Gadget Review: Halda Watch Co. Race Pilot

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The famed Halda Watch Company of Sweden is introducing a new convertible into the market for high-dollar racing watches. There’s a twist to this beauty’s black titanium frame: it accepts both a gorgeous mechanical movement as well as a high-tech digital chronometer for racing lap times and three-axis g-force readings.

The concept of two watches serving different purposes enhances the authenticity of the product for a realistic racing tie-in. The digital portion, or the Racing Module, is pre-loaded with full maps of the world’s 150 top racetracks, like Suzuka in Japan and Silverstone in England. The digital face is also perfectly useful in real life via reconfigurable display settings to deliver all the critical watch functions plus a few extra, like a super-loud alarm amplifier to be heard over racing engines.

Offered as a single watch or the pair of faces, the new Race Module also clips into Halda’s existing flagship watch, the Space Discovery.

Please click past the jump for the full gadget review of the Halda Race Pilot.


Gadget Review: Halda Watch Co. Race Pilot

This is no Casio, folks. With a 45 mm (1.77-inch) face size - excluding the buttons - the Halda Race Pilot fits in with the new cool in oversized men’s watches. Other players in this segment include Hublot , Shinola and Bell & Ross, whose primary BR line of mechanical movement watches are 46 mm (1.81 inches) across. The mechanical module is average in thickness at 17.6 mm (0.69 inches), with the Race Module a hair thinner.

These dimensions mean an adjustment period if you’ve never worn a big watch before. The unusual sensation fades and you learn the procedure to button your cuffs over it.

The watch is held in place by an ultra-sleek band of comfortable rubber sweeping into the brushed titanium band-mounts beside the baseplate. Without a module inserted there’s no watch at all, just skin. This pared-down aesthetic keeps the already-oversized watch from becoming a nuisance.

The face modules are the real showstoppers. The Race Module’s faceplate is a black liquid-crystal porthole behind ultra-strong domed sapphire crystal and flanked by large color-coded stop/start buttons on the side. When displaying info, the LED-lit LCD displays large-font, legible dot matrices of blue-green that are highly visible at all times, thanks to an automatic adjustment based on ambient brightness.

The Mechanical Module is the version for post-race celebrations. It has a really chunky and tough appearance to match its oversized and raised time numerals. The hour and minute hands are “skeletonized” to include a viewing hole inside the tiny space and their design recalls the functionality of a racecar’s chassis.

The hands and the displays are coated in Superluminova - a phosphorescent glowing paint. Additional dials and displays don’t mar the clean face of the module because they are sunken slightly from the uppermost numbers and hands.

The back side of the Mechanical Module is clear, offering a special glimpse at its moving parts.

The Good

  • Really unique and striking watch designs in both modes
  • Big but not too big
  • Comfortable band is made of super-strong rubber

The Bad

  • Style may not suit everyone
  • Big size can be a challenge with tight-cuffed shirts
  • Little kids love big watches – you might have to let them try it on


Gadget Review: Halda Watch Co. Race Pilot

The functional elements of the Halda Race Pilot are hard to fault. With both modules covering the bases pretty thoroughly, the only wish is for all the info all the time.

Addressing concerns about the interchangeable modules popping out by accident, Halda has a patented clasp system to lock in the modules. For anyone that’s owned a watch that had interchangeable modules, you’ll be thankful for that; there’s nothing more annoying than the module popping out and shattering into a billion pieces…

The Race Module offers a variety of stunning features on its favorite tracks. The three-button setup means scrolling through track menus and other settings in Halda’s custom operating system is simple.

The Race Module can determine altitude, speed, lap times of two cars separately, g-forces, a race countdown and FIA-spec F1 Formation Lap timers. These last two functions help ensure you know the exact time remaining before the next race or the next driving assignment. The battery-powered Race Module has a minimum two-year lifespan before a battery change.

Racing Module Functions:

  • Racetrack: Featuring information from 150 of the world’s most popular racetracks
  • Race Chronograph: Measuring lap time and average speed of two cars simultaneously with accuracy down to 1/100 of a second
  • Countdown to race: Time remaining to next race displayed with days, hours, minutes and seconds.
  • FIA Formula 1 Countdown: Warning system of time remaining until Formation Lap, according to the Formula 1 regulations of Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)
  • Dual time: Showing local time and preferred world time as well as day, date and week Battery lifetime and software version is also visible within this function
  • World Timer: UTC and DST, with ability to display time and time zone of the 193 countries connected to UN.
  • Alarm Clock: With possibility of setting the alarm to sound once, every day or weekdays (Reveille)
  • Timer: 24 hour timer
  • G-Force: Three axis accelerometer measuring G-forces in three different directions.
  • Backlight: Integrated automatic light sensor
  • Alarm Signal: Case-back with a resonance system for amplified sound level and with a sound profile with frequencies between of 2,5 –8 kHz
  • Perpetual Calendar: Day, date, year and week indicator.
  • Power Save Mode with battery reserve indicator.

Included Racetracks:

CountryShort name - FIAName
USAAustinCircuit of The Americas
USADaytonaDaytona International Speedway
USAIndianapolisIndianapolis Motor Speedway
USANew JerseyPort Imperial Street Circuit
USARoad AtlantaRoad Atlanta
USALaguna SecaLaguna Seca
USACharlotte SpwCharlotte Motor Speedway
USAHomesteadHomestead-Miami Speedway
USATalladegaTalladega Superspeedway
USAWatkins GWatkins Glen
S PetersburgSt Petersburg
USABarber MPBarber Motorsports Park
USALong BeachLong Beach
USABelle IsleDetroit Belle Isle
USATexas M SpwTexas Motor Speedway
USAMilwaukeeMilwaukee Mile
USAIowaIowa Speedway
USALime RockLime Rock
USARoad AmericaRoad America
USAVirginia IRVirginia International Raceway
USANew JerseyNew Jersey Motorsports Park
ArgentinaBuenos AireAutodromo Juan y Oscar Galvez
ArgentinaSan LuisSan Luis Potrero de los Funes
AustraliaBathurstBathurst (Mount Panorama Circuit)
AustraliaMelbourneMelbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Albert Park
AustraliaAdelaideAdelaide Street Circuit
AustraliaPhillip IslPhillip Island
AustraliaSurfers ParSurfers Paradise Street Circuit
AustraliaSymmons PlaSymmons Plains Raceway
AustraliaBarbagalloBarbagallo Raceway
AustraliaHidden ValHidden Valley Raceway
AustraliaTownsvilleTownsville Street Circuit
AustraliaQueenslandQueensland Raceway
AustraliaEastern CreSydney Motorsport Park
AustraliaSandownSandown Raceway
AustraliaSydney OPHomebush Street Circuit
AustriaSalzburg RSalzburgring
AustriaRed Bull RRed Bull-ring
BahrainBahrainBahrain International Circuit
BelgiumSpaCircuit de Spa-Francorchamps
BelgiumZolderCircuit Zolder
BrazilInterlagosAutodromo Jose Carlos Pace (Interlagos)
BrazilBrasiliaAutodromo Internacional Nelson Piquet
BrazilSao PauloSao Paulo Street Circuit
CanadaVilleneuveCircuit Gilles Villeneuve
CanadaTorontoHonda Indy Toronto
CanadaEdmontonEdmonton Indy
CanadaM TremblantMont Tremblant
CanadaMosportMosport Park
Czech RepublicBrnoBrno
Czech RepublicMostMost
ChinaShanghaiShanghai International Circuit
ChinaMacauGuia Circuit, Macau
DenmarkJyllands RJyllandsringen
EnglandSilverstoneSilverstone Circuit
EnglandBrands HBrands Hatch
EnglandDoningtonDonington Park
EnglandGoodwoodGoodwood Motorsport
FranceBugattiCircuit Bugatti
FranceMagny CoursCircuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
FranceLe MansCircuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans
FrancePauPau Arnos
FrancePaul RicardPaul Ricard
FranceVal VienneVal de Vienne
GermanyLausitzringEurospeedway Lausitz
GermanyNürburg GPNurburgring, GP-circuit
GermanyNürburg NSNurburgring, Nordschleife
India Buddh ICBuddh International Circuit
Isle of ManSnaefell MCSnaefell Mountain Course
IrelandMondelloMondello Park
ItalyImolaAutodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola
ItalyMonzaAutodromo Nazionale Monza
ItalyFioranoFiorano (Ferraris testbana…)
JapanSuzukaSuzuka Circuit
JapanFujiFuji Speedway
JapanMotegiTwin-Ring Motegi
KoreaKorean ICKorean International Circuit
MalaysiaSepang ICSepang International Circuit
MoroccoMarrakechStreet circuit
MexicoGuadalajaraAutodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
MonacoMonacoCircuit de Monaco
New ZealandHamptonHampton Downs
New ZealandPukekohePukekohe
NorwayMo i RanaArctic Circle Raceway
PortugalPortoCircuit da Boavista, Porto
PortugalPortimaoAlgarve Circuit
PortugalEstorilEstoril Circuit
RussiaMoscowMoscow Raceway
RussiaSochi OPCSochi Olympic Park Circuit
SlovakiaSlovakia RSlovakia Ring
South AfricaKyalamiKyalami
South AfricaDurbanDurban
South AfricaGosforthGosforth Park
South AfricaZwartkopsZwartkops
SpainAscariAscari Race Resort
SpainBarcelonaCircuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
SpainValencia GPValencia Street Circuit
SpainValenciaCircuit Ricardo Tormo Valencia
SpainAragonMotorland Aragon
SingaporeMarina BayMarina Bay Street Circuit
SwedenGöteborgGöteborg City Arena
TurkeyIstanbulIstanbul Park
United Arab EmiratesDubaiDubai Autodrome
United Arab EmiratesYas MarinaYas Marina

These alarms seem specially designed for Kimi Raikkonen , who is famous for taking long naps and waking just before the action.

In dress-up mode, this is a mechanical watch that self-winds based on movement. On the Mechanical Module, Halda provides an additional 60-second chronograph, the perpetual calendar’s date display and power reserve dial. This takes the guesswork out of running a mechanical watch, which can lose accuracy as the power reserve goes empty.

The Good

  • Cool track chronograph and speed functions
  • Mechanical Module’s power reserve dial
  • Multiple levels of super-loud alarms and countdowns

The Bad

  • Limited data logging functionality without computer or Bluetooth uplink
  • Mechanical watches go dead a lot if not worn recently and the time has to be re-set.

Pricing, Compatibility and Availability

Gadget Review: Halda Watch Co. Race Pilot

The Mechanical Module is available in three watch-face finishes: silver, gunmetal or black Superluminova. Silver looks most flashy while the others are decidedly more understated.

This is one exclusive watch. Available by special order only, the watch purchase and maintenance process is very luxurious from the trusted brand.

Complete Halda Race Pilot with both modules $18,400
Halda Race Pilot - Race Module and docking band $9800
Halda Race Pilot - Mechanical Module with docking band $12,800

Target Buyer

Gadget Review: Halda Watch Co. Race Pilot

The target buyer is likely a gentleman racer, the type competing in FIA events like the privateer teams running Ferraris at Le Mans. These guys will appreciate the dual functionality of the watch and may embrace its design as well. Longtime F1 spectacle Flavio Briatore comes to mind.

The Halda Race Pilot watch is a conversation piece off the track and a helpful and super-accurate chronograph on the tracks in its memory.


Gadget Review: Halda Watch Co. Race Pilot

The Halda Race Pilot meets the current market demand for authentic racing products. Far more than a marketing tie-in, the Race Module of this watch would be extremely helpful for training purposes and for monitoring individual lap times from inside the race cockpit.

In terms of purity and fitness for purpose, the Race Pilot scores a big hit. As handsome as the Mechanical Movement is, sticking to the Race Module might become a full-time habit.

The Race Pilot is a deep, dark mysterious watch. No, it doesn’t have a phone or a heart rate monitor, but it will certainly quicken your pulse.

Press Release

Gadget Review: Halda Watch Co. Race Pilot

Halda launches the first real racing watch – with an engine from Zenith

With a strong conviction of never compromising and the refusal of doing anything but the best, Halda Watch Co has yet again developed a watch that challenges the most reputable timepiece manufacturers.

The Halda Race Pilot is based on the unique Halda concept which consists of two interchangeable time modules that can be docked into a time platform at the owner’s preference. Each module is developed for optimum performance in its respective environment. That is why Halda watches deliver superior functionality.

Gadget Review: Halda Watch Co. Race Pilot

The Race Module was developed in close cooperation with race drivers and is equipped with sophisticated technology that really makes a difference in professional racing. The watch is programmed with high-tech functions such as the Race Pilot software, a set of advanced Racing Chronograph and Countdown algorithms referring to FIA Formula 1 regulations.

The Mechanical Module stands for the link to the past, celebrating Halda’s history and passion for mechanical movements. It has a design inspired by the racing community and is equipped with one of the best engines one can find: a caliber produced by one of the world’s most renowned manufacturers – Zenith. The self-winding movement features a power reserve indicator and has been beautifully decorated with Côtes de Genève and Clous de Paris. For those moments aside the race track, the mechanical module completes the Halda Race Pilot perfectly, without any compromise in design, function or quality.

What is your take?

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