I'm looking to buy a new watch, and I'd appreciate any recommendations from a flying perspective. I need it to have 2 time zones, and a decent stopwatch that's easy to use in the cockpit. Any other useful features? Oh, and not too 'bling'!
Are you looking for a big brand watch that you will wear elsewhere, or just something for flying?
If it's just the latter, I bought a cheapy from Decathlon last year which satisfies all of the above. It's digital, waterproof, shockproof, has two time zones, stopwatch, backlight and alarm. Black plastic, wouldn't wear it for work but very clear and easy to use when flying. Can't find any model nos on it, but they don't have a big selection so shouldn't be too hard to find!
Citizen Eco-Drive Skyhawk is quite cool. I've had one for a probably 3 years now, has multiple timezones, you can select the zone you wish and press 2 buttons simultaneously to activate that zone. Stop watch, timer, UTC 24 time, 3 alarms which can be set in any time-zone. Pretty much everything you could want in a watch. Can be used to calculate fuel needed, and ETAs, and other such, but never used these features.
Was quite pricey when I bought mine (just short of £400), but last I checked it had dropped consideribly.
EDIT: Also, as it's the Eco-Drive, you don't have to worry about batteries, it's solar recharged. Very very rarely have issues with power. Twice I think in the 3-4 years i've owned it. And even then it has features to limit power consumption on limited power. Sticking it under a lamp overnight solves the problem.
If you fly "modern" i.e. GPS/radio nav, a stopwatch is not needed except when flying holds, which is extremely rare in IFR and never happens in VFR. So pick any nice watch
If you fly "traditional WW1" i.e. map+stopwatch+compass then you need a stopwatch. I have done this during the PPL and more recently during checkrides etc, but I reckon that a wrist stopwatch is not the best way. A nice big stopwatch, or an electronic cooking timer for £5 attached to the corner of the clipboard and with nice big digits is a lot better. Dead reckoning works fairly well if one does accurate timing and with an analog stopwatch it is easy to mistake e.g. 5:30 from 6:30. When I did my IR I spent the 2 weeks on partial panel with timed turns and my wrist watch was a right PITA.
Avoid any stopwatch with a 60-min minute dial - they are useless. This rules out most fancy watches. Must have a 30-minute dial.
If you want to look flash, get a Brietling
If you want a really nice stopwatch, I'd have this one but would feel a bit of a d1ck having spent so much money.
I've just bought this one. Had the non-stopwatch version for a few years. Excellent and reads properly in the dark.
If you regularly between 2 time zones, I think a dual zone watch is probably excellent. If you travel regularly between a lot of time zones, the simplist analogue watch is the best, no fiddling and messing around whenever you arrive somewhere. These digital multizone watches etc, are great toys, but realistically, if you're regularly changing zones, they will drive you absolutely insane.
Another vote for the Citizen Skyhawk Eco-Drive. It self corrects to an atomic clock so you always have the reassurance of knowing the EXACT time. It will also display UTC. The E6B computer is too small to use in the air, but I have used it in preflight. Can be found on the net for a good price too.