Hamilton is one of those brands that holds a special place in almost every watch collector’s heart. Although they are now under the Swatch umbrella, their roots began in America. While the brand no longer is an American watch company and their dials proudly proclaim “Swiss Made” their designs are still American influenced.
The Khaki Field Mechanical is no exception. In the 1940’s Hamilton stopped producing watches for consumers and switched to Military production wrist watches. These watches were meant to be worn on the field of battle, hence the name – Khaki Field. This watch is a call back to those roots. The dial is simple to read, not too flashy and above all else – built like a tank. These traits were what made the Khaki Field so reliable in the past. These same traits are what make it such a great watch today.
New, but Old
This Khaki Field is the version that was created in 2017. It features a no frills, but reliable hand winding movement. The ETA 2801-2 that powers the Khaki Field winds easily and provides that satisfying feedback manual wind users will love. This movement ticks along at 28,800 vibrations per hour, giving the watch a smooth sweeping seconds hand. The stock strap provided on the Khaki Field is one of Hamilton’s own NATO straps and is a nice strap that matches the utilitarian vibes of the watch. The textile material is soft with rugged looking leather accents. Each dial variation of the Khaki Field comes with a different color strap that compliments the dial.
The 38mm case of the Khaki Field Mechanical is bead blasted stainless steel that still has some warmth to it. While the case is a matte finish, it shines in bright or direct light. Drilled lug holes complete the field watch necessities of the case and will allow you to quickly and easily change straps if the NATO strap isn’t for you. The matte finished dial is simple, easily readable and lends itself well to the aged lume that is applied. The larger 12-hour scale on the outside of the dial is complemented with an inner 24 hour scale that will allow the wearer to quickly rattle off Military time if need be.
A quick search on the internet for this watch will call it “The Perfect Weekend Watch.” It most certainly is. I wore this watch mowing my lawn, going out to dinner and lounging around the house. It never feels out of place or that I should have been wearing something else. The original Khaki Field watches didn’t have the modern technology this one has but this still feels like an old watch…in a good way. You get all the joy of a vintage watch without the risk. I never had to worry about scratching the crystal (sapphire) or shocking the movement.
My one gripe about this watch is the lack of a screw down crown. If this watch had a screw down crown to give it more water resistance, it could be one of the best all-around watches. Personally, I don’t believe adding a screw down crown would have added much to the cost of the watch. Even if it did, people would still be buying it in droves. Aside from that, it still is a wonderful all-around watch. Throw this watch on a leather strap and it can pass for a dress watch. Put it on a NATO in summertime for comfort from the heat. Wear it to the office, wear it to travel…you’re not going to go wrong. The Khaki has its roots in the field, but it has graduated beyond the field to wherever you can take it.
More images of the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical
Check out the Hamilton Watches website