If there was ever a watch that defined a brand it is the Khaki line for Hamilton. They have actually imparted the "Khaki" name on scores of watches, but the Field Khaki is the basic original military watch that started the trend. A popular watch for decades the original models were tiny by today's comparisons often being 33mm wide. Those are smaller than most women's watches today. The New Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic will be available in two (reasonable) sizes at 40mm and 44mm wide. I would love to wear the 44mm wide version in this classic style. The watches also get a lot of upgrades. These include the sapphire crystals, applied hour markers and Swiss automatic ETA 2824-2 movements. This first line has a gun metal colored black PVD steel case - but I have a feeling that future models will adopt the original sandblasted steel look of the original models.
This is by no means the only time that Hamilton has "re-released" The Khaki watch, but I particularly like this iteration and how much Hamilton has been able to hold back from doing something screwy as they often tend to do with watches. Once in a while however they come out with something nice like this that doesn't have functions that no one uses or style that no one other than Hamilton designers seem to understand.
One of the major characteristics about the dial is the ability to read standard and military (24 hour time). If you know whether it is AM or PM, you can easily understand what 1800 hours means with this watch. The traditional looking hands are lume covered and the right size (yay!) - while the dials function as well as the original models did. While Hamilton is an American company gone Swiss, at least the available textured leather straps on these 2009 models are made in the USA, the rest is not. There is also a rubber strap available. You'll have to go and get yourself a NATO or canvas strap for that real "original" look. There are two models here with a white and black face. I can't decide which I like better, but I am leaning forward the white - as it is more instrument minded. The black dial with orange is nice - but I don't feel like orange all the time when looking at a watch of this type so I'd opt for the monochromatic version.
The cases are water resistant to 100 meters and the prices are reasonable - retailing at $645 for the 40mm wide version and $745 for the 44mm wide version. Expect "street" prices to be lower than that and the watches to be available soon. My take is that these new Khaki Field Automatic watches are a good addition to a collection that embraces "functional" or vintage styled watches. No one will ever nominate these watches in a beauty contest, but their attraction is in the timeless ease of use and sense of reliability that the watch are able to convey.
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