When it comes to pilot watches, you are generally choosing from one of two categories– the simple Flieger style, or a more modern tool-style watch with a lot of complications.  With their latest, Hamilton has sort of bridged the gap, giving us a modern pilot watch with simplicity in mind.

Hamilton traces their aviation roots back to 1919, and this new watch, the Khaki Takeoff Auto Chrono Limited Edition (yeah, that’s a mouthful) draws inspiration from their elapsed time clock produced during WWII.

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The main inspiration drawn from that clock looks to be the color scheme, which is at once easily readable, especially with the last 15 minutes of the  countdown bezel marked out in yellow hashes (those hashes remind me safety markings on a plane, as well).

A perhaps more indirect inspiration is the fact that you can display this watch on your desk, just like a clock.  How so, you ask?  Surprisingly enough, the case is able to be detached and placed in its display box, thereby becoming a non-wrist mounted timepiece.

However you wear it (or don’t, I guess), the H-31 movement should remain accurate, providing you around a 60-hour power reserve.  Given the fact that it was designed in cooperation with aerobatic pilot Nicolas Ivanoff, one would hope it should stand up to whatever rigors we might put the watch through here on the ground.

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Land-locked, or soaring through the air, the top-mounted crown and pushers give the piece a distinctive look–and should also keep them from digging into your wrist–a nice design choice for a watch coming in at 46mm.

The new Khaki Takeoff Auto Chrono Limited Edition will be a limited edition (as it’s very name intimates) of 1,999 pieces, with the price coming in at $3,295.  hamiltonwatch.com

Tech Specs from Hamilton

  • Size: 46.3 mm
  • Case: Stainless steel with black PVD
  • Dial: Black with yellow detail and hour markers with Superluminova
  • Attachment: Black leather strap with new skeletonized pin buckle in black PVD
  • Movement: H-31 with 60 hours of power reserve
  • Crystal:Sapphire with antireflective coating
  • WR: 5 bar (50m)

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