The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 2019, with New Colours and New Movement
The super-affordable field watch is back, with multiple updates.
There’s no denying Hamilton’s background in military watches. Indeed, the brand has forged an impressive collection of watches inspired by its past, when it was still American and provided watches to military forces. Back in early 2018, the now Swiss brand introduced an affordable but super-cool piece, the Khaki Field Mechanical 38mm, inspired by the Hamilton “Hacked”. For 2019, this successful model is back with new colours and more interestingly, with a new, much more powerful hand-wound movement.
The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is inspired by a mid-20th-century model named the Hamilton “Hacked”. This rather special name comes from the capacity of these watches to make the seconds hand stop when the crown is pulled – a feature that enabled military forces to synchronise their watches, even if it has now become an almost mandatory feature on most modern timepieces. Still, the inspiration is not here, but on the design side of things. The Khaki Field Mechanical is all about WWII, field-issued military watches and proudly shows that on the case, the proportions and, of course, its dial.
There was already a lot to love about the 2018 edition of the Khaki Field Mechanical. Well-proportioned, at 38mm, void of any useless indication (understand no date), well-built, as you can expect from Hamilton/Swatch Group, well-designed with this nice balanced military dial and also powered by an ETA hand-wound movement, the best part of all is its EUR 420 price tag.
While not changing drastically the recipe, the brand brings its first update to the model, with the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 2019. Dial layout and proportions are identical, with still this military-inspired dial, featuring two hour tracks (one from 1 to 12, the other from 13 to 24), luminous hands and triangular markers – all coated with sand-coloured Super-Luminova. The case is also kept at 38mm, with its sandblasted matte finish.
What has changed then? First, the colours, for the NATO straps, the dials and the case. Five models in total will be launched – in fact three, with two of them available with two different straps. The first model (H69439531 and H69439931, depending on the strap) is classical with its steel case and black dial. The second version (H69439411 and H69439511, depending on the strap) is another classic take on the military watch, with a white dial and steel case. Finally, the true novelty is the Ocre PVD coated model, with a green dial (H69449861 and H69449961, depending on the strap).
Last but not least, the major improvement in the 2019 edition of the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical isn’t visible, and is hidden inside the 50m water-resistant case. In lieu of the ETA 2801-2 and its 42-hour power reserve found in the previous version, Hamilton introduces a new movement, the hand-wound calibre H-50, with a much longer power reserve of 80 hours – and that, without a major increase in price.
The new 2019 Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical collection is now available at retailers and Hamilton’s website. Prices are EUR 445 (steel case, textile NATO), EUR 480 (steel case, leather NATO), EUR 495 (PVD case, textile NATO) and EUR 530 (PVD case, leather NATO). More details at www.hamiltonwatch.com.
I’m glad to see they didn’t mess anything up here. Though I would have loved to see a higher quality dial and shorter lugs. I have no idea whether this new Swatch calibre is any better than the old one.
A new movement is nice, but it’s too bad the higher power reserved sacrificed beats per second. Also, I just can’t imagine choosing this over the similarly priced Smiths PRS-29A.
Most people who buy the Hamilton won’t know Smith’s exist. I know that for me the British army G10 is miles better than the US version with the cluttered dial, but I bought the Hamilton anyway. I have three Hamilton dealers within 15 minutes of my apartment. Doesn’t mean I won’t buy a Smith’s too though.
Have owned this watch twice, but sold because (a) the lugs just feel too long and (b) the silver case treatment feels a bit too “sparkly.”
Smiths is a great tip, sold out now though. Even still, the KFM is somehow terrific and the wide crown is a real pleasure to wind.
True on the slower beat rate of this years crop being a bit of a bummer. I saw them at a recent Hamilton event and preferred my 2801 version.
To RSDA, those were concerns of mine too but I bought it anyway. The NATO does somewhat hide the lug-length and the case does dull over time. The clinchers for me were the hands. I have looked at them through a loupe and they are truly lovely.
I have developed a few bugbears about watches over the years.
First things first, size.
And I have recently started paying quite a lot of attention to crowns. That is one area in which my two Rados do fall flat. Fiddly, slippery, diminutive crowns. But the rest of the package makes up for that.
Seiko SARB017 over Hamilton Khaki, anytime!
I dont see the available anywhere. At least not the Earth PVD one.