The Red Bull Air Race World Championship has announced that its long-time partner Hamilton will be the new Global Timekeeper replacing long time sponsor Breitling. The American watch maker will kick off the new role at the season opener in Abu Dhabi February 10th and 11th. The race will be a celebratory event marking the diamond 75th Red Bull Air Race.
“The Red Bull Air Race and Hamilton have been partners for more than a decade and it seems fitting that our relationship will only deepen in 2017, the tenth season of the World Championship,” said Erich Wolf the General Manager of Red Bull Air Race. “Our two brands share a passion for aviation and a dedication to the highest standards. We’re looking forward to an exciting year of racing.”
Sylvain Dolla, Hamilton’s CEO commented, “Our brand has a prestigious history of serving the flying community, and this latest evolution in our partnership with the World Championship further strengthens our presence in aviation. Hamilton is taking aviation watches to new heights, and we’re proud to be the Official Timekeeper of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship 2017.”
Hamilton, founded in 1892 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, is known for combining the American spirit with the precision of Swiss movements and technologies. The brand is a member of the Swatch group, the largest watch manufacturer and distributor in the world. The company has been associated with the Red Bull Air Race since 2005, when Master Class pilot Nicolas Ivanoff of France took to the skies in their livery. A Corsican with Russian and Greek heritage, Ivanoff takes an artistic approach to flying, comparing it to “painting in the sky”. He became an aerobatic pilot in 1990 after having spent most of his adult life as a flight instructor at Corsica’s famous ‘Corse Voltige’ flying school. He joined the French Aerobatic Team seven years later and was a member of the French team that won the World Championships in Toulouse in 2000.
Hamilton will release a special edition watch this year, the Khaki Air Race. It will offer the distinctive styling and features of their popular Khaki Aviation line (seen above) in two unique versions – an Official Timekeeper design and a Team Hamilton-Ivanoff model.
Since Elvis wore their Ventura watch in 1961’s Blue Hawaii, Hamilton has built a strong foothold in Hollywood with products appearing in more than 450 films. All the astronauts and characters in 1968’s 2001: Space Odyssey wore various models. Meg Ryan wore their Boulton in City Of Angels, Russell Crowe the Wilshire in A Beautiful Mind, Will Smith & Tommy Lee Jones Venturas in Men In Black and Hilary Swank a Khaki Field Automatic in Amelia. Time played a critical role in the film Interstellar. Hamilton worked hand in hand with the production team to design a unique timepiece for the character Murph (played by Mackenzie Foy and Jessica Chastain), and provided the Khaki Pilot Day Date to outfit Cooper (played by Matthew McConaughey).
The brand most recently supported Living in the Age of Airplanes, from National Geographic Studios produced – directed by Brian J. Terwilliger (“One Six Right”), narrated by actor – pilot Harrison Ford and features an original score by the late James Horner Academy Award®-winning composer and pilot.(“Avatar,” “Titanic”). Sylvain Dolla, CEO of Hamilton International Ltd. said, “Hamilton has deep roots in aviation – and in filmmaking – so being a part of this documentary was a natural fit for our brand and our heritage. Our passion for aviation, movies and for timekeeping are brought together perfectly in Brian Terwilliger’s unique documentary that takes us on an exciting and inspiring journey through the wonder of flying.”
Hamilton has also built relationships with various squadrons like the Canadian Forces Jet Demonstration Team The Snowbirds, 123 Squadron – Korea, Patrulla Aspa – Spain, The Apache demonstration team – Netherlands and the Netherlands F16 demonstration team.