If you’ve never experienced one of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship races in person, it’s difficult to appreciate what makes air racing so daring, interesting, technical, and incredibly exciting! Speed, precision and, of course, timing are absolutely vital for the pilots, who fly around the air race obstacle course at up to 270 mph, performing stunts as they go. There aren’t many sports where the athletes try to impress the crowd with their skills and innovate as well as win. In air racing that’s exactly what happens and it’s a thrill a minute. Swiss-American brand Hamilton is enjoying its second season as Official Timekeeper of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. It’s a world the brand knows well, having had its own team in the race and counting experienced air racer Nicolas Ivanoff as a brand ambassador since 2005.
Originally, the partnership with Ivanoff and then with the Air Race started as all Hamilton aviation partnerships have: With the aim of understanding more about a pilot’s needs in the cockpit, what challenges they face and how Hamilton can develop an innovative solution. Working with Ivanoff, Hamilton placed the first ever drift angle calculator in a wristwatch with its Khaki Pilot X-Wind Auto Chrono, which has since become one of the brand’s most recognizable products.
In 2018, Hamilton has also added three more top Air Race pilots to its roster of brand ambassadors. Spain’s Juan Velarde, Dario Costa of Italy, and Canadian Pete McLeod will all be wearing the brand’s watches and feeding back from their cockpits throughout the season. With its Red Bull Air Race partnership, Hamilton has stamped its mark on the world of air racing and confirmed its status as one of the go-to brands for serious pilots’ watches and for stylish and authentic looking aviation models for those who prefer to stay on terra firma.
The partnership is also a part of Hamilton’s continuing aviation collaborations as it celebrates its aviation centenary in 2018. It wouldn’t be a true timing partnership without a dedicated watch and Hamilton launched two special pieces in 2017 to support its first year as Official Timekeeper. For 2018, the brand is launching four new references from its Khaki Pilot collection that are slated to appear in late spring-early summer.
The Khaki Pilot Chrono Quartz has a sporty 44 mm case and appears with two different dial options, each with a choice of leather strap or durable metal bracelet. The Air Race edition is designed with fans in mind and has a gray and blue dial with red and blue details and a checkered flag at 12 o’clock. The Air Race package is completed with the official Red Bull Air Race logo engraved on the caseback.
The Pilot version, by contrast, keeps the sporty functions but focuses on classic aviation style with a typical Hamilton twist. The beige Super-LumiNova indexes and numerals and soft beige leather strap contrast with the dial and call to mind classic cockpit instruments but using beige instead of the standard white. The new versions are a fitting addition to the wider Hamilton aviation collection, which has already welcomed new limited edition Khaki X-Wind pieces and Khaki Pilot Day Date models that were presented in Basel in March.
If you’re interested in experiencing the thrills of the Air Race in person, it’s definitely worth a trip to one of this year’s venues to see the pilots in action. If you don’t have a head for heights, you can still feel the thrill of the Air Race and keep your feet firmly on the ground as a spectator.
To find out more about Hamilton’s Red Bull Air Race partnership, to keep up to date with the latest from the new season, and to watch some of the action from 2017, visit Hamiltonwatch.com and follow @Hamiltonwatch on its social media channels. hamiltonwatch.com