The Hamilton Khaki Aviation Takeoff Chronograph LE
I met Dario Costa during the Red Bull Air Race in Cannes 2018. His passion and dedication to aerobatic flight are extraordinary, and he undergoes hours of hard everyday training, supported by the Red Bull team he belongs to as an official athlete. Costa is a long-established Hamilton watch ambassador and has recently achieved an equally unique and outstanding record. While Dreams of Flight screenplays Hamilton's connection with the aerobatic flight, starring Dario flying over the Namibia desert, the latest record-setting endeavour gives extreme flying a whole new meaning.
After a long technical and physical training session, Dario Costa jumped on board a slightly modified Zivko Edge 540 aircraft on September 4 and took off inside a tunnel in Turkey. He flew the entire tunnel, passed in the open air for a while, and entered a second one then. During the flight, Dario kept his aircraft between 30 and 70 centimetres off the ground, while the wings were just 3.5 meters off the tunnel walls. He took an average speed of 245 km/h!
Hamilton celebrated this achievement by releasing a special edition of quite a distinctive timepiece per se, i.e. the Khaki Aviation Takeoff Chrono, initially unveiled in 2014. It is a chronograph with a "Bull Head" design, which means crown and Chrono pushers are on top of the case, and the case can be removed and turned into a dashboard instrument that Dario Costa himself mounted on his aircraft.
Featuring a hefty 46 mm steel case treated in black PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition), the watch is 15.95 mm, and rightly so given the intricate two-piece construction (standard case and additional casing). Compared to the first-ever 2014 Khaki Aviation Takeoff Chrono, the new one is slightly different; the two central counters come with yellow concentric rings reproducing the two tunnels flown by Costa, the running seconds sitting at six, and the 15-minute Chrono register placed at twelve instead. Interestingly, you'll find layers of Super-Luminova® exclusively applied to the central Chrono hand along with the initial 40 seconds on the outer ring so that the pilot can focus on the pieces of information that matter the most. You won't miss that the hour and minute hands are fully skeletonized.
The new Khaki Aviation Takeoff Chrono comes as a 100-piece limited edition and retails for 2.835 Euros. Despite the sticker price being higher than an average Hamilton watch, the Take Off is a "flagship" timepiece geared towards the modern aviation fan looking for an uncommon product. The case design is a one of a kind in this class of product (however, it is not unique, from an engineering point of view), being the only Bull Head watch with a removable case, which requires lots of complexity and added production cost. The case safely locks into its base via tiny bearings and slides and, once removed, can be used as a desk watch via a matching base available with the package.
(Photo credit: courtesy Hamilton Watch)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®