REVIEW: Hamilton Khaki X-Patrol Auto Chrono

Posted on 07 January 2013 by Patrick Kansa

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Today, we have our second hands-on review of a Hamilton model (previous one ).  While they’re both chrono’s, today’s model definitely takes things in a different direction.

As I noted, the Hamilton Khaki X-Patrol Auto Chrono (ref H76566151) that we’re looking at today, as well as the Jazzmaster we looked at here are both chronographs, and both feature the H21 automatic movement (which is a modified Valjoux 7750).  Past that, though, the two watches aren’t that similar.

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For starters, the X-Patrol has it’s feet firmly in an aviation heritage.  You can see this first and foremost with a closer look at the dial, where you’ll notice two internal bezels:  one fixed, one rotating (controlled by the crown at 9 o’clock).  What do those bezels allow you to calculate?  Per Hamilton:

It provides conversions for distances in miles (nautical or statute) and kilometers, heights or altitudes in feet or meters, volumes in gallons and liters, as well as weights in pounds and kilograms, using a turning bezel.

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In short, you’re carrying around a slide-rule on your wrist.  Yes, we’re likely to use something electronic to calculate a lot of that – but if you can figure this out (or you’re a pilot), this would be handy to have at your wrist.  The aviation theme also carries over to the 42mm case design – specifically, the caseback.

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Rather than opt for a “simple” sapphire case back, here we actually have six cutouts which mimic the look of an old-school propeller.  While it’s not something many would end up seeing, I think it’s a great nod, and I like the inclusion.

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Finally, while it perhaps wasn’t intended, I see a suggested delta-wing shape showing in the configuration of the left crown to chronograph pushers (with the right crown being a jet exhaust), as well as the subdials (date display as exhaust?).  Again, perhaps I’m just interpreting the watch a little too much, but it’s what I see – and that lets me give some of the symmetry a pass, whereas otherwise I might ding the watch for it.

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I was a little surprised to see a 20mm bracelet paired to a 42mm case, however – the proportions here feel a touch off; perhaps 22mm would give a better visual from case to lugs.  That said, the 20mm bracelet did wear quite comfortably, and the deployant clasp is one of the smoothest I’ve experienced.

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Dark lume is dark

Also smooth?  The rotor on the automatic movement.  As with the Jazzmaster, that rotor just spins and spins with the slightest bit of motion.  In practice, this means your watch will be well wound – and it also means that there was some meticulous assembly occurring with the movement itself.

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In daily wear, I found the watch to work quite well.  It does present as a somewhat dressier piece; if you wanted to make it more casual, perhaps a distressed leather strap might bring it down a notch or two – or you could opt for the stock rubber strap.  Of the stock options, though, I think the bracelet gives the best look.

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Coming in at an asking price of $1745, I think leaving it with the higher-end looks is appropriate, and befitting the materials, finish and movement present in the watch.  As to whether one might opt for this or the previously reviewed Jazzmaster, well, that’s really a matter of personal preference – both are interesting watches in their own right.

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