Since 2011, Hamilton has been a proud partner of the world-famous Air Zermatt mountain rescue service. The pilots’ expertise has allowed us to develop timepieces which fit their needs in terms of design and functionality. In 2018, Hamilton produced two special watches to mark the team’s 50th anniversary.
Air Zermatt employs 65 people and operates nine helicopters across three bases in the beautiful Valais region of Switzerland, which is famous for its towering peaks, including the Matterhorn. It’s a long way from the service’s humble beginnings with one helicopter, one pilot and one mechanic in 1968. In fact, the service is now so famous that it is the subject of a streaming series. Following the team throughout a typical season carrying out critical rescue operations, ‘The Horn’ is available globally and gives a unique insight into the team’s daily work.
Gerold Biner (Air Zermat CEO and pilot)
It seemed fitting that Hamilton would produce special edition watches for this dedicated team of aviation professionals. The Khaki X-Wind Auto Chrono Air Zermatt Limited Edition houses the H-21-Si, the first Hamilton chronograph movement with a silicon hairspring. This material makes the movement more precise as silicon is non-magnetic and less sensitive to shocks. The former is an important feature for pilots because they often stay in environments with high magnetic fields, such as airports. In addition, the movement has been precision certified by COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres) as a chronometer.
The difference is in the detail
Just 100 pieces of the Limited Edition Air Zermatt watch were made. 50 pieces were presented to the Air Zermatt team and the remaining 50 were made available for sale exclusively in Switzerland. In addition to limited edition numbering, each watch bears the name and serial number of one of Air Zermatt’s helicopters from the past 50 years, or one of the service’s main landing spots to differentiate it, making each piece unique.
The watch also features the Air Zermatt logo on the metal rivets of the leather strap and on the counterweight of the second hand. The team’s distinctive bright blue glacial accents are featured throughout the multilevel black dial, while the characteristic X-shape visible between the pushers and crowns surrounding the case completes the sporty look.
The Khaki Pilot Day Date is the second Air Zermatt special edition. The ultra-readable black dial with contrasting numerals and indexes in blue Super-LumiNova® ensures accurate dial reading even during night flights, while the H-40 automatic movement with 80-hour power reserve makes sure the watch is always ready to fly.
These watches are the fourth and fifth that Hamilton and Air Zermatt as aviation innovators have developed together following the Khaki Flight Timer and two Khaki Takeoff. They represent the strength of our partnership and Hamilton’s commitment to serving the flying community.