It seems we’re in a bit of a phase where we’re seeing watches being released to celebrate specific planes from military history. Last week we saw the P-51 Mustang getting honored, and now it’s the hyper-sonic, rocket-propelled X-15 getting in the jumpseat, with the launch of the Kickstarter campaign for the Aeromat X-15.
Now, it’s one thing for a watch to pull some design inspiration from a plane. The Aeromat X-15 does that, with a dial pulling from the instruments, a seconds hand that mirrors the profile of the plane, and the turn and slip indicators from the plane showing up on the sight window on the caseback. Wrap it all up in a titanium case and bezel (that reminds me of a Victorinox design a bit), and there you go.
They turned the dial up on the Aeromat X-15 to 11, however. To do that, they went and got the backing of Major General Joe Engle, the last living test pilot of the X-15 (and an astronaut). Engle’s signature appears on the caseback, as do the two stars that denote his rank. I mean, if you’re going to lend some credibility to a plane-inspired watch, you can’t do much better than getting the person on board who flew one of them.
As I mentioned, you’ve got a titanium case which – along with the sapphire crystal – means you’ll have a light and tough wrapper protecting the NH35A movement, which keeps things running and also helps keep pricing down (more on that in a movement). While the case is blocky, the dial brings some elegance to the package, with textured finishes and applied (and lumed) indices. It makes for a clean look, if not entirely original. Again, this feels like something we’d see from Victorinox. That’s good company to be in, sure, but it’s not entirely unique (aside from the association with Engle).
That all said, the Aeromat X-15 is a very affordable offering, especially considering you’ve got titanium and sapphire in the mix. For launch day (which is today), you can back oe for $198; after that, the earlybird pricing pops up to $265 (which still is a pretty decent price). You can check it all out – and back your own if you like – over at kickstarter.com and aeromatwatches.com
Tech Specs from Aeromat
- Titanium T2 case and bezel; 44mm by 13mm thick
- Hands: sword-shaped hours/minutes and custom X-15 second hand
- Movement: NH35A
- WR: 100m
- Dial: applied indexes
- Lume: Super-Luminova on indexes and hands
- Crystal: sapphire with AR coating