The connection between watches and aviation is strong and storied. Proof of this is that pilots are amongst the most active buyers of mechanical, luxury watches. Carbon fiber is often used in aerospace manufacturing thanks to its reinforcing properties. It is therefore always nice to see an aviation geared watch adorned with this material. The Hamilton X-Mach, which is named after its ability to calculate your Mach “speed,” balances quality, value, and looks to create the perfect luxury watch for carbon fiber and aviation enthusiasts.
Hamilton’s new leather band was conceived especially for the black PVD coated version of the X-MACH (reference H76686735). The carbon fiber stripe is lined with black croco-print leather, and grey stitching holds everything together. This combination makes for a stealthy, low contrast style, and the classic croco blends nicely with the modern carbon fiber. The carbon fiber completes the military, instrument-like style of this awesome piece.
The case of the watch is made with black PVD coated stainless steel and does not incorporate any carbon fiber. The sides of the case are decorated with a hobnail pattern that mirrors the effect of the carbon fiber on the strap. The overall look of the case coupled with the two-tone, black and silver dial is sombre and cool. The graduated, rotating bezel system enables the wearer to calculate the a moving vehicle’s Mach number using static data such as pressure altitude and calibrated air speed. This is more only an amusing feature to tinker with for most people, but adds to the overall look of the watch. In all, you are getting a modern, airplane instrument on your wrist.
One of the best things about a watch with a Swiss mechanical movement, especially the ETA 7750 caliber inside the X-Mach, is the feel of the watch. Since the movement is made almost purely of metal parts instead of the silicon and plastic of most quartz movements, it adds density. When wearing the watch, you feel the motion of the rotor winding the watch automatically, reminding you of the complex micro-mechanics going on within the 44mm case.
The Hamilton X-Mach is a serious timepiece, which offers a very well balanced, modern aviator style by mixing carbon fiber with black PVD coated steel, hobnail decoration, and a stealthy instrument-like dial. The CAN$2,295 (US$1,945)retail price does not reflect the high-end features of the X-Mack, which is comparable to some more expensive models such as the Breitling Navitimer or the IWC Spitfire Chronograph. The rotating bezel system, while functional, is more of a tribute to extreme speed and to the human spirit of innovation. It brings to mind hypersonic projects like Nasa’s Dryden X-15 and others.