Founded in 1892, the originally American Hamilton Watch Company started out producing pocket watches in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, becoming known for their precise railroad watches.  In 1914, the brand started to supply the US Armed Forces and here made the pivotal switch to making wristwatches instead of pocket watches. The brand’s first foray into aviation in 1918 when it became the first company to have its aeronautical watch accompany the first American airmail postal service from Washington DC to New York was the start of its long service to military aviation. It became a supplier to the US Armed Forces during World War II, supplying the US Forces with a total of one million timepieces, guiding many pilots towards their destination. By 1930, the brand was already well-known for their precise aviation timepieces. 

the modern Ventura

The company then went on to create the first electric battery operated watch, the Ventura that had a unique futuristic look designed by Richard Arbib. At this point, other Hamilton watches had already made several appearances on Hollywood—and perhaps most notably, the Ventura graced the wrist of Rock and Roll legend, Elvis Presley on the movie Blue Hawaii—catapulting it to new heights.   

The Hamilton watch company was also to SSIH in 1974, which eventually became the Swatch Group. It continued creating futuristic designs, coming up with the industry’s first digital electronic watch. But by 1980, it returned to classic pieces. In 2003, the brand transferred  headquarters and production from the US to Switzerland. It then strengthened its roots in aviation by involving itself in aerobatics and the world of air racing. It also continued appearing on-screen in famous films like The Martian, Men in Black, Interstellar, and more. In the 2016 film, Independence Day: Resurgence, the Khaki X-Wind Automatic Chronograph was the watch that the film’s lead, Liam Hemsworth wore as the pilot Jake Morrison.

Now, we’ll take a closer look at the X-Wind Automatic Chronograph and its sibling, the Khaki X-Wind Day Date Automatic. The two timepieces share the same DNA and design, with the exception of the first having a chronograph complication while the other does not. And more than being famous on Hollywood, these come with a whole lot of heritage and history.  

Being a pilot’s watch, first and foremost, they are highly legible and are large, chunky watches. Probably not for everyone, as those with slender wrists might not enjoy wearing it but these eye-candy watches are worth appreciating anyway. The X-Wind Automatic Chronograph has a 44mm case with a 22mm lug width while the X-Wind Day Date Automatic with a slightly larger 45mm case with a 22mm lug width. They are fitted with three crowns and the bezel rotates bi-directionally. Both also include a drift angle calculator, which is controlled by the two crowns on the right side and allows aviators to calculate the effect of wind on one’s planned route. The crown on the left side adjusts the time and date and the two polished chrono pushers beside it serve to complete the look. On the underside of the X-wind Automatic Chronograph, you can find a clear window displaying the H-21 movement that powers both timepieces and it has a power reserve of 60 hours. The X-Wind Day Date Automatic, on the other hand, has a H-30 movement and an 80-hour power reserve.  

The dial is painted a matte black and has large numeric indexes coated in SuperLuminova. With large sword-style hands filled with the same luminous coating, everything is easy to see even at just a quick glance. The X-Wind Auto Chronograph gets the same coating on the chronographs

Both are paired with a black or tan leather strap with two steel buttons at the top of both to finish the watches’ bold look.