Hamilton created the Khaki Air Race watch to celebrate their sponsorship of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, for which they are official timer from this year, 2017. It doesn’t have any of the traditional pilot’s watch features, but the visual design has a lot in common with Panerai, for example the Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio. The Panerai is larger and has a cushion-shaped case, but it’s striking how the Khaki Air Race’s numerals and hour markers are hollowed out and filled with SuperLuminova. The classic Panerai dial is different because the SuperLuminova is in the core of the dial, as the central layer of the sandwich, while in the Hamilton, the top layer of the dial is recessed and then filled with SuperLuminova.
As Panerai make their own movements they can decide whether to have a date window or not. Hamilton’s watches have movements by ETA, which provide the date function. So the designers included it very small, either just inside the 3 o’clock numeral (in the 42 mm versions) or diagonally at 4.30.
The Hamilton Khaki Air Race is in two versions, one with a silver dial with blue numerals, and one with a dark, anthracite grey dial with orange numerals. The former celebrates Hamilton’s role in the Red Bull Air Race, the second is dedicated to Team Hamilton, consisting of Nicolas Ivanoff who is a competitor in the Red Bull Air Races and flies a Hamilton-branded Zivko Edge 540. The watches are in two sizes, a unisex 38 mm, and 42 mm. They are water-resistant to 5 bar (50 metres), no swimming.
Display caseback, H-10 movement
The watch has a sapphire crystal caseback revealing the H-10 calibre movement. The caseback is printed with graphic motifs of the Red Bull Air Race or Team Hamilton. The H-10 movement is the self-winding ETA Powermatic 80, used in many Swatch Group watches, such as pieces by Tissot and Certina as well as by Hamilton. The Powermatic 80, ETA CO7.111, achieves 80 hours power reserve, double with respect to the 40 or so hours of the ETA 2824 movements. This increase is attained in two ways: by reducing balance wheel frequency from 4 Hertz to 3 Hertz, and by the use of a special alloy for the mainspring made by Swatch Group company Nivarox. Its high flexibility makes it possible to reduce the diameter of the central mainspring arbour and increase the total length of the spring.
The watches are available with leather strap with stainless steel buckle, or a stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp.
Prices and references
The 42 mm versions of the Hamilton Khaki Air Race cost €695 with leather strap, €745 with steel bracelet. The 38 mm versions cost €645 with leather strap, €695 with steel bracelet. It’s an attractive entry-level watch at an attractive price. Further information from the Hamilton website.
Here are the references:
H76525151: 42 mm, silvered dial, blue numerals, steel bracelet
H76525751: 42 mm, silvered dial, blue numerals, leather strap
H76535131: 42 mm, anthracite grey dial, orange numerals, steel bracelet
H76535731: 42 mm, anthracite grey dial, orange numerals, leather strap
H76225151: 38 mm, silvered dial, blue numerals, steel bracelet
H76225751: 38 mm, silvered dial, blue numerals, leather strap
H76235131: 38 mm, anthracite grey dial, orange numerals, steel bracelet
H76235731: 38 mm, anthracite grey dial, orange numerals, leather strap