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Hamilton X-Mach - A Modern Tribute to Aviation and Speed

by Marco 26 January, 2010 View Comments

What kind of "American Brand" would Hamilton be if it did not obsess with aeroplanes and speed? The company has an entire family of watches that are dedicated to flight, containing some popular models like the X-Wind and X-Copter. The newest addition to the Aviation family of watches is the X-Mach; able to calculate your Mach number (how fast you are going relevant to the speed of sound). I would love to hear stories of individuals putting this function to the test in real life while I will be content to measure what Mach number I am able to reach on my flight simulator.

The calculation of the Mach number is done directly on the 44mm, stainless steel case of the Hamilton X-Mach. It is equipped with two rotating bezels and several graduated scales that act like a slide rule. After the pilot sets certain static data such as pressure altitude, International Standard Atmosphere and calibrated air speed the Mach speed is revealed. I am certainly not the only one that is unfamiliar with these terms, but there is a lot to appreciate about this watch aside from its calculations.

One thing I prefer on X-Mach over its predecessor - the X-Wind - is that it has one less crown. While it is fun to learn about and tinkering with the Aviation watches' functions - and fantasize about one day putting them into practice - it is less confusing and more comfortable to have less crowns. Both crowns on the Khaki X-Mach are screw-locking and have a modern, slanted grip pattern engraved on them. The clous de Paris or hobnail elements on the side of the case are nice, sporty touches without being too conspicuous.

Other important features of the X-Mach include the ETA 7750 calibre automatic movement which is partially visible through the back of the watch case. This infamous mechanism is a testament to Swiss manufacturing quality. It offers chronograph, day, and date functions that are displayed on the X-Mach's multi-level, two-tone dial. The fact that the time is easy to read regardless of all the markings on the dial is a sign of good design. In my opinion Hamilton has consistently improved their watch dial designs since we became an official retailer. An other aspect that has gotten better are the straps. The X-Mach offers offers the option of several choice straps like the leather and carbon fibre band that comes with the black PVD model or the padded leather strap on the stainless steel version.

Measuring how much faster you are going then the speed of sound is probably not something you will do often. The true attraction to the Hamilton X-Mach is the instrumental style, quality, and great value. The innovative use of the bezel is more important as a distinguishing feature that will be appreciated by pilots or aviation aficionados. Overall the Khaki X-Mach shows me that Hamilton's designers are on the ball and that the company is dedicated to its aviation-loving fans.

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