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Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Watch

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Watch Watch Releases

In anticipation of Baselworld 2016, we see the re-release of the Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman, a purpose-built diver that was the choice of the U.S. Navy in the first half of the 20th century for its tactical dive teams. It was also an important model in the history of Hamilton on the silver screen, being the first watch from the brand to appear in a motion picture. The movie was, fittingly enough, The Frogman, a 1951 release about the U.S. Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Watch Watch Releases

The flagship version of the Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman re-release has a 46mm titanium case with a red, unidirectional rotating bezel marking out 60 minutes and ten-minute integers in a clear, retro-militaristic font, with a triangular indicator replacing the zero/sixty marker. The Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman has a black dial with applied indexes with Super-LumiNova luminescence. The hour and minute hands are sizeable and feature the same luminescence as the dial, and there is a small date window between four and five o’clock. The crystal is sapphire with an antireflective coating. Immediately noticeable is the locking crown guard which, in addition to the black rubber strap, hints at serious diving abilities.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Watch Watch Releases

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Watch Watch Releases

With water-resistance to 1,000 meters, the Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman watch lives up to the promises its design makes for it. It also features a helium escape valve for regulating internal/external pressures experienced while diving. The Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman watch is powered by the H-10 automatic caliber movement and has an 80-hour power reserve.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Watch Watch Releases

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Watch Watch Releases

Obviously, the market for dive watches is incredibly dense and Hamilton is going head-to-head with a number of different capable manufacturers with this watch. The Tag Heuer Aquaracer, while only water-resistant to 300 meters and priced higher, has a more subdued design which could allow it to be worn more casually in environments where the Frogman would stand out. It is a similar story with the Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman and the Tudor Pelagos or one of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay watches. These could potentially be unfair comparisons because of the price differences, but since this is the territory Hamilton is entering with their dive watches, it will require a hands-on to see how the build and design compares to the Swiss rivals. The Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman can also be compared to dive watches from Oris and Squale priced at or below the Frogman with similar technical features and attractive designs.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Watch Watch Releases

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Watch Watch Releases

The Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman is also being re-released in a 42mm stainless steel version and will be available with either a black or blue dial with matching bezels on each. The 42mm version doesn’t have the same diving capabilities, being water resistant to only 300 meters and excluding the helium escape valve, but the additional case designs, lower price, and option of a rubber strap (the same color as the dial) or stainless steel triple-row bracelet make it attractive as well. With a good history, both in terms of within the brand and in the context of dive watches, the Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman is worth a look at its suggested retail prices of $1,445 for the 46mm version and $1,095 for the 42mm version. It will be interesting to see this model in person and get a better sense of how it compares to the competition. Maybe I’ll fill the wait by seeing if I can find a copy of The Frogman.

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  • Trevor

    I wish the date window was white-on-black. The ‘LOCK’ writing on the crown guard seems obnoxiously unnecessary, it reminds me of the ‘Reg. T.M.’ found on some Panerai models. Ok, we get it, but does it really need to be a constant reminder? Other than that, I like the design, PR capacity, and the price seems realistic.

    • I agree on all points and like you, I do like this watch quite a bit (even though it could be improved a little). The 42 mm would do it for me – who really needs that much extra WR and a helium release valve?

      • DanW94

        Mark, You’re right, I like it too, but I’m not a diver so it’d have to be the 42mm for me also. The 46mm, with that HEV is a bit hardcore for a casual weekend wear. People would want to know when your heading off to the Mariana trench for a dive.

        • egznyc

          I am in 100% agreement. 46 mm, with or without a helium escape valve, is just too darned large for me. But a good-looking piece overall. I just wish they used a ceramic bezel insert.

      • JimBob

        Hey, what kind of madman puts a 1000m rating on a watch and doesn’t provide an HEV. That’s just irresponsible.

      • Boogur T. Wang

        Agree. Even 300m is about 250ms more than I’ll ever go, intentionally.
        Best result of a screw-down crown for the vast majority of folks is protection against dust, grit and dirt encountered.

        • PleaseSpellRoman4AsIV

          But just imagine this: you want to go for 50m dive and misread it by a zero and end up at 500m deep – wouldn’t you just love a watch that would survive this on your corpse?

  • TrevorXM

    Really like this watch. The “LOCK” on the mechanism shows they really get it — this is an historic military instrument inspired piece, and that’s how military instruments are labelled. It’s kind of remarkable that Hamilton didn’t capitalize on their legacy back when Panerai’s Luminor retro watch took off! Hamilton’s original design pre-dates the Panerai by a few years as the Luminor didn’t appear until after WW2.

  • SuperStrapper

    Really handsome actually. I’d like to see a real picture. I’m sure there will be a hands on update, Hamilton is nicely exposed here.

  • Chaz

    A bit too Tissot-y in appearance. Bizarre floating date window.

  • Michael Kinney

    No…”a helium escape valve for regulating internal/external pressures experienced while diving.”
    If you’re gonna review a dive watch…

    • Yep – a chamber device, not a dive feature per se.

  • commentator bob

    For the kind of wussies that only go to depths of 330 ft or less the automatic Hamilton Khaki King Scuba is a good option that can be had for under $500.

    • egznyc

      That’s also a more interesting dial IMO. And I’m such a wuss, I admit.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    OK, stand up whoever is responsible for the position of the date window……….. you’r fired !

    • Sevenmack

      The position of the date window is fine. In fact, the least-offensive thing about this monstrosity.

    • commentator bob

      They are probably getting a promition for saving $0.10 a watch compared to a black date disk.

  • Greg Dutton

    Not terrible, but very generic, especially when compared to previous iterations of the Frogman.

  • Sevenmack

    The odd-shaped marked bezel. The hands that are not quite symmetrical or matching to the rest of the form. The rubber strap that isn’t attractive. And not even adorably ugly like a Seiko diver. This watch is pure crap.


    More like a lifeguard’s watch judging by the red bezel.

  • Stephen Scharf

    Another watch with a date window that looks like an afterthought. When will they ever learn? Jeez. Thank goodness there’s real class in this segment with the Black Bays.

  • Nick B

    Shoot, I really love Hamilton design usually, but in my view they really missed the mark on this piece. Not only is it too expensive, the styling makes it look cheap. Also, not have a ceramic bezel at that price point is inexcusable. I own two Hamiltons, and I think usually they represent outstanding quality and value. I have no doubt the quality will be present, but the value and design here are missing.

  • Steve Bowden

    I don’t object to 4:30 date window, but it seems terribly undersized to the rest of the watch. Also why not have the date as white numeral on black to go with the rest of the watch? And I am always bothered by the computer-generated images…Yes watches are hard to photograph, but for the love of god show me the real watch and not the virtual reality version of the timepiece.

    • commentator bob

      If a date window on a dive watch balances out a white hour marker the date disk should be white (extra points if it is done in lune).

      If the date window on a dive watch (or other watch for that matter) is not balanced by an hour marker then the date disk should be the color of the dial.

      A $1,095+ watch should get this right. Especially when the $150 Sistem51 by the same Swatch Group offers at least 5 different color date disks with at least 5 different colors of print.

      The black dial version should have a black date disk and the blue dial version should have a blue date disk.

      There are of course much more expensive watches that don’t get this right.

  • cg

    Love these left arm dive watches…. They should name it the “Andrea Doria” for it’s depth rating alone!

  • spiceballs

    Enjoyed the movie, but not this watch – at all.

  • Mike Burdine

    Can one have too many dive watches? It is sort of like having too much money. I want the 42mm version as I won’t be going below 300ft.

  • So where’s the lock on this one? Oh oh…now I see it!


    not a bad effort but 46mm is rather porky. One could then opt for the 42mm size. Price is decent not a fan of the phallic hour hand though.

  • Edward Scott

    That “floating date window” is a telltale sign that they used a tiny movement inside a large case. Would have been better to go without the date window.

  • Velocitor

    46mm is a dealbreaker. I could get a black or blue one in 42mm, but the red really pops.