100 Years of Timing the Skies

Flying is like drawing in the Sky

Since I was 5 years old, I had a crazy passion for flying. My uncle used to fly a Boeing 747 for a commercial airline and everytime he came to visit us, he brought me a little toy plane. Plane spotting, watching air shows on the TV, reading travel magazines and collecting aviation accessories became my hobby. When I finished school, my passion for flying stayed the same, which prompted me to become a globetrotter. I was thrilled to find out that Hamilton Watches are celebrating their 100 years of timing the skies. A century of history in aviation with the celebration of Air Race around the globe is a perfect idea – I’m in!

American Spirit, Swiss Precision

Hamilton has a remarkable history and has achieved several milestones in making watches. It started operations in 1892 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where it was based for the first 111 years. It started supplying authentic watches during the time when the crucial railroads groundwork was under construction in the USA. During the aviation development in 1918, Hamilton began timing the skies by providing accurate watches to the brand new U.S Airmail service. Since that time, it has been identified with the aviation industry and is currently celebrating 100 years of timing the skies in 2018 by acting as the Official Timekeeper of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Hamilton’s achievements are innumerable, and some of their highlights include receiving a U.S Army-Navy E Award for manufacturing excellence, Ventura becoming the world’s first electrical watch powered by a battery, Pulsar becoming the world’s first LED digital watch, a Hamilton watch being used for Admiral Byrd’s first flight to the North Pole in 1926 followed by an expedition to Antarctica, and Hamilton Watches being featured in over 450 blockbuster movies.

Since 1892 until today, from the railroads to the skies, Hamilton watches represent the ideal balance of American Spirit and Swiss Precision.

In the picture above, Frank C. Beckwith, Secretary of the Hamilton Watch Company and a member of the Board of Directors presents Hamilton watches to Army Pilots Torrey H. Webb, (left) and Lieut. Stephen Bonsail, (right), at Belmont Park Race Track, May 15, 1918 watched by the New York City postmaster (far left). Shortly after, the pilots flew the very first U.S. Airmail flight to Washington, D.C. with a stop in Philadelphia.

Aviation History at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford

In order to witness the history of aviation, I visited Imperial War Museum in Duxford, Cambridgeshire. It was founded on the 5th of March, 1917, during the First World War with an aim to tell the tales of all sorts of people, not specifically from Britain, but from all around the globe. It covers over 100 years of aviation history from the commonwealth. Including the permanent displays of Concorde, Spitfire, Lancaster and Tigermoth, there are several temporary exhibitions, events and workshops to help visitors understand the history of aviation and those affected by war to create an intense understating of its effect on the world.

During the aviation development, the pilots were dependant on the watches for precision. By visiting this museum, I was able to understand the link between watches and aircrafts and learned so much about the aviation history. Hamilton Watches being synonymous with aviation made me realise how important the Red Bull Air Race is to celebrate 100 years of timing the skies. After spending 4 hours at the museum, my excitement level has raised at it’s highest level and I am really looking forward to attend the Air Race on the 22nd of April, 2018 in Cannes.



Hamilton has already inspired me so much with its achievements and innovations in watchmaking. Hamilton and I share a similar interest in aviation, because of which, I have decided to follow the Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2018 by taking my passion in travelling to the next level. From watching Air Shows on TV to experiencing Air Race live in person. Sounds thrilling to me!

Red Bull Air Race Official Timekeeper

The World Air Sports Federations, FAI, introduced a new sports category in 2003, namely, Air Racing. It has become a world championship sport within the next 2 years. Earlier in 2017, the Red Bull Air Race World Championship praised its 75th race and welcomed Hamilton as their new official timekeeper.

‘Hamilton is the Official Timekeeper of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2018’

Air racing is all about speed, passion and timing. The pilots complete a 3.7 mile lap under a minute by reaching speeds of up to 370 km/h (230mph) in their lightweight planes. With a dedicated passion in aviation, Hamilton has remarkable Air Race brand ambassadors that includes Nicholas Ivanoff, Juan Velarde, Pete McLeod and Dario Costa. These talented pilots are now testing the Hamilton Watches in the skies by sharing their feedback straight from the cockpit.

100 Years of Timing the Skies

In 2018, Hamilton will travel around the globe to celebrate its 100 years of timing the skies. The race has already begun in Abu Dhabi in February. Next stop will be Cannes in April, followed by Budapest in June, Kazan in August to Indianapolis in October.

To honour the 100 years of timing the skies, Hamilton has launched the limited edition X-Wind Auto Chrono with extra added features. It includes a robust 45mm case, 60 hour power reserve, 10 bar water resistant, Sapphire crystals and COSC certified H-21 chronometer movement with silicon hairspring.


Hamilton’s devoted efficiency, modernisation, a taste for adventure and a focus on precision have all added to making it the ultimate choice of experienced pilots to join them in the cockpit. Not only the aviators, all the aviation enthusiasts can experience this masterpiece on their wrists, as it gives the chills of being in a cockpit.

I am really looking forward to experience my first ever Air Race Championship from the 20th to 22nd of April, 2018 in Cannes. Words cannot describe how electrifying this adventure would be for the pilots to fly the planes at 230 miles per hour. However, experiencing this video game scenario in person is as sensational as it sounds.

You can book your tickets for the Red bull Air Race Championship, Cannes 2018 here. Also, have a look at the event schedule here.

See you on April 22nd at the Race Day in Cannes. Au Revoir!

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