Introducing the Hamilton Khaki watch! A great rendering of the Hamilton name, that is one of the top field watches on the market. Field watches may not be as clearly defined as a diver watch or a pilot, there are some qualities that stand out such as the legibility, moderately sized case and hand winding mechanics are main indicators of a “field” watch. The Hamilton Khaki watch is a fantastic timepiece that is durable, functions well and is VERY affordable.
Brief History of Hamilton
Hamilton is one of those brands that has quite a history behind the name. Dating as far back as 1912. The Hamilton watch brand was so popular, that they were actually a supplier to the US Armed Forces. One of the main reasons this was so, was because Hamilton was headquartered in America. These were some of the best automatic watches actually made in the United States.
Hamilton watches continued to be made in the United States until 2003, when they moved their headquarters to Biel, Switzerland. Moving to Switzerland was a great choice for marketing because Swiss watches are known to be the best-made watches in the world. So taking a haul over to Europe may have been one of the best decisions the brand has made.
Design and Innovation
Purchasing a field watch is a great step into the watch collecting crew. These watches are a great “starter” watch, you can say, that feature durable cases and a classic, yet plain design. Since a field watch does not have really any specific purpose, well other than to tell the time of course! But don’t expect to climb Mount Everest or go scuba diving with this watch.
Like previously mentioned, the design of the Khaki is quite plain. The stainless steel case and black,(or green) dial, do give the watch a bold look. It’s definitely a watch with a military presence to it. This is true, especially, if you opt for a green dial with the green canvas strap.
The case is a nice size of 38mm. For this type of watch, it is a perfect sized case on any wrist, unless you have any relation to Sasquatch. With a case of this size, the time is very readable, but does not stick out on the wrist and offers a good fit and is quite comfortable. The crown has deep carvings that are very easy to grip and wind when in need. There are some models with a 44mm case. Opt for the larger 44mm case if you have superhero-sized wrists (just kidding), or if you prefer larger cases.
Hamilton uses a slightly domed sapphire crystal to protect the dial. I prefer the sapphire, to cheaper acrylics that are used for most watches around this price point. The sapphire is also scratch resistant, this feature is pretty reliable, but don’t go rubbing your watch on rocky surfaces and jagged edges just to make sure! I’d say it works great for a few falls, but its not the most durable crystal in the world! The watch also has a polished stainless steel bezel just complimenting the case and inner dial perfectly!
Green or Black Dial
Are you going green or are you going black? Or are you just going to get both?
If you want to know my opinion (and I know everyone wants to know that), I would go with black. The green watch is a dark, military, tank type color. Since I’m not out on the battlefield, or participating in any activity that involves camouflage or guns, I think black is more suiting for me. The black dial is handsome and goes with anything you decide to wear. Black dial watches just look great to. They create a bold look, and with the Hamilton Khaki, the black dial assists to make the large, white numerals and hands jump out of the watch.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some green. My goal is to make large sums of it everyday. But on a watch, I can’t say the same. This is not a watch I would wear out with any outfit. Maybe if I got it as a gift I would wear it out for hikes, but thats about it. The black dial, in contrast, can be worn with almost any casual outfit.
Now let it be known that the Khaki has both an automatic movement as well as a mechanical (self-winding) watch model. Both movements by Hamilton offer pretty good reliability. One of the only downsides, to some people, is the process of winding your watch with a mechanical. I, personally, actually find the mechanical to be very interesting and reliable. Just think, you are actually a reason why your watch is functioning properly, you might as well be a watch maker yourself!
Ok, I may have went to far with that one. But, its true. I do enjoy self winding watches.
Mechanical (Manual) Khaki
You can never go wrong with a self winding watch. You own the control. Now, this may be a downside to those who forget to wind their watches. So go for a manual wind if you are the type of person who runs of a to do list.
As for reliability, Hamilton did a good job on this one. At most you may be -4/+6 seconds off a day. So if you run off a schedule that has a meeting every fifth second, you may be late to some meetings. But if your a normal person, a few second difference a day is not drastic. You will notice the time keeping is great and reliable. At this price point you tend to find watches that need to be reset every other day. The Hamilton Khaki, on the other hand, has very precise hands!
The specifications of the inside of the watch are complex. A Swiss made ETA caliber 2804-2. Ranked as a mid-grade movement, I would call it an upper-mid grade piece. Many owners swear by the precision, so the movement is obviously more than a simple mid-grade. I would call most movements on Seiko watches to be mid-grade.
Simplicity is almost a must in modern day society. So stop lying to your self and just go with the automatic piece. Just imagine not having to wind a little crown up to 20 times at once! What are we in the Stone age?
All puns aside you do get a bit more precision on the Hamilton automatic pieces. Most of the automatic pieces are newer models, therefore, using more high-grade gear. The ETA caliber 2824-2 is known to many as a high class, top of the line movement.
It is a 25 Jewel movement that runs at 28,800 BPH. A BPH at this caliber is what you expect from an expensive Omega or Rolex, so just know you are getting quite the deal on this one!
Field watches are known to be durable, they were used in times of war, keep that in mind. So for everyday wear, expect your watch to be able and take on almost any activity you throw at it!
First off most of the time your Hamilton will a leather or canvas strap. Pros of having these types of bracelets are comfort, no scratches and a classic field watch look. Stainless steel bands are available for these watches, it is just not classic to wear this type of bracelet with your field watch, just know they do exist.
See, I told you.
The case is consistently durable, you have a strong stainless steel case and a scratch resistant sapphire crystal. The watch even has up to five meters of water resistance. Don’t expect to go swimming all the time,I would not recommend that. But it will definitely be fine in rain, shower or any other moderate water activities. I personally own a Rolex Submariner, that can withstand much more water, yet I still take it off when I shower. Just respect your watch.
So overall the Hamilton Khaki models are durable. I’d say to purchase a few Hamilton khaki bands, so that your bracelets stay in good condition and you can swap them out on a regular basis.
Why You Should Buy A Hamilton Khaki
In no way is the Hamilton Khaki one of my favorite watches. But thats not saying much because I have expensive taste in watches. However, for the price of Hamilton Khaki models, I do recommend these timepieces. They use great movements inside the watch for spot on reliability, a decent look, a bit plain but with a bold classic feel to it. At the end of the day the Hamilton Khaki models are field watches. Their purpose being to provide users with accurate time, while being able to be worn throughout the day in many causal and extracurricular activities.
When it comes down to which exact model is the best.I’ll leave that to you. In my opinion, the Hamilton Khaki reference H70555533 automatic.
Since the Khaki is so affordable, I may decide to add this watch above to my collection. It can definitely be worn as an everyday watch while I am out biking or hiking.
Whats your favorite Hamilton Khaki model?