The Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba watch hands-on
The Khaki collection comes from Hamilton’s experience in the military sector and, without a doubt, it is the brand’s iconic collection; it was born with the goal of fulfilling soldiers’ war needs, when the sturdiness of a watch is constantly being tested, with the passing of time, however, the collection managed to evolve, while still preserving its pedigree and well interpreting sportsmen’s needs and contemporary consumers’ needs alike - the new users of the Khaki Field. The collection has quickly become a must-have item for all those, who are constantly looking for precision and reliability at a competitive price. The price/quality ratio of the whole Khaki range is top of the market and most of the collection’s models can be purchased at a retail price still below 1,000 euro.
The complete Khaki range boasts 3 different collections; Field, Aviation and Navy. The first collection is the heir to the Hamilton watches of the 40s, it sports a sturdy structure, an elegant design, no frills and colours that remind us of the military world. The second collection takes inspiration from the aviation world and is more complicated than the others as it integrates functions that are solely designed for pilots. The third collection targets the scuba diving and diving worlds and it features the standard characteristics of a scuba diver’s watch like the screw-down crown, indexes filled with Super-Luminova, a great sturdiness and resistance to high pressures that, on the Khaki Frogman that we talked about last year, can reach relative nominal pressures of up to a 1,000-metre-depth (100 relative bar).
The watch of the day is the Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba; one of the more appreciated new releases at Baselworld 2017, it represents the new entry-level range of the Khaki Navy series that positions itself just below the Frogman and that was released in 3 different variations. The Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba features a more “gentle” case than that of the Frogman, its diameter measures 40mm and it features a screw-down crown, a sapphire glass treated with an anti-glaring solution and Super-Luminova on the hours hand, the minutes hand and the seconds counter’s tip too. The timepiece comes with a dual colour NATO strap (black and orange) or with a classic stainless-steel bracelet, it is equipped with the automatic H-10 caliber that guarantees up to 80 hours of power-reserve and it sports, between 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock, the date indicator. We have already talked about this caliber that equips other models and brands pertaining to the Swatch Group. Impermeability is guaranteed up to a 100-metre-depth (or 10 relative bar).
The characteristics that we have listed so far are quite standard on many diver’s watches already available on the market, but the professional diver’s watch qualification is left to other models that are technically more evolved. What strikes the most about the Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba is the feeling of freshness that you can experience when you first see and try on this timepiece; it transmits a sense of simplicity and a more transversal use than that of a tool-watch. The manufacturer’s idea is that the watch should fulfill the needs of a scuba diver’s timepiece and those of a watch for a daily use too, where the concept of hyper-professional scuba diver’s doesn’t find any suitable place when it comes to the brand’s mission and aesthetic profile.
Let’s now focus on the colour choice; the orange details (the orange colour is one of Hamilton’s reference hues) give this timepiece a touch of lightness that is one of the brand’s strengths and they also break the strict and excessive rigor of one of the most classic combination; a black dial with white indexes. The oversize indexes located at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock and 12 o’clock, the Arabic numbers used to indicate the hours between 13:00 hours and 24:00 hours are some of the most interesting details on this timepiece. I personally quite like the date window located between 4 o’clock and 5 o’clock as it is quite subtle and it allows you to fully appreciate the size of the dial and all its details also. Some additional information about the H-10 caliber; it is quite difficult to find a sturdy caliber with no specific complications and a design that can guarantee up to 80 hours of power-reserve at a retails price below 700 euro.
That means that you can take off your watch for the weekend when it is fully charged and, when you put it back on the following Monday, it is still charged; this is quite a useful feature for those of you, who make an intense use of their watch and expect maximum comfort without having to focus on details and adjustments. As we said before, there are 3 different versions you can choose from; one version features a black and orange dial with a NATO strap (this version retails at 645 euro), a version with a black and orange dial with a stainless-steel bracelet (retailing at 695 euro) and a version with a black dial and a stainless-steel bracelet (retailing at 695 euro). If you consider that the retail price difference is only 50 euro between the stainless-steel bracelet versions and the other one, this is quite a smart business offer.
As an avid watch aficionado, if I were to look for a modern summer watch that I could also wear with a NATO strap in the winter-time (or with a replacement stainless-steel bracelet), I would have no doubt and would definitely get myself a Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba. If my main focus weren’t the strap or the stainless-steel bracelet, I would immediately go for the NATO strap version of this timepiece; the colours used match perfectly well, it is a sporty watch, it is easily recognizable and it would fit a young person like me.
Lastly, the sturdiness of the caliber makes this timepiece reliable and resistant; quite the perfect combination for the summer-time. On the other hand, I find the all-black-dial-version less successful, since the possibility to play with the orange colour and its variations is one of the distinctive elements of a Khaki Navy Scuba timepiece. To summarize, I consider the Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba one of the best-buys of the 2017 summer; it is a collection, where the simplicity/functionality/style blend reaches quite a perfect balance.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Andrea F @Horbiter®