Hamilton renews partnership with Smartflyer, a pioneer of sustainable, electric-powered air exploration
Authentic heritage in the world of mechanical watches is often concerned with celebrations of the past, but at Hamilton, we’re equally focused on creating the future. We brought the world the first electrically powered wristwatch in 1957 and the first digital wristwatch in 1970, and we were part of the project that created the first automatic chronograph in 1969. Innovation is in our veins.
Today, we still believe in supporting and working with those who share our pioneering spirit. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce the renewal of our partnership with smartflyer ltd, an exciting enterprise at the frontier of sustainable air travel. With its ground-breaking hybrid-electric aircraft, smartflyer is writing a new chapter in the story of aviation, a subject of huge importance to us.
We recognized early that flight would be a revolution and in 1918, built our first aviation wristwatches for the pilots of the original U.S. Airmail service. We’ve been supporting the pioneers of the skies since that moment and have produced watches for some of the world’s most famous air forces and most talented aviators, while our watches continue to be embraced by pilots and flying enthusiasts across the globe.
DISRUPTING THE SKIES
Today, new technologies and new environmental priorities are set to transform that world, and Hamilton, by partnering with smartflyer, will be in the vanguard of the revolution.
Founded in 2016 by professional pilot Rolf Stuber, and based in Grenchen, Switzerland, smartflyer’s 21-strong team is developing the aircraft of tomorrow. With its propeller mounted on top of its tail fin, the four-seater SFX1 is an aircraft like no other, and with a range of 800 km (almost 500 miles) and a cruise speed of about 220 km/h (138 mph), it
produces an amazing 50% less carbon dioxide than a traditional plane. That’s because thrust production is purely electric and therefore almost emission-free, meaning take-off and landing are performed electrically. During flight, a range extender generates necessary electrical energy via a small combustion engine which drives a generator.
The SFX1 is also much quieter than traditional planes, making flying a far more pleasant experience for passengers. Furthermore, its high efficiency and minimal fuel consumption are projected to bring down operating costs tremendously. In the world of aerospace, these are game-changing considerations.
Today, the smartflyer is an award-winning proof of concept: following approval in Spring 2020 by the Swiss civil aviation authority, the hybrid-electric engine is currently being built, and the first flight is expected for 2023.
“With multiple technical challenges to overcome, achieving our first flight in 2023 won’t be an easy task,” says smartflyer Founder Rolf Stuber. “But we’re confident in our team and truly believe that SFX1 is the plane of the future.”
“For over a century, we’ve acted as co-pilot to daring aviators and we’re excited to continue our legacy of innovation by partnering with smartflyer,” says Hamilton CEO Vivian Stauffer. “Just as Hamilton’s pioneering spirit inspires us to push the limits of watchmaking, the sky will only be the beginning for the revolutionary SFX1. With a shared focus on precision, we’ll take this cutting-edge technology from the drawing board to aerospace itself.”
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