I have just received a watch that I have had my eye on for almost one year, the Chase-Durer USAF Thunderbirds Alarm Chronograph.
This watch is part of the pilots series and is T-H-E
watch worn by the US Air Force Thunderbirds aerobatics team. I believe all pilots in this elite group carry the rank of major.
Size and heft:
The watch is listed as a 43.5 mm and I believe that includes the crown and pushers. This version is slightly larger than the original which was a 40 mm. It is 316L stainless with a nice heft, 11 mm depth, and a rugged sstl bracelet has Chase-Durer engraved on the scissors style clasp. Seems quite comfortable, not too heavy. . . just right. The watch has a brushed finish with a polished, engraved case back. Each watch has a serial number engraved on the back and that is used for warranty registration.
The white dial with gray subdials contrast nicely with the blue bezel. The bezel ratchets smoothly and feels a bit like the bezel on the Seiko Monster dive watch. It is smooooooth! The bezel compliments the tachymeter info inside the dial so that it also doubles as a slide rule. For you young whipersnappers, before portable calculators, slide rules were used for portable computations of a scientific nature. The USAF Thunderbirds emblem is located in red at the 3 o'clock position.
The lume is super. . . Super-Luminova that is. This is my first watch with the feature and it really glows, even in low daylight. The date is at the 4 o'clock marker. A sapphire crystal is standard equipment.
This version of the watch has a Citizen Miyota OS 80 alarm chronograph that tracks hours, minutes, and seconds (1/20th of a second specifically). The alarm is not loud which I like so that when it goes off, the sound is not heart-stopping. At my age, heart stopping is not a good thing.
This is nicely finished and very comfortable on the wrist. I specifically waited for the larger version to become available. It is a nice size for my wrist. I find it very aesthetically pleasing; the colors, the feel, and the techy, military look. The watch is easy to set although I have not attempted any calculations using the slide rule bezel. It is more of a pilot's watch but water resistent to 100 meters. MSRP in $495. Needless to say, I purchased it for less than half that.
It comes in a plastic box, well packed in dense foam but nothing to write home about. I never buy a watch for the packaging since I wear the watch and not the case it comes in. There is a two year warranty with a card that has to be filled out and returned. Also, a set of directions for setting the watch and doing very simple calculations is included.