The Reichenbach aerodrome in the Kander valley in the Bernese Oberland: A Swiss landscape worthy of the finest postcards. It is against this magnificent backdrop that the 62nd edition of the Swiss National Aerobatics Championship (SNAC), organised in collaboration with the Swiss Aerobatic Association (SAA) and Hamilton, were held. Over the course of one week, the best Swiss pilots competed at barrel rolls, tailspins and other stunts in their bid to win the title of Swiss Aerobatic Champion. Saturday was dedicated to the freestyle competition where pilots have between 3:30 and 4:00 minutes to put on a display of their choice. Spectating at an aerobatics competition is, I can assure you, a guarantee of four minutes of intense emotion with every flight! As a supporter of a number of Swiss aerodromes, Hamilton has close ties with the acrobats who perform in the skies above Switzerland. Today, four of the best acrobatic pilots in Switzerland are brand ambassadors for Hamilton.
Hamilton has been involved with aviation for a number of years. As early as 1919, its pilot’s chronograph timed the first postal service between Washington and New York, in the United States. Over the years, Hamilton’s involvement with and support of aviation professionals has increased and the brand today has a high level of legitimacy in the aeronautical world and, in particular, the world of aerobatics.
A great number of squadrons use Hamilton pilot’s watches, such as the SnowBirds of Canada, the 123rd squadron of South Korea, the Silver Falcons of South Africa, the Patrulla Aspa of Spain and the F-16 demonstration team of the Netherlands. The brand is also the exclusive supplier to Air Zermatt – the world reference in helicopter rescue. Hamilton is also the watch sponsor of a number of international aviation events, such as the EEA AirVenture Oshkosh (Wisconsin, United States), which is the world’s biggest aeronautical event and attracts over 500,000 visitors every year, both members of the EAA and aviation fans. Hamilton also partners with a series of meetings in France that bring together the best pilots from around the world: the Free Flight World Masters Tour. One of the most famous participants at this event is none other than Nicolas Ivanoff, one of the world’s best acrobatic pilots and an ambassador for Hamilton.
The close cooperation between the brand and the aerobatic pilots stems from a mutual commitment. More than a simple face to a campaign, Nicolas Ivanoff is actively involved in the design of Hamilton watches, helping the brand to incorporate functions that are specifically adapted to the requirements of pilots. Most recently, he gave his input in the creation of the Hamilton Khaki Chrono WorldTimer, a watch created especially for the 10th anniversary of this partnership between these two aviation fans. This quartz chronograph displays the time in 24 different time zones. Its Hamilton H-41 movement can also display Universal Time Coordinated (UTC). The Chrono WorldTimer is a reliable tool that pilots actually use when they fly. The yellow markings on the first four minutes of the dial are a tribute to aerobatics, because they correspond to the duration of a freestyle programme in competition.