Avi-8 releases watch based on Capcom’s 1942 video game and I couldn’t say no

For readers here that don’t know me, I currently work in the video game industry and have for well over a decade now. So, video games are a passion of mine. However, I have always been around flight as well, so aviation also has a special place in my heart. I’m sure you could have guessed that one given that I’m a contributor here at SAJ. With that said, over the years, any time aviation and video games would co-mingle in some way, I would always gravitate toward it. That was the case back when I was younger when it came to Capcom’s 1942 video game that released in 1984 (1986 on the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America).

Recently I caught wind that a watch maker was collaborating with Capcom to create a Limited Edition watch based on the video game, 1942. I think I’ve only ever owned one single watch throughout my entire life thus far. I even tried the Apple Watch for a brief period of time (so I guess that’s two watches technically?), but even that didn’t stick. It was just never my thing. However, when it comes to owning video games, now that’s a different story! I’ve picked up many games over the years and continue to collect both current and retro games. In fact, I probably still play my retro consoles more than any current generation console or PC.

The underneath of the Capcom 1942 Automatic Limited Edition watch

It’s always amazing to see the progression video games have made over the years when it comes to the graphics. Today we have incredible visuals in all the latest video games and they are so easy to get fully immersed in, especially when playing something like Microsoft Flight Simulator or Ace Combat 7. However, with the games of the 80’s and 90’s, you always had to use some imagination when putting yourself into the pilot seat, especially when it came to vertical or side-scrolling shooters. If we look back at Capcom’s 1942, it’s a top-down vertical shooter where you control a P-38 Lightning throughout various stages of battle by moving forward, backward, left and right while firing at enemy aircraft and avoiding oncoming bullets. It didn’t have any typical flight controls, but that didn’t stop you from feeling like a pilot! Also, one of the coolest feature with 1942 is that you can perform an inside loop, which enables you to avoid oncoming fire. It’s fun to do, but it’s even more helpful during intense situations! I love those old-school arcade games!

I don’t remember when I first played 1942, but it was likely on the Nintendo Entertainment System – the original NES! I always remember loving it because it was a chance to put myself in the pilot’s seat and imagine being a top fighter pilot. Plus, the P-38, right? One of my favorite aircraft! In fact, I have a large canvas on my wall from AirVenture 2015 where the P-38 flew in the heritage flight with the P-51 and F-22. Three of my favorite aircraft all in a single shot!!

Author’s photo of the Heritage Flight from AirVenture 2015

Anyway, remember when I mentioned watches? Yeah, I’ve rambled a little bit. Sorry!

Even though I don’t wear watches, I couldn’t help but be curious when I saw the announcement that Avi-8 collaborated with Capcom to release a Limited Edition 1942 watch. Avi-8, founded in 2012, created its brand around the inspiration of planes, people, and the history of military aviation.

The Avi-8 / Capcom collaboration led to the creation of the Avi-8 Flyboy, Capcom 1942 Automatic Limited Edition Black Ace and Blue Ace watches – only 300 pieces of each, that are inspired by the 1942 video game. And yes, through my love of aviation and video games (especially the 194X series!), I absolutely had to get one! Thankfully I was able to secure one before they sold out too. Phew!

Author playing 1943: The Battle of Midway at a local arcade

Having memories of the 1942 game as a kid and still playing the series today (including 1943 recently at a local arcade!!), I’m really happy to see this collaboration happen as it brings attention to both aviation and video games through recognizing not only the history of aviation, but the history of aviation that is represented in video games as well. Anytime both aviation and video games can get together, whether it’s to celebrate a new video game or something a little more unique like this watch, I’m happy to partake!

As for the watch itself – I’m in love with it! I’m someone that enjoys buying a few collector’s editions every now and then for my favorite video game series which usually include some kind of special collector’s figure or related item. So, in a way, getting this watch today would have been like getting the 1942 Collector’s Edition if they had released one back in 1986. I enjoy that the P-38 rotates around the face of the watch as it sits on the second ticker. Also, there’s another P-38 in the background along with an enemy formation, and you can see bullets that are being fired at the enemy aircraft which represents what you would see when playing the video game. Super cool! Plus, the watch glows in the dark…yeah, I’m 38 and glow in the dark is still cool – whatever!

There is a lot to appreciate about the watch, including all the detail, packaging, additional leather wristband, and more. Instead of talking about it though, I’m going to share my unpacking video and then get back to playing 1942 while wearing my watch!

For those interested in playing 1942 or any games from the series, you can download Capcom Arcade Stadium on pretty much every platform (Steam, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One/S/X, Nintendo Switch) and then purchase the titles as DLC for $1.99 each.

Titles include:

  • 1942
  • 1943: The Battle of Midway
  • 1941: Counter Attack
  • 19XX: The War Against Destiny
  • 1944: The Loop Master

Plus, if you want some more aviation-inspired fun, check out Carrier Air Wing and Progear!

PlayStation 4 arcade stick used to play 1942 on Capcom Arcade Stadium

These old-school arcade shooters released by Capcom, which were inspiration for many others like them, are still some of my favorite games to play today. I love the passion for aviation that’s shown in them, including the games that even stretch reality and lean heavily into a fictional world that’s ideal for an arcade shooter. They all are just simply entertaining and exciting, and they give me a quick challenge to engage in whenever I have a moment to spare. It’s now time to continue to brush up on my reaction skills and set new personal bests for high scores!

You can check out Avi-8’s website to learn more about them and see other aviation watches they have for sale.