Now Swiss and Swatch-Owned, Hamilton has a long reputation for making military and pilot’s watches. Notably, the brand has revived legendary models recently in this field, such as the highly attractive W10 Khaki Pilot Pioneer or the Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph. However, there’s more to the brand, which also owns a pretty solid collection of dive watches. Recently, Hamilton revamped its bold Khaki Navy Frogman Automatic, which came next to the more classic Khaki Navy Scuba Auto, also recently updated. The latter is back this year in a new and bright colour scheme, right in time for summer.
Dive watches are a dime a dozen. Whatever segment of the industry, there are tons of options to choose from. In this context, Hamilton might not have the strongest of backgrounds, or the most pedigree, but where it can succeed is all about competitiveness, specifications and the use of Swatch Group’s assets. And while you can opt for something big and bold, ultra-resilient like the recent Frogman and its 46mm, highly protected case, you can also look at something more wearable, less focused. With the Khaki Navy Scuba Auto, Hamilton does not reinvent the concept of a dive watch. On the contrary, it plays on well-known codes and classic design elements. What this watch has is an attractive set of specifications, making it a well-equipped yet accessible model with strong capacities – specifically since its renewal last year.
Already in the collection for several years, with a compact Quartz model or this larger, more modern Automatic version, the Khaki Navy Scuba serves as the brand’s entry to the dive watch category, next to its bigger brothers that are the BeLOWZERO and Frogman. In 2021, the brand updated its classic dive watch with multiple improvements, such as new materials, new textures, better underwater capacities and a movement that has a few tricks under its sleeve. We’ve already covered the inaugural models here, in matte black or grained blue with gradient effect. It’s time now for the collection to meet a cool, brightly coloured model.
Specs-wise, nothing has changed. The Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto is a reassuringly classic diver, with familiar traits and a no-surprise approach. Surely, it will feel conservative to some, but it’s also a way to propose something in the “all-rounder” category. The case of this automatic version isn’t particularly compact, with a 43mm diameter. The previous model was 40mm and the lug-to-lug has been marginally extended to now 52mm. The case is nicely curved, and has a reasonable 12.6mm height, which compensates a bit. That being said, we’re now looking at a 300m water-resistant watch (it used to be only 100m in the past), thanks to a screwed caseback and a screw-down crown.
Framing the domed and anti-reflective sapphire crystal is a unidirectional bezel, with a very decent grip. Inside is a polished ceramic insert, with an engraved 60-minute scale – the previous generation was fitted with an aluminium insert. Overall, all elements are classically designed but pleasantly executed, with a reassuring feel of quality. The case is mostly brushed, with polished accents on the sides. The crown is also fairly well protected, with curved guards on each side.
Previously, the Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto was available on an all-black (dial and bezel) version, as well as a slightly more original blue edition with grained gradient dial and a blue bezel. This year, Hamilton adds a third version that is all about brightness and summery, nautical tones. The dial, which retains the same grained surface as the blue edition, is here silvery-white, and paired with a blue ceramic bezel. To continue in this scheme, the hands and applied hour markers have been coated in dark blue. And while it’s always a bit surprising to see a white dial dive watch, Hamilton has done a great job here to maintain a high contrast between the dial and its elements, thanks to the dark blue framed markers/hands. And the result is also quite attractive.
The dial of this new Khaki Navy Scuba Auto is, otherwise, identical to the previous editions. A no-date diver, it features large hands and indices, all filled with white Super-LumiNova. The seconds hand, also with a luminous marker, has a red tip for a touch of colour. The most surprising element on this watch is the additional 13-24 scale next to the hour markers, which seems to be a link between this aquatic watch and the military models of the brand. Not too intrusive but still a bit questionable.
Under the solid steel back is a well-known movement, the calibre H-10 otherwise known as Powermatic 80. Spread over most of the Swatch Group’s entry-level watchmakers, this engine is a strong evolution of the classic ETA 2824 architecture, with an extended power reserve of 80 hours – obtained thanks to a lower 3Hz frequency and revised kinetic chain. Another important feature, it comes equipped with an anti-magnetic Nivachron balance spring. As always, this movement brings a serious advantage compared to a myriad of watches powered by Sellita or Japanese movements.
This new silver-and-blue edition of the Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto 43mm (reference H82505150) is worn on a stainless steel 3-link bracelet, closed by a folding clasp with push-button release. It is now available from the brand’s website and from retailers, and is priced at EUR 995, USD 995 or CHF 995, making it a solid, accessible yet well-equipped option for your next summer watch.
More details and orders at www.hamiltonwatch.com.