Few brands can rival Hamilton in the affordable field watch segment. The brand has a rich history with the American military, particularly during World War II, and was an American brand itself until 1969. Vintage-inspired mechanical field watches are among the brand’s most popular offerings and a new Khaki Field Automatic Chronograph joins the portfolio. It’s not the first Khaki Field Chronograph as the black PVD Khaki Field Auto Chrono and others preceded it, but it carries the latest Khaki Field Mechanical aesthetic like nothing before it.
Unlike the relatively small 38mm case diameter of the Khaki Field Mechanicals, which we’ve recently seen in bronze, the chronograph comes in at 44mm with a height of 14.15mm. Hamilton does make a 42mm Khaki Field Mechanical variant, but the new chrono is definitely bold. The stainless steel case has the same shape and sandblasted matte finish as its smaller Khaki Field siblings, but comes with the requisite chrono pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock.
The dial of the Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic Chronograph is protected by a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating, while the solid case back has a special engraving that pays tribute to its military heritage. The case comes with a screw-down crown and water resistance is rated at 100 metres. The nubuck leather, 22mm khaki green bund-style strap adds to the retro military vibe and was historically worn by soldiers to protect the wrist from extreme heat.
The black dial is reminiscent of the black Khaki Field Mechanical with oversized Arabic numerals and triangular hour markers with a faux patina. There are key differences, however, starting with the white numerals themselves. These are molded from solid Super-LumiNova and stand at 0.35mm in height, offering excellent nighttime legibility and a contemporary twist. The outer triangular markers are also formed from old radium Super-LumiNova. The twin sub-dials at 12 and 6 o’clock are recessed with a 30-minute counter at the top and 12-hour counter at the bottom. The nickeled hour and minute hands also have old radium Super-LumiNova like its smaller mechanical counterpart. Small seconds sit at 9 o’clock and the central chronograph seconds hand has a red tip and circular counterweight. One thing that’s missing from the new dial is a second set of numerals for military time – there’s simply no room with the chronograph sub-dials and small seconds (or it would get very messy).
Powering the watch is Hamilton’s H-21 automatic, based on the ETA/Valjoux 7750. This is the same movement found in other Hamilton chronographs like the aforementioned black PVD Khaki Field Auto Chrono. It has 25 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 60-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes and chronograph seconds, 30-minute counter, 12-hour counter and small seconds. The date complication wasn’t utilized (and it would’ve made the dial a bit too busy).
The Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic Chronograph (reference H71706830) retails for CHF 1,695, EUR 1,645 or USD 1,745, which is about the same as the other Khaki Field Auto Chrono and a few hundred less than the brand’s American Classic chronographs. For more information and to make a purchase, visit www.hamiltonwatch.com.