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Pilot’s watches, from instrument to accessory
Connoisseur of watches

Pilot’s watches, from instrument to accessory

Tuesday, 09 October 2018
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William McNish
Strategic Planner at RE-UP

“There is nothing quite as beautiful as the spark in a person's eye when you bring up something they are passionate about.”

Creative flare with an analytic mindset.

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3 min read

Tool watches have long been the companion of military personnel, divers, pilots and explorers, and at one time were even vital to their job. In this series, we interview professionals and discuss the role their timepiece plays in their life.

Today we catch up with Karim Nafatni, a pilot with over 18 years’ experience under his wings and a true admiration for luxury watches. We find out why he loves his pilot watches and what really makes him tick…

Tell us a bit about yourself. How and why did you become a pilot?

My name is Karim Nafatni, and I’m a 36-year-old French Tunisian. I’ve been in the aviation industry from the age of 17 and a commercial pilot for the past 18 years. Becoming a pilot was always my one and only dream. Having a father who’s worked in the industry for over 25 years means I grew up with planes! I did my flight training in the USA and, on qualifying, was lucky enough to get hired by an airline based in Tunisia, where I stayed for almost 7 years. From there, I joined Air Arabia based in the UAE and have worked there ever since. I hold the position of Training Captain on A320.

How long have you been into watches and what (or who) got you started?

I’ve always enjoyed nice watches but what I most admire is the craft behind them. I truly consider them to be pieces of art more than tools that indicate the time. As someone who’s very professional and dedicated in my work, I strive for perfection and precision and I think watches reflect that mindset. Without precision and dedication, no beautiful watch would ever come to life.

You’re a friend of Bell & Ross. How did this come about and why do you love the brand?

I’ve been a Bell & Ross friend of the brand for close to a year now and I’m very proud of this achievement. The brand contacted me through my Instagram Influencer account and I didn’t hesitate a second to get on board. As a true fan of the brand, I really believe it fits my world as a pilot and everything I love. Bell & Ross took inspiration from the aviation industry to create some of their most iconic pieces, and it’s a huge honour to be given the chance to be a part of that.

If you could own just one watch for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Definitely the Bell & Ross BR-X1 Hyperstellar. I love the square shape and I think it captures the spirit of everything I’m passionate about.

Do you still use a pilot watch as an important piece of equipment for your job?

Given the advanced technology in today’s commercial planes, watches are no longer a necessary piece of equipment for our daily tasks.

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