Aviation has been a focus at Hamilton for years, dedicating part of the Khaki collection to the adventurous spirit and unique necessities of pilots. The Khaki Aviation collection combines both vintage-inspired pilot’s watches as well as robust flight instruments such as the Converter Automatic Chrono. The Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind extends this dedication even more, with a design that is all focussed on calculations. And it now comes in three new variations; a pair of chronographs and a day-date version.
The first Khaki Aviation X-Wind was developed with French pilot Nicolas Ivanoff, a master aerobatics pilot and 13-time Red Bull Air Race participant. The concept of the watch relies on the need for pilots to calculate multiple parameters during a flight, in this case, the correct drift angle according to wind direction. This unique need for calculation led to a rather unusual watch, combining multiple traditional indications with those required by airmen. And a design that is, by no means, traditional or understated.
Chronographs with multiple additional functions
We start with the X-Wind Auto Chrono models, in which no fewer than three crowns and two pushers are spread across the case. The crown and pushers are positioned on the left side of the case, in a reversed layout, and are operating the movement and actuating the chronograph functions. In the same vein, the start/stop pusher is placed at 8 o’clock and the reset pusher is positioned at 10 o’clock. This also means that the layout of the dial is different from what’s usually found on a Valjoux-based chronograph, with a 12-3-9 position of the sub-counters.
You have a typical display for the chronograph function, only upside down; a 12-hour counter and a 30-minute counter at 12 and 6 o’clock. What remains is the running seconds, indicated at 3 o’clock. On the left-hand side of the dial is a day-date indication.
That’s for the basics. Now comes the aviation-inspired functions. On the periphery of the dial are two rotatable inner bezels, operated via either one of the crowns on the right side of the watch. The internal bezels are used together with the external bezel to calculate cross or drift winds in mid-flight. This allows the pilot to determine the corrections for their bearing in case of a crosswind. It goes without saying that this is probably easier to understand for trained pilots.
The inner and outer bezels work together to perform the required calculations. The crown 4 o’clock operates the upper internal bezel, while the crown at 2 o’clock operated the lower internal bezel. A window in the upper emphasizes the indication that is displayed by the lower bezel. The external bezel needs to be aligned properly to make the necessary calculations. You need information like wind speed and direction, as well as an understanding of geographical versus magnetic bearings to make full use of this. To help in this task, Hamilton provides a proper explanation on how to do that in the manual that comes with the watch.
All of these functions are featured in a large case, measuring 45mm in diameter. This year, the Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Auto Chrono is presented in two new variations, mostly differentiated by their colour scheme and dial patterns. The first version has a “sandstorm beige” PVD-coated stainless steel case with a camouflage pattern on the dial, with beige markings all around. Despite the almost uniform colours, legibility and contrast remain surprisingly good on this edition – which is, without doubt, the boldest of the collection. It is worn on a beige textile strap with rivets.
The second edition of the Khaki Aviation X-Wind Auto Chrono is more classic, and will certainly be easier to wear on a daily basis. It comes with a non-coated stainless steel case, paired with a blue sunray-brushed dial with white markings and orange details, and is fitted to a blue textile strap.
Powering these two chronograph versions is the Calibre H-21-Si, an evolution of the robust 7750 architecture, with an improved power reserve of 60 hours and an anti-magnetic silicon balance spring.
Both editions of the Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Auto Chrono are launched in the permanent collection. The blue model (ref. H77906940) is priced at EUR 1,945. The Sandstorm Beige version (ref. H77916920) retails for EUR 2,045.
A simpler Automatic Day-Date
Part of this collection is also a new take on the Khaki Aviation X-Wind Day-Date. While it retains all the pilot’s oriented functions, such as the 2 internal bezels and the external bezel, as well as its reversed layout for the crown, it gets rid of the chronograph and thus brings a more focused dial. This new version comes on a dark brown PVD coated 45mm steel case, paired with a green camouflage dial. It is worn on a green textile strap with brown leather keepers. This edition is powered by the Calibre H-30, an evolution of the ETA architecture with 80 hours of power reserve and an anti-magnetic Nivachron balance spring.
The green camouflage edition of the Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Day-Date (ref. H77775960) is now available and priced at EUR 1,145.
For more information and orders, please visit hamiltonwatch.com.