When it comes to iconic military-issue (or -related) watches, you’ve got more than a few choices. If you find yourself, say, more land-based, then something in a field watch style will be up your alley. One of the more recent – and more interesting – releases in this style is the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical, which we recently got to spend some time with.
As we all know, Hamilton has a lengthy history, both as a watch brand and with military-inspired pieces. While I’ve not seen the original watch from the ‘60s, Hamilton states that this is a faithful recreation. And, with a 38mm case (matte finished, nice) and a hand-wound mechanical movement inside, I’m inclined to believe them. For our review loan, we were actually sent three examples of this new watch – one with a black dial (on a brown leather strap) and two with brown dials on two different green straps – one leather, one nylon.
All the strap options for the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical are two-pass NATO-style, which makes sense for this piece. Fortunately, even the leather straps were thinner, so the overall bulk of the watch was not that greatly increased. And that’s a consideration to make, given that the case itself is only 9.5mm tall. I also liked the fact that – at least on my wrist – there was not a lot of extra tail material on the strap that had to be tucked into the keeper. Again, that keeps the bulk down.
For being “only” a 38mm watch, the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is quite legible. The numerals are a a goodly size, and they’ve got lumed indices that light up for nighttime reading of the time (the hands are lumed as well, but not the numerals) which, again, one presumes is faithful to the original. Don’t need a brightly glowing wrist giving you away to the other side, right?
While the version of the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical with the smooth black dial will likely be the more popular one (set as it is into the brighter matte finish) I actually found myself drawn more to the brown (or brown-green) pebbled dial versions. Here, the case has a darker finish (again, matte) and paired as it is to a green strap (I tended more towards the leather than the nylon) just made it feel like an outdoors watch more. Again, that’s more me thinking artistically than anything, I suppose, but at least I was able to put a finger on why this version drew me so much more.
If you’re looking for a compact , casual, daily wear sort of a watch with some military heritage in it’s bones (both in terms of brand and design), I think you’ll be quite pleased with this tidy manual winder. The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is available now, and will run from $495 to $575 depending on the specific dial and strap combo you go for. Hamilton Watches
- Brand & Model: Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical
- Price: $495 – $575
- Who’s it for? You want a compact, heritage-built field watch
- Would I wear it? Sure would!
- What I’d change: While NATOs are fitting, a two-piece strap would be a solid option
- The best thing about it: Just how compact it is, and how pleasing it is to wind the watch
Tech Specs from Hamilton
- REFERENCE: H69439531 (black dial)
- STRAP REF.: H600.694.106 (brown leather)
- STRAP MATERIAL: Brown Leather
- CALIBER: H-50; Hand Winding
- Diameter: 38 mm
- Thickness: 9.5 mm
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Lug width: 20 mm