price of the watch.
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