Hands-On With The Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto A lightweight field watch by Robert-Jan Broer April 30, 2020 MIN READHands-On With The Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto
This article is a hands-on review of the Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto that has been introduced this year. Even though I love (and ordered) the new Hamilton PSR, my favorite Hamilton watches are its military-inspired pieces. Hamilton has a solid track record when it comes to military watches, the brand supplied them for over 100 years.
Producing a military watch isn’t just a matter of designing a legible dial. You need to make sure a watch keeps ticking when you’re in the trenches or dropping from the sky. Now, today’s warfare looks quite different from a few decades ago, of course. However, people like to have a military-inspired watch for many reasons, and I don’t think warfare is one. It is the toughness of these watches, the legibility, and of course, its utilitarian looks. When talking tool watches, or professional watches, the ones for the military were perhaps one of the first in those categories.
During World War II, from 1941 onwards, all men in The Netherlands between 18 and 50 needed to do forced labor in Germany. My grandfather was one of them (born in 1919) and after one day of shit work, he decided to hide. He was in the ‘relatively’ lucky position that in the east part of The Netherlands. Where it wasn’t as crowded, it was easier to get your supplies (food).
Finally free, April 1945. Picture by Brusse Archief
Perhaps, but I don’t know, it was also easier to find a hiding place, as there was a bit more space to move around. Anyway, he spent a few years in a chicken coop (with a hidden compartment inside) until the Americans came to set them free. One of these American soldiers gave my grandfather his watch. A military watch, with a light-colored dial. He wore this watch until it stopped working (in 1968) and bought himself a gold Constellation. The Constellation is the only watch I know him for, but according to my father, he always had this military watch on his wrist till the end of 1968. We have no clue where it is, it was lost long before I was there even (1977).
Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto
A bit of a long introduction, but the Hamilton military watch you see above, is something that looks quite similar to what my grandfather had. According to the memory of my dad. Anyways, the Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto reference H70545550 is not a replica of the military watches from WWII. I do see them as a modern tribute to those military watches, that set the standard for many tool watches. What they didn’t use 75 years ago, was titanium. Although the watches were much smaller in those days and thus lighter, titanium seems to be a logical step for military watches. Matt finish, light-weight and strong, all features that are considered useful.
Case and Dial
I’ve never seen a watch that had ‘titanium’ engraved in its case band. I see watch brands that like to put their brand name or wordmark in there, but never the type of a specific material. It is not particularly something I fancy, but it also doesn’t bother me. The case size is 42mm which is a great size for a gent’s watch. Some might say it should be smaller, but for me (with a 19cm wrist size) it is perfect. For an additional 45 Euro, you can also opt for the black PVD coated version. Some might say that black is a proper color for a military watch. I prefer grade 2 titanium though.
The dial of the Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto reference H70545550 is amazingly legible. As you can see, the watch has three scales on the dial. There’s the minute and seconds track, and you fill find two hour scales. One with the 24-hour military time, that we normally use in Europe as well. It is nice that Hamilton managed to have all this printed on the dial, without resulting in a cluttered dial. A job well done. As you can see, the hands resemble the military watch I showed above. A very nice detail.
Inside the Hamilton H70545550 is the H-10 movement. This is an ETA movement, also part of Swatch Group. Based on a variation of the famous caliber 2824, but with 80 hours of power reserve. The H-10 movement is visible through the sapphire crystal in the caseback. No excessive finishing on the movement, but at least the rotor has a nice looking decoration. The caseback also indicates it is water-resistant to 100 meter / 10 bar. Unlike the cashback, the signed crown is not screw-down.
Price and Availability
This Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto reference H70545550 has a retail price of $945USD (€850) and comes on this beautiful brown leather strap with an H-signed buckle. I like the fact that the watch has been military-inspired. But, I also realize it has little to do with the WW2 watches I briefly discussed in the intro. This is a contemporary watch, with military influences, mainly on the dial (and hands). It does have a number of similarities with the Hamilton watches used during the Vietnam war.
More information via Hamilton online.
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About the author
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in… read more
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