On this July 4th, Hemel announces their new partnership with the United States Air Force. According to Marvin Menke, Founder, Owner and Operator of Hemel, “I’ve always said that nothing has driven horological innovation more than military need which is why I’ve always had that theme at the core of everything that Hemel does. To have this exciting opportunity to work with the greatest air power in the world is a truly unique honor.”

Hemel’s HFT20 mecaquartz chronograph has been the brand’s flagship time piece since it hit the market in 2017 and will lead the way for this special USAF collaboration. This watch is a reinvention of the mid-century chronographs issued to military pilots in an iconic form factor shaped out of 316L brushed stainless steel. The Special Edition Hemel x USAF HFT20 is offered in a choice of four case backs. The first form has at its center an advanced pilot helmet flanked by two lightning bolts. The second version features a flying F22 Raptor in silhouette. The next variation of the case back declares the Air Force’s mission objectives in Air, Space and Cyberspace within the backdrop of a constellation of stars and interconnected points which also form the silhouette of a jet. The final form is the Air Force’s declaration of its ethos by assembling words that describe the characteristics, spirit and culture shared by US Air Force personnel arranged in a square engraved into the steel of the case back. A Special Edition Thunderbirds case back is due later this year. The Thunderbirds are the air demonstration squadron of the US Air Force. The Thunderbirds tour the world performing precision aerial maneuvers and tightly synchronized aerial formations demonstrating American skill and air power. The squadron’s name is taken from a powerful spirit in the form of a bird that appears in the history of several indigenous North American cultures.

As with all Hemel watches, the case employs short, downward curved lugs for greater comfort among more wrists. The flat sapphire crystal is anti-reflective coated and the signed crown is diamond shaped for greater ease of operation particularly with gloved hands. Both the dials and the diamond cut steel hands along with the bezel are embedded with Superluminova C3. The straps are all hand crafted from Italian leather. As these straps age, they soften and darken while conforming to the wrist in much the same way a pair of rigid denim jeans conforms to each individual. Finally, the inclusion of a ceramic inlay for the 120 click uni-directional rotating bezel reasserts Hemel as an Extreme Value Proposition in the marketplace. The watch is basically the embodiment of forward motion and advancement which makes it the perfect watch to represent the US Air Force. The case back includes the watch’s specifications in an outer perimeter around the creative graphic design work.

The entire Hemel concept was born in New York at Hemel House, the brain child of Marvin Menke. Marvin is an F.I.T. graduate and design industry insider with thirty years experience. Hemel was originally the name of his design consultancy and the watches were initially meant to be a gift for his clients around the holidays or to mark special events. The more he shared the idea with friends and colleagues, the more they encouraged him to bring it to market. Hemel has been in the boutique watch industry since early 2016.

According to Marvin, “I’m really doing the same thing I always have, except now I’m my own client and as such I naturally have all this access to all my own experience in creative design and branding. This allows Hemel to be a truly holistic expression where all touchpoints have the single unifying factor of one creative mind; boutique design in a nutshell.”

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