The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze watch hands-on
Bronze watches are definitely "a commodity". Once introduced as stand-out premium luxury options, bronze cases (with bracelet, too) are as ordinary as it gets, spreading top to medium luxury timepieces, and accessible luxury whose price tag stops under one thousand euros; proof positive is the new Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze, as far as mainstream brands concern. When it comes to engineering a bronze alloy, there's bronze and bronze, depending on the brand's mission and target to achieve. Whatever the engineered solution, we can't avoid praising Hamilton Watch for offering a bronze watch whose sticker price is under 800 euros. What usually looks like the final thought of an ordinary review is the most relevant take out, instead.
With that said, the second topic I'd pick adds to the pluses of any Khaki Field Mechanical, a successful timepiece in ages; when a product works, marketing managers keep expanding the offering, even more so on a military watch this sleek and pure, whose pedigree is the epitome of Hamilton Watch as a brand. From up close, the new bronze variant adds a refined touch you won't find on the standard model, which, conversely, feels kind of dull at times.
As a reminder, once you read "Mechanical", you're wearing a hand-wound watch like the first-ever Field watch. Hand-wound mechanical movements are where the American-born brand rules, given it is rapidly extending the option to an increasing number of products, like the newly released Intra-Matic Chrono, a one of a kind in its category (despite I hope that Hamilton and ETA join forces to make it slimmer than its self-winding sibling). At 38 millimetres across and just 9.6 in thickness, the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze has everything we love about the steel Khaki Field while playing as a more compelling proposition than its PVD-treated counterpart. My only concern is the following: what kind of patina should a buyer expect once wrapped the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze around his or her wrist? It keeps being my biggest dilemma, as a buyer rather than a journalist.
From a technical perspective, the calibre H-50 is a tried-and-tested evolution of an original ETA platform, improved to ensure eighty hours of power reserve, a big deal considering you won't have to wind the watch for three full days and an additional working day. It's an attractive value proposition in this class of products. Regarding the strap, there are pros and cons. I love the leather NATO strap's style and build quality, and its thickness makes the 9.6-mm-thick case look right on my big wrist, which measures slightly more than 20 cm.
By swapping the thick leather strap with a thinner nylon strap, the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze thus covers a broader audience. I wouldn't say I like the non-bronze tang buckle instead. I understand that a Bronze option at such a market price is challenging, but the steel buckle is out of place, despite matching the solid case back.
Priced at nearly 40% over a PVD Khaki Field, I would have done everything possible to make it 100% bronze (hence buckle included). Regarding the patina, it seems the Khaki Field Bronze will develop soft oxidation process; nonetheless, I'd suggest the brand offer a sand-coloured leather strap as an option. Please note that Hamilton gives a hint of what the patina will look like in its online ads. The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Bronze is priced at 745 Euros.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®