Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 2019
The return of the Khaki Mechanical. Now with PVD treated case too.
If we take a look at Hamilton's new product launch in 2018 and 2019, it seems the Khaki Field collection has taken center stage. New automatic timepieces, exclusive Limited Edition collectibles like the Khaki Field Murph along with oversized and bold ones like the Khaki Field Mechanical 50 (I own one) have enlarged the collection. The Khaki Field embodies the spirit of the American brand, its ties with the US Army first, and the Royal Air Force then, as proved by the Khaki Pilot Pioneer. When the self-winding watch was not yet available, and everyone used the wind his or her wristwatch by hand, a Hamilton watch was the first option for military and civilians, and the most reliable too, back then.
The brand from Lancaster played a significant role during the industrialization of Northern America: the precision and sturdiness of its mechanical movements were such that Hamilton was appointed an official reference watchmaker to most railway stations across the country during the development of the railroad conceived and built to connect East and West coast. Hamilton watches have not just adopted by military aviation; they also were a primary choice to civil aviation: pilots on board the first-ever flight, from Washington to New York, operated by the American Postal Office, were using a Hamilton watch.
The Swatch Group have carefully preserved the brand's DNA, respected its American roots, and worked hard to enhance its foothold by continuously improving features, build quality and style. Also, Hamilton is drawing inspiration from its illustrious past and keeps reissuing historical timepieces, something that I hope will last for a long time. Surfing throughout the collections, no other than the Khaki Field Mechanical best epitomizes what Hamilton Watch stands for: the 2019 Khaki Field Mechanical holds to its origins, and comes with new colors and materials, a re-engineered mechanical movement, along with new first-class canvas and leather NATO straps.
The case features the signature Khaki sandblasted finish, while new variations include a PVD surface treatment that provides them a fresh and more rugged style, in association with superior resistance to daily scratches and unwanted shocks. A sapphire crystal has long since replaced the plastic glass, while the addition of luminescent vintage-colored Super-Luminova on both Arabic numerals, minute and hour hands intensifies the vintage feel. Each timepiece's case is 38mm across, paired to a soft leather or canvas NATO strap, that can be easily swapped.
The case proportions and the unisex design have long been the Khaki Field Mechanical's winning formula. The only letdown is the winding crown that pinches a bit your wrist. The soft and comfortable NATO straps enhance this perception since their grip, once secured around the wrist, is superb and like no other NATO strap I have tried so far.
When you're choosing a hand-wound watch, the amount of power reserve ranks atop the timepiece's spec sheet; by housing the new H-50 caliber, the Khaki Field Mechanical guarantees at least eighty hours of maximum energy, thus joining other brands belonging to the Swatch Group. It is not just a Group's standard, rather an industry benchmark, in this segment.
If you're looking for a Hamilton watch and your first-ever, especially, the Khaki Field Mechanical is the wristwatch that perfectly embodies the American watchmaking's legacy. Retails prices range from Euro 445 (steel case paired to nylon NATO strap) to Euro 530 if you opt for the PVD treated case on leather strap, and it does represent the best value proposition out there, although I would have reduced the price gap between cheaper and most expensive variations, in order to further promote the less common PVD treated Khaki.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®