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Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC Limited-Edition Watch

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC Limited-Edition Watch Hands-On

Hamilton watches just released a watch in collaboration with Schott NYC, the iconic American company known for its leather jackets. The Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC limited edition is a take on the Khaki Pilot Day-Date auto with changes to the dial and, not surprisingly, the leather strap, as well as some special packaging. Yes, it’s a limited edition but with 1,892 pieces being produced, most anyone who is a fan can get their hands on it for a pretty modest $200 premium over the standard version.

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC Limited-Edition Watch Hands-On

For those unfamiliar with Schott NYC, the American brand has been around since 1913 and really has a storied history. They were the first to put a zipper on a jacket, designed the first leather motorcycle jacket, and produced bomber jackets and pea coats for the U.S. Army and Navy in World War II. For an instantly recognizable cultural milestone, the Schott NYC Perfecto leather jacket was worn by Marlon Brando in The Wild One (1953), and James Dean nearly always had one on.

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC Limited-Edition Watch Hands-On

Green is definitely the “it” color right now, but I don’t let a trend get in the way of appreciating a great dial color. The khaki-green dial looks very cool, and the large numerals, indices, and hands are done in a very light green, almost yellowish, tan lume. The result both looks good and is legible, which is really all that matters. The day/date at 3 o’clock is unchanged and will spark the usual discussions and debates, but it’s inarguably useful to have.

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC Limited-Edition Watch Hands-On   Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC Limited-Edition Watch Hands-On

The 46mm-wide case of the Khaki Pilot is on the bigger side, but not really when you consider pilot watches. The real estate is given mostly to the dial, with a very thin bezel that keeps the size under control. The lugs are pretty short, as well, and the lug-to-lug measurement is right around 53mm. At 12.5mm thick, it’s at least thin enough to pop under a sleeve when you need it to. The Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC is water resistant to 200M.

The movement is still the H-30 automatic day-date, which has an 80-hour power reserve.

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Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC Limited-Edition Watch Hands-On Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC Limited-Edition Watch Hands-On

Where Schott NYC comes into play on the watch itself is with the strap. Using the same leather used for jackets from WW II to today, the strap is done in a dark brown (to be specific, it’s Federal Standard military color 30099 Earth brown). The feel of the leather and the stitching really does stand apart from the standard fare. I noticed it’s on the stiffer side, which makes sense when you consider that it softens over time and will gradually shape itself to the wearer’s wrist.

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC Limited-Edition Watch Hands-On

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC Limited-Edition Watch Hands-On

Schott NYC also did the special case for this Hamilton Khaki. It’s a brown leather carrying case  with a plaid cotton interior, side-entry pockets, and a cardholder that’s sewn by hand at the Schott NYC factory located in Union, New Jersey.

While Hamilton is owned by a Swiss company in the Swatch Group, it is always going to have a distinctly American association. (Maybe Elvis has a lot to do with that.) Schott NYC continues to be an American institution with an equally long and fascinating history of its own. As far as brand collaborations go, this is about as natural as they get and, thankfully, the end product is very tastefully done. Again, the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC watch will be limited to 1,892 pieces with a price of $1,145. You can learn more at hamiltonwatch.com.

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  • Nello Alexandri

    Get rid of the day and date. Lose the crown guards and use a proper crown for a pilots watch. Only then, would this be functional. I really don’t like the lack of lume on the outer portion of the hour hand.

  • Independent_George

    Back in the last century, when I was in college, to be exact, I wanted a leather jacket just like the one I saw on the cover of the first Ramones album. A girl I knew, a theater major from the Palisades, who was much, much cooler than I, explained to me that all the New York and London punk rockers wore Schott leather jackets. I asked where I could buy one and she said they were made and sold in NYC, but that I should be able to find one in a vintage clothes shop. I asked where I could find a vintage clothes shop and she laughed because she thought I was quite the Midwestern hayseed. “Melrose Avenue!”, and with that she twirled, flipped her hair and walked off to class, leg warmers and all, looking every bit in my Nov. 2, 2019 memory like Jennifer Beals in Flashdance. I was too embarrassed to ask where Melrose Avenue was, so I went to the bookstore and looked at the Thomas Guide. Melrose Avenue back them was one vintage clothes shop after another, and I found exactly what I was looking for, in the very first shop I entered, a perfectly broken in Schott motorcycle jacket, the kind worn by James Dean and Johnny Ramone, for the unheard-of price of $399.00. I was flabbergasted, so I walked into a few other shops. Same jackets, same price. Thus was my introduction to trendy, overpriced fashion, so I made due with a Ramones t-shirt, my old, faded and ripped 501s, and a pair of dirty white Chuck Taylors.

    Whenever I hear or read “Schott leather”, my mind goes immediately to Her, and soon I am Googling images of Jennifer Beals in Flashdance, wearing leg warmers, all the while forgetting I am commenting on a wristwatch blog.

    The watch? Not my style, but you really can’t go wrong with most Hamilton watches. While there are too many variants and some tacky, shopping mall-esque styles, Swatch, for the most part, does Hamilton right, maintaining that the purpose-driven, American aesthetic while equipping them with some of the best movements in its price-point. The strap looks great, and I’ll check this out when it makes its way to Feldmar. I am sure some nerd will complain that the strap is too stiff, replace it with a cheap NATO or perlon, then show it off on the forums, gathering a few likes along the way. I will feel sad because he not only degraded a well-matched watch and strap combo, but also because the watch and strap never evoked in him memories of a paralyzing crush he had on Jennifer Beals’ doppelganger, walking off to class through the sycamore leaves, overloaded with books, wearing leg warmers, of course.

  • Hydra

    Should have made the caseback solid…that movement is so ridiculously small..

  • DanW94

    I love Hamilton and have a few of their watches but this one is a miss in my book. It’s too big at 46mm and the features (such as the handset, and the numbers) are cartoonishly large. The day and date placement is awkward at best. The thin bezel makes everything look even bigger. It’s like a caricature of a well balanced pilot watch.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Greens in huh, who knew?
    I like Hamilton.
    Loose the crown guard and fill the hands in.

  • ray h.

    This is just misleading “The 46mm-wide case of the Khaki Pilot is on the bigger side, but not really when you consider pilot watches. The real estate is given mostly to the dial, with a very thin bezel that keeps the size under control.” Thin bezels help make a dial appear as big as they can appear.

  • ray h.

    See,even at 42 it’s large. Add !0% ? Why ?

  • Auster

    A bit in the small side, isn’t it?

  • SuperStrapper

    Would be a winner at 42mm. Bizarre at 46.

    • Larry Holmack

      It just depends how on your taste and your wrist size. My two Pilot’s watches are 44mm and 52mm….and I wear them both depending on my mood.

      • SuperStrapper

        Larry you make it unfair. You take off one of your dress watches and Flava Flav throws it around his neck and hypes up the whole damn place.

  • Independent_George

    Some people, in fact a good number of people, won’t wear German A- or B-Uhr dial watches. Some people aren’t big fans of the history of wristwatches created specifically for pilots in Herman Goering’s Luftwaffe.

    • NaJo

      Yeah i know but isnt it all about the history ; good or bad? To me Luftwaffe was 1930s brilliance that nobody could match and so does all pillot watches associated (ofcourse not the destruction it did). If yku talk to a Vietnamese, hamilton is similar.. laco leipsig, stowa original r excellent watches with real history…

  • Independent_George

    My previous musing aside, I am going to disagree with most of y’all and argue that this is a well-executed watch. Yes, it’s large, but a large diameter case and the extreme legibility that results from the big, wide dial is to a pilot-styled watch as a unidirectional bezel is to a dive-styled watch.

    Is it “functional”? I wouldn’t want to be stuck in cockpit with only this watch working, but this watch is in many way more functional than a Big Pilot, or a Laco or a Stowa automatic flieger. It has a more accurate movement with better anti-magnetic properties and case offers better water resistance. And Hamilton isn’t exactly playing lip service regarding producing functional pilot watches; Zach wrote about Hamilton “pulling G’s” last year. Though the movement is a bit small for the case, but placement the day and and windows is not a crime against nature, and, in a way, allows for a unbroken balance regarding indices and numerals and time telling. And Hamilton designed a stylish work-around with the semi-skeletonized hands, with the hours markers being visible through the hour hand and the minute hand not obstructing the day and date. And I think it all works!

    But, and this is what I think is the most important feature, is that this is all about designing a watch worthy of that strap, and if that Schott strap is what I think it is (and Bilal alluded to), then you need a large diameter case and an expansive dial for balance, or else that strap will eat the watch alive. Anything much smaller and that strap would be too dominant, and it would hurt the wrist experience.

    Honestly, I am looking forward to checking this out. It’s not at all my style, but I also happen to think it is not easy designing a $1,000 watch with a unique wrist experience, and I think that Hamilton might have done so with this watch.

  • Larry Holmack

    Size is nice….price is reasonable…nice green dial! I like everything about this watch!

  • Mikita

    Lol. Looks like a saucepan on the wrist.

    • NaJo

      On Bilal’s wrist. And not only wearing it on a B shirt, hes also talking about getting a full fledged pilots watch under cuffs! Lol

  • Lanternerouge

    They have somehow managed to make the dial appear larger than the case.

    This could credibly hang on Flavor Flav’s neck.

  • 200F

    Silly big. Make it stop.

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