As one of the more accessible watch brands within the Swatch Group, Hamilton always tries to balance innovation with affordability in its new pieces, while maintaining the hybrid tool watch aesthetic that its fans have come to love. The first new watch from Hamilton that we’d like to show you manages to do all of that, while still looking fresh. Here is the Khaki X-Wind Auto Chrono Limited Edition.
Hamilton is introducing this watch as a celebratory piece to commemorate its 100th anniversary of “timing the skies.” While that descriptor seems somewhat vague, the American-born brand does have a significant amount of its heritage tied into the development of aviation in the United States. In 1918, Hamilton was chosen as the official timekeeper of the first U.S. Airmail flights between Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York. Eight years later, a Hamilton was on the wrist of the first pilot to reach the North Pole. And in the 1930s, the brand became the official watch of the four major airlines in the United States at the time and was the timekeeper of the first non-stop coast-to-coast service between New York and San Francisco. Needless to say, Hamilton has earned its flight time.
The brand new Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Auto Chrono Limited Edition is based on the popular Khaki X-Wind Auto Chrono which was first launched in 2005 and has become a highlight of Hamilton’s aviation range. Building on that solid base, the new 45mm model counts the familiar drift angle calculator among its features but adds to it with a new COSC-certified movement featuring a silicon hairspring. Not only does this lend lightness to the movement, silicon is also known for its anti-magnetic properties. It’s a detail, but an important one for pilots who spend much of their time in highly magnetized areas such as airports, which can affect the accuracy or performance of a mechanical watch.
This new watch features all the necessities you would expect from a pilot watch, including an oversized 45-mm case, chronometer certification, day/date indicator, and a highly legible black dial with sand-colored and Super-LumiNova-coated numerals. What makes this watch special, though, is the complex cross-wind calculator on the turning bezel that enables a pilot to quickly compute the effect windspeed will have on their flight. While this won’t be a selling point for the average pilot’s watch enthusiast, it’s easy to imagine its usefulness for the serious pilots among us. It also presents an advantage over similarly priced and less complex pilot’s timepieces.
The new version features a multi-level dial and luminous hands, indexes, and numerals to ensure it is easy to read. It is limited, appropriately, to 1,918 pieces in a nod to the year Hamilton first worked with pilots’ watches. It’s a model that is likely to impress Hamilton fans and aviation watch enthusiasts alike and sets the tone for the brand’s centenary celebrations. While many watch brands are active in the world of aviation, few can claim so many firsts or so many major milestones since the early days of flight.
Originally established in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1892, Hamilton gained its reputation for accuracy during the early days of the railroads. As pioneering flight gave way to regular flight services to connect the country, Hamilton was called upon to put its accuracy to the test in the air. It was chosen as the timekeeper for the first ever official US Airmail flight. A trip to the North Pole, the first flight to Hawaii from California, and keeping time for the first non-stop coast-to-coast service from New York to San Francisco quickly followed and reinforced Hamilton’s place as a first choice for pilots.
Based in Switzerland since 2003, the brand has continued its work with the flying community, forging associations with pilots from different fields of aviation with the aim of developing new products for the cockpit. Although modern cockpits bear little relation to those from 1918, many pilots still appreciate an analog backup to their digitized instruments in case of an emergency. With features ranging from second time zones to drift angle, landing speed, and fuel requirement calculators, Hamilton is a brand that prides itself on meeting the needs of serious pilots as well as impressing those of us who appreciate a classic aviation look in a watch. The new Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Auto Chrono Limited Edition draws inspiration from Hamilton’s long aviation history but has a firm focus on the future with its innovative new elements.
Congratulations to Hamilton on celebrating its first 100 years of timing the skies. To find out more about Hamilton’s aviation centenary celebrations, and the Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Auto Chrono Limited Edition (priced at $2,595), visit Hamilton’s official site and follow @Hamiltonwatch on its social media channels. hamiltonwatch.com