February 24, 2014
by James Stacey
I’ve long been on record as saying that a field watch may be the most accessible watch design for most guys. Typically less bulky than a dive watch, more simple than a chronograph and more fitting for daily use than most dress watches, field watches have a lot to offer. While I’ll admit this is a simplification, when someone is asking for help picking a new watch and has no idea of the thousands of options at their disposal, such simplifications are quite handy. More to the point of this review, the Hamilton Khaki Field is a line I frequently recommend to friends who are looking for their first “good” watch. With strong legibility, classic styling and a range of case size and movement options, the Khaki Field has earned its place among the best entry-level Swiss watches. We even gave one away last month.
This specific Khaki Field may be familiar to those of you who have an eye for spotting watches in movies and television shows. This Khaki Field, the Titanium Auto (ref: H70575733), can be seen in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, the latest in the Tom Clancy-inspired movie franchise. Worn by analyst-turned-field operative and all around good guy Jack Ryan, the Khaki Field Titanium Auto is a solid choice for this character and certainly looks the part next to the parade of tactical gear that is seen in the film.
The Titanium Auto’s case is 42 mm wide and made, predictably, of lightweight titanium. Measuring 52 mm lug to lug and just 11.75 mm thick at the crest of its slightly-domed sapphire crystal, this Khaki Field iteration may be the most wearable in the line, weighing only 66g with the strap.
Treated to a matte black PVD coating, the Titanium Auto has the look of a piece of military equipment and the finish is remarkable and better than most PVD treatments we commonly see. As a finishing touch, Hamilton has fitted the Titanium Auto with a matching black crown, a welcome addition that is not always seen on cheaper watches.
The dial design is typical field watch but with a few small flares that serve to remind you of why you spent a bit more on a Hamilton. The text is clean, crisp and super legible with the main arabic hour markers and hands offering a luminous treatment that is accented by luminous pips at every five minute increment on the outer minute scale. The hour markers sit in their own ring within the dial design, which has a slightly shinier finish than the rest of the dial. This adds a bit of visual flare to a dial design that is typically pretty simple.
The inner dial is host to the branding and model text, which is rendered in a well-proportioned font size and balances nicely with the rest of the dial. Also fitting for a field watch, the Khaki Field Titanium Auto has a 24 hour scale on the inner dial segment. While Hamilton regrettably does not offer a GMT version of this watch, the 24 hour scale aids the military appeal of the Titanium Auto.
The date display is my only problem with this otherwise excellent watch. It looks like a bit of an afterthought, fitted at three in a manner that cuts into the three marker, likely due to the width of the movement vs the width of the dial. Along with the somewhat awkward placement on the dial, the date display is black text on a white background and on an otherwise entirely black watch, I feel a white on black wheel might have been a more balanced choice.