May 13, 2024

Finnish Air Force Hornet pilots and De Motu Watches designed a titanium watch for fighter pilots

De Motu FINAF Hornet pilot watch

The Finnish Air Force F/A-18 fighter pilots and De Motu Watches have collaborated to design the world’s only watch model that can withstand the most challenging flight conditions and meet official MIL standards. The De Motu FINAF Hornet pilot watch represents Finnish technology and design at its best and has sparked debate outside the cockpit. The wristwatch is designed as a tool and is only supplied to Finnish Air Force fighter pilots.

The De Motu FINAF Hornet wristwatch was inspired by the observation of fighter pilot Jarvis (code name) that the technology of the more prestigious watchmakers’ customized models could not withstand professional use on the fighter pilot’s wrist.

Contacting the Finnish pilot watch manufacturer De Motu launched a three-year collaborative project, the main product of which was a wristwatch that, according to tests carried out under authentic conditions, can withstand acceleration, G-forces, pressure fluctuations and regular shocks, and is also readable at a glance.

A limited number of Hornet watches with their own distinctive markings have already been delivered to Finnish F/A-18 Hornet fighter pilots. The 64 civilian versions of the same watch with the same technical features will be launched in May.

Cooperation with the Finnish Air Force fighter pilots

– Pilots from every air force fleet across the country signed up for the design team, indicating that there was a clear need for a wristwatch that could withstand the rigours of the job and be representative of the work. We contacted Valdemar Hirvelä, De Motu’s founder and chief designer, and very quickly came to an agreement on how to overcome the challenges by designing a watch just for us. Our confidence was further enhanced by Hirvela’s impressive background in aviation,” says Jarvis.

Working with fighter pilots brought a unique insight and requirements to the design of the watch, which has guided the development of the FINAF Hornet watch into a true tool watch, according to Hirvelä.

With its titanium case, automatic movement, anti-reflective and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass, dark-reading capabilities and purpose-driven design, it is not only durable and legible, but also a distinctive timepiece that will impress not only pilots but also watch enthusiasts. The watch has passed the MIL-STD-810G protocol tests at the Finnish Air Force Laboratory in Tampere.

– The final product is something I could not have dreamed of when I sent the first email. It’s a tribute to Finnish watchmaking, to our glorious aviation history, and even to the soon-to-retire Hornet fighter jets,” says Jarvis.

Based on the FINAF Hornet watch, the DMF 44 watch collection, designed for civilian use, has a selling price of around 7 200 € including VAT.