MICRO MONDAYS: The MALM Air Wolf Viggen is a modern pilot’s watch with a Swedish twist MICRO MONDAYS: The MALM Air Wolf Viggen is a modern pilot’s watch with a Swedish twist

MICRO MONDAYS: The MALM Air Wolf Viggen is a modern pilot’s watch with a Swedish twist

Fergus Nash

Aviation has a longstanding history with timekeeping and wristwatches, but that doesn’t mean you need to have decades of heritage behind you to make an impact. MALM first launched their brand in 2019 and have grown quickly with an impressive catalogue of releases, alongside partnerships with the Swedish Air Force and the Swedish Navy. Being based in Linköping, MALM are surrounded by military and aerospace operations, the most notable being Saab AB who have built Swedish fighter planes and jets since the late 1930s. The new MALM Air Wolf Viggen is a tribute to the Saab 37 Viggen — a pioneering jet which saw 40 years of use by the Swedish Air Force.

The case

The MALM Air Wolf Viggen is specifically a collaboration with the 31st Aircraft Maintenance Division at the Swedish Air Force, putting an emphasis on real-world practicality and industrial style. Some of the most prominent features are the knurled crowns and the coin-edge bezel, echoing the grips and details from the equipment and tools that they use every day. The case is made from stainless steel and finished mostly with vertical brushing, then given a black DLC coating for scratch resistance and a stealthy look. It also evokes the appearance of anodised aluminium, a material which is very common in aerospace engineering.

The sizing is very sensible, given the usual propensity for pilot’s watches to be oversized. A diameter of 40mm matches well with a lug-to-lug length of 49mm to wear comfortably on most wrists, and the 11.9mm thickness shouldn’t knock up against too much if you’re wearing it while working. Sapphire has been used on both the front and back crystals however, so you shouldn’t need to worry about scratches either way. It’s water resistant to 100m, so you can also feel free to take the watch swimming if you wish.

The dial

Taking a look at this virtual recreation of a Saab AJS-37 Viggen cockpit, you may notice something that looks very familiar directly above the backup instruments. The jet’s clock is very clearly the main inspiration for the dial of the MALM Air Wolf Viggen. It’s a welcome departure from some of the more generic Flieger dials featured on German watches, while still maintaining the stark contrast and legibility we love them for. Aside from the bold broadsword hands, the pop of yellow on the seconds hand and Viggen text give the watch just a touch more character.

The inner-rotating bezel is easy to use thanks to the knurled second crown, and easy to read with its elapsed time markers at intervals of five minutes. Printing the logo and other text in grey is a nice touch, ensuring that the MALM brand still has some presence without sacrificing the legibility of the white/black contrast by overpopulating the dial. Although the black dial version is the main release, there are also two limited-edition references of 37 pieces each with a grey or white dial.

The bracelet

Paired with the MALM Air Wolf Viggen is a matching DLC-coated steel bracelet in an Oyster style, with polished centre links and brushed outer links. This would usually add a touch of dressiness to a watch, but with its black coating the extra sheen just helps it seem a little bit more refined on-wrist. The clasp is a fairly standard albeit nicely made milled example, with six holes for micro-adjustment. If the bracelet isn’t for you, then the 20mm lug width gives you almost unlimited options for aftermarket straps.

The movement

You are offered three options for the MALM Air Wolf Viggen across two similar but distinct movements. The base option is a Sellita SW200-1, with either a standard finish or a yellow gold DLC. The Sellita has become the default option for a budget Swiss movement in recent years, with reliable performance, good specifications, and quite attractive finishing for its price. It runs at 4Hz for that smooth sweep, and has a power reserve of approximately 38 hours. The more expensive alternative is the Manufacture La Joux-Perret G100, which is a like-for-like replacement of the SW200/ETA 2824 architecture but with multiple improvements. The biggest upgrade is the power reserve jump up to 68 hours, as well as noticeably smoother finishing and a base accuracy of +/-12 seconds per day.

The MALM Air Wolf Viggen pricing and availability:

The MALM Air Wolf Viggen is available now from their website here, with only the grey and white dial versions being limited to 37 pieces. Price: US$839 (SW200) / US$1,029 (MLJP G100)

Brand MALM
Model Air Wolf Viggen
Case Dimensions 40mm x 49mm x 11.9mm
Case Material Stainless steel with black DLC coating
Water Resistance 100m
Crystal(s) Sapphire with anti-reflective treatment
Dial Black, grey, or white
Lug Width 20mm
Strap Steel bracelet
Movement Sellita SW200 / MLJP G100
Power Reserve 38 hours / 68 hours
Availability Available now, with the grey and white versions being limited to 37 pieces each
Price US$839 (SW200) / US$1,029 (MLJP G100)