The new Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical Swiss initiative brings a popular entry point into watchmaking and incorporates some features in this hope that it will stand in the name of its adventurous spirit. Hamilton presents some commendable points in the dial and case of the Hamilton Dial and Case. Although these changes come at a price, the Expedition still makes your new $1,000 daily watch possible.
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Elevate Your Style with the Power-Packed Hamilton Khaki Field
With the Khaki Field initiative, Hamilton embraced its vintage field line and made some additions and changes to create a more robust field watch. The stainless steel case, all smoothly brushed, now graces your wrist in two delightful sizes: either a 37mm wonder (with a lug-to-lug span of 44mm) or a slightly larger 41mm beauty (stretching out to 48mm lug-to-lug). As indicated by the lug-to-lug measurement, the long lug lengths that were prone to breaking in the Khaki Field Mechanical are gone, resulting in a more compact and wearable case. My wrists are relatively small (6.25mm), so I opted for the smaller size, but the 41mm was still manageable.
The Khaki Field initiative is presented in four versions: black dial on a strap or bracelet, white dial on a strap, and blue dial. In comparison to the current models of the Khaki Field, the dial is straightforward: just hour markers and an outer second’s track (with a hacking seconds feature with SuperLumiNova for easy reading). It’s clean and legible, although the font feels a bit flat. The SuperLumiNova on the hands is strong and serviceable. There are no dots on the numerals, unfortunately.
The most notable addition is the compass bezel. The use of the compass bezel is straightforward. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, point the hour hand towards the sun, then turn the hour hand and align the “south” marker on the bezel halfway between 12 o’clock and the hour hand. Voila, you’ve found south. Place the watch flat and you’ll know which direction you’re heading. The accuracy might not be as intended but it’s good enough. One simply needs to adjust the compass bezel every few hours as the sun moves across the sky. (Technically, any watch will do if you’re in a bind, but the compass bezel helps make your orientation a bit more accurate.)
The case is somewhat ambiguous, with dimensions that are better and more wearable than the current Khaki Field Mechanical. A raised screw-down crown is a nice touch. Thanks to the Expedition theme, the Khaki Field initiative boasts 100 meters of water resistance, along with a compass bezel and better dimensions for wearability.
The Khaki Field initiative is presented on either two-piece straps or complete stainless-steel bracelets, both being on par with offerings of the Khaki Field Mechanical. The bracelet is also fully brushed and uses screws for links instead of pins. For a watch like this—which might be someone’s first mechanical watch—I’d prefer to see Hamilton using an easy-to-adjust screw instead of a pin when changing straps.
The Khaki Field initiative comes in at a price of $995 on a strap or $1,045 on a bracelet. It’s pricier than the Khaki Field Mechanical ($595; side note, doesn’t it feel like just yesterday it was $475?), but the screw-down crown and its added 100 meters of water resistance, compass bezel, and better dimensions justify it.
A reasonable deal for the additions in price. While the bracelet of the Khaki Field line up is an upgrade on the current options, it’s still a field watch, one that’s worn on canvas, NATO, or something in between. $1,000 and under in the field watch category is always competitive, and while not all Khaki Field initiatives present some distinctive features—the screw-down crown, increased water resistance, and compass bezel set it apart from most competitors.
The new Hamilton Khaki Field initiative comes in a 37mm (44mm lug-to-lug) x 10.45mm or 41mm (48mm) x 11.5mm stainless steel case and a 20mm lug width, featuring a bi-directional rotating compass bezel and a screw-down crown. Water resistance of 100 meters for the Taj. Powered by a self-winding H-10 caliber with 80 hours of power reserve and Nivachron hairspring. Sapphire crystal with AR coating. Black, blue, or white dial; Super-LumiNova on hands. Presented on a leather strap or stainless-steel bracelet with a pin buckle or double trigger folding clasp.
Price: $995 (strap); $1,045 (bracelet).
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