There hasn’t been a time in human history when the idea of flight hasn’t fascinated us. We have always looked to the sky in wonder for inspiration and to ponder the eternal questions. In our modern age, where commercial airline travel is more an annoyance than a thrill, it’s easy to forget the romance that is baked into flying. It’s one powerful way that we can reverse what nature intended, and reach for something greater.*
Dario Costa is an Italian race and aerobatic pilot, and it would be fair to say the romance of flight is not lost on him, not in the least. Costa has been fascinated with flying since childhood, and made his first solo flight at 16. It was always a childhood dream of his to fly. “Now the appeal is the speed,” he says, “The freedom and peace I feel up there every time I fly.”

Dario Costa.

Costa was a natural choice to team up with filmmaker Jacob Sutton for Dreams of Flight, a stunning short film featuring Dario speeding above Namibian dunes, doing barrel rolls and other precision maneuvers, culminating in a heart stopping climb toward the heavens, followed by a breathtaking glide offscreen with the engine cut out.

Hamilton’s Khaki X-Wind aviation watches are a natural pairing for Costa and his thrilling, high speed, aerobatic flights. Like any good pilot’s watch, the Khaki X-Wind is highly legible, giving Costa an immediate sense of time at a glance. More importantly, the Khaki X-Wind features a drift-angle calculator, a feature that allows Costa to make critical calculations that enable him to do what he does.

“In simple words,” he tells us, “drift angle is the effect of wind on your planned route.” If this information isn’t taken into account and corrected immediately, successful navigation is impossible. “You calculate the drift angle based on your speed, your flight direction, wind speed and wind direction. Once you have these measurements you reverse it to get your wind correction angle and then add or subtract this to get back to your planned route direction.” Hamilton’s Khaki X-Wind is one of the first wristwatches to include a mechanism for making these calculations, and it’s one of the many things that enables Costa to perform the incredibly challenging stunts he is known for.
Regardless of your own specific needs and tastes, there’s probably a Khaki X-Wind model that can fit in with your life. The Khaki X-Wind Day Day Automatic is a highly legible traditional aviator’s watch, with the notable addition, of course, of the drift-angle calculator. With a reliable mechanical caliber that provides the day and date in addition to the time in a highly legible fashion, the Khaki X-Wind Day Date Automatic with a brilliant dial is a great option for a traditionalist who wants something with a bit of a twist.
If you need a watch that’s even more fully featured, the Khaki X-Wind GMT Chrono Quartz offers the same drift-angle functionality as its mechanical sibling, but with the addition of a chronograph and a second time zone. At 46mm, the Khaki X-WInd GMT Chrono Quartz has plenty of wrist presence and the classic aviation inspired looks you’d expect, but uses the flexibility of quartz technology to load this watch with practical utility.

The Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Day Date Auto – $1,145

The Hamilton Khaki X-Wind GMT Chrono Quartz – $995

Regardless of the Khaki X-Wind on your wrist, you’ll be wearing an attractive watch with a lot of heritage. Hamilton, after all, has been producing watches designed for pilots for decades, first in the United States, and now in Switzerland. There’s an undeniable appeal to a great pilot’s watch, even if you’re never in the cockpit yourself. But for a skilled aviator like Dario Costa, these watches are tools that help him do his job each and every day.

“Making this film was one of the best, but most challenging experiences of my entire life,” Costa tells us, reminiscing about the Namibian shoot, and its many obstacles. High winds, sand, fog, and daytime temperatures in excess of 100 degrees were some of the issues faced by Costa, Sutton, and crew. The complex shoot involved a helicopter crew, another crew on the ground, plus the use of cameras mounted to the fuselage of Costa’s plane. The result, knitted together, is immensely satisfying for Costa. “It was one more of my dreams coming true.”
Costa sees a universal message in Dreams of Flight, not relegated specifically to aviation. “The film is an emotional journey about spending your life chasing a dream until it comes true,” he says. “We hope to inspire people to chase their dreams no matter the barriers. And, we hope to reach an audience unfamiliar with aviation and show them how thrilling flight can be.”
Dreams of Flight does just that. It’s impossible to watch Costa’s exploits and not marvel at the dedication and sheer craft involved achieving his vision. For Costa, Hamilton’s Khaki X-Wind will remain a reminder of the precision and care needed to accomplish his goals as a pilot.

The post The Hamilton Khaki X-Wind and Dreams of Flight appeared first on Worn & Wound.