One of my favorite watches from last year was the CX Swiss Military Watch 20,000 Feet Diver (that I reviewed here). The titanium bubble cased watch was a hit for me, being over the top but totally a tool watch at the same time. While it is a behemoth to wear, it is fun, and well-done. Not to mention quite unique.
CX Swiss Military watches tend to be hit and miss for me, but I am usually impressed by their limited edition models. These are often much more interesting than their standard collection, and feature a lot more design and attention by CX. The newest limited edition watch that CX Swiss Military released after the 20,000 Feet diver is this Hurricane timepiece. Not a diving style watch, this one is pointed more at the skies. Aviator themed in most all regards, the watch once again is a little over the top, but in a fun way, and still has a lot of functional substance.
It is quite hard to sum up the watch in a few words. I see it as a different sort of “showy” pilot watch. Like a re-imagined Breitling or something. CX Swiss Military was careful to give the Hurricane some hallmark “pilot watch” features. These include a chronograph on a busy dial, large sized face, and of course, a rotating slide-rule bezel. My favorite design feature is the hand on the subsidiary seconds dial that is shaped like a propeller. Sure it doesn’t spin very fast. but the effect is cool nonetheless.
The dial design is an interesting mix between busy and not too cluttered. CX uses a sort of “quilted texture” dial. In my opinion this looks nicest in black. Though the watch does come with three other colored dials and it is hard to say how the dial style looks on each of those. Detailing on the dial is pleasing. The large applied hour markers are easy to spot, and the polished metal rings around the subdials is attractive. The only two issues I have with the dial are the hands and the lume. Even CX admits that the hands are small. They aren’t unreadable, but small. CX felt that hands this size would not interfere too much with reading the subdials. This is true, but to be honest you are going to be reading the time way more than you are going to be reading the chronograph. The lume on the dial is OK, but I think that CX could have put a bit more on there.
Around the dial is the slide-rule inner ring on the navigational bezel. The bezel is a bit tough to turn, but at least it doesn’t slide around too easily. I like the design of it, being relatively thin in comparison to the size of the dial. It is also neat how the bezel tapers in, when looked at from the side.
The Hurricane is a large watch at 47mm wide in steel. Heavy feeling at 150 grams, but unweildly. Which is amusingly ironic as it is named after a nimble World War II era English fighter plane named the “Hurricane.” The finishing and colors on the case are great though. CX Swiss Military uses a black DLC coating application over the steel that gives it a very hard surface and a nice glossy look. In there are also red colored elements. These include rings and segments on the crown and pusher, as well as red paint on the screws on the back of the case. Never seen red screws like that before. The case itself is water resistant to 200 meters, has screw in pushers, is anti-magnetic, and has a sapphire crystal.
This chronograph watch uses a COSC Chronometer certified Valjoux 7750 automatic movement. Not much more to say about that. Workhorse chronograph with the added value of the COSC certification. CX pairs the watch to a Swiss made treated leather strap (with sort of a suede like feel to it) that has red contrast stitching. The strap was a bit large for my smaller wrists. CX does however use special easy to remove pins to change out the strap. I had mine on a NATO strap for a while that had it looking quite cool.
CX Swiss Military made 50 pieces of the Hurricane watch in each of the four dial colors (for a total of 200 watches in this limited edition). I really think the style of this watch will appeal to some people. DLC pilot watches are hard to find, and there is a good polish to the style of this timepiece. Price isn’t bad either. About $2,000 (based on a 1,995 Swiss Francs price). You can get yourself one here.