Most of us can only dream of how it might feel to experience the freedom, adrenalin and exhilaration of aerobatic flight. For Nicolas Ivanoff, it’s his job, his dream and his destiny. This is the story of Hamilton’s partnership with a very unusual pilot.
Twisting, turning, soaring, swooping, diving and looping: Aerobatics is the ultimate test of split-second timing, of a pilot’s reflexes, his instinct and daring. Having 25m (82 ft) high inflatable pylons hurtle towards you at 370km/h (230 mph), is definitely not for the faint hearted. So, it’s a surprise to hear that his initial reaction to flying a CAP 10 aerobatic plane for the first time was not exhilaration, but anger: “I was angry at myself for not getting into this sport sooner,” he explains.
It’s a typically untypical response from one of the leading lights of the aerobatic world. The ‘Quick Corsican’ as he’s known is a laid back and relaxed personality, which stands in direct contrast to the technical focus and split-second timing he displays on the course. It’s clear that it takes a special kind of person to step into a plane and perform in front of thrilled and entertained audiences the same way that most of us go and sit behind a desk every day.
But it’s exactly this balance, his approach to life and his world-class aerobatic career that makes Nicolas the ideal brand ambassador for Hamilton. Swiss precision and American spirit are values essential to Hamilton and Nicolas embodies both qualities with his attitude and outlook.
Believing that everything is possible and that there are no limitations while relying on precise measurements and timing to ensure success and safety is an interesting juxtaposition that has made Nicolas a star in his chosen sport.
It’s refreshing to hear Nicolas talk of the creativity required to fly at such speed. “It’s like drawing in the sky,” he says. He is also now starting to prepare his legacy by passing on his skills and teaching a new generation of aviators how to express themselves in the air.
With more than 7,000 flying hours and almost 6,000 aerobatic flying hours under his belt, there are few who can compete with Nicolas’s track record or his unique insight into life in the cockpit. It’s this experience that has helped Hamilton to develop such innovative timepieces as the Khaki X-Wind with drift angle calculator and the Khaki Chrono Worldtimer with the exclusive H-41e GMT movement.
Each model was developed in close collaboration with Nicolas and provides the reliability and readability world-class pilots require.
Given that Hamilton and Nicolas share a passion for aviation as well as a similar outlook, it’s no surprise that we’re celebrating more than a decade of collaboration and that Hamilton relies on Nicolas’s unique insights to help us develop, refine and perfect new innovations in aviation watch design. It’s a partnership that ensures adventure meets accuracy.