The Hamilton story starts in 1982 in in the U.S. city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. At a time when the country further extended their infrastructure with rail transport, also the number of accidents increased, as time keeping was not always precise enough. Hamilton made itself a name with accurate pocket watches and became famous as “The Watch of Railroad Accuracy”. Soon after also the military showed interest and the soldiers of the First World War were already equipped with the first type of field watches made by Hamilton. During the Second World War the so-called ‘Khaki Field’ was produced, which still today remains an important element in the collection of Hamilton. A watch that was vital at that time, and remains adventurous in today’s time.
Hamilton was established 1892 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Due to the upswing of railroad watches the brand started to become more popular within the public. At that time they cost between 38,50 and 150,00 dollars and were sold at selected jewellers. On vintage advertisement you can read that the brand even sold individual Hamilton movements for 12,25 dollars that could simply be changed with existing ones. During the Second World War Hamilton stopped their whole production for consumers and put the focus exclusively on wristwatches, timer and precision instruments for the military. Hamilton was the only applicant to be able to fulfil the high precision standards of the Navy and all in one produced around 10.000 marine chronometers. This achievement was later honoured by the “U.S. Army-Navy ‘E’ Award” for the production of excellent products.
Camouflaged – with straps in sand-colour or khaki they can be adapted to the environment
Hamilton produced around one million wristwatches for the soldiers on the ground. The ‘Khaki Field’ first appeared by name in the 1940s. Next to its great readability and solid construction the watch was especially helpful due to its precision. The stop second function when the crown is released was a perfect way for the military to synchronize their watches. It might in todays times be a standard, but at that time it was innovative and certainly a great advantage for the military.
The Khaki Field Mechanical Collection by Hamilton
The Khaki Field however did not become obsolete after the War. When Hamilton resumed their production for consumers, new lines were added – but the Khaki Field soon became a favourite for fans and collectors. One reason might be that the offer for field watches is fairly poor and the Khaki Field is a true watch that ‘survived’ in reality under hardest condition. Hence the heritage of the watch is still alive today. Hamilton convinces with two strong arguments – firstly field watches are niche products that offer a welcome alternative for men to their business- and dress-watches, hence a perfect casual watch. Secondly Hamilton offers a very attractive price-quality ratio. From 385,- Euro you can already purchase a Khaki Field with a reliable mechanical movement and a solid fabrication.
A perfect casual watch – though and precise
The new Khaki Field Mechanical 38 mm models ((Ref. H69429931 I H69429901) have big white lacquered hands and striking digits and indices that thanks to the Super-LumiNova become especially visible. The watches are fitted with NATO-straps in khaki or sand-colour matching the rough outdoor-adventure look. A hand-wound movement 2801-2 runs inside the matte stainless steel case – of course with a second-stop-function just like the original soldier watches. Compared to the predecessor model (Ref. H69419933), the dial design very much goes back to the first field watches that Hamilton produced, without date indication and with striking indices.
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38 mm
For the true adventurous people Hamilton launched a limited edition (550 watches each) of the Khaki Field Mechanical 50mm with a new movement. The H-50 hand-wound calibre (with date indication) is exclusively produced for Hamilton and offers a power reserve of 80 hours. Also the luminescent time of the numerals have been significantly improved. Due to the 3-D arrangement of the numerals (each numeral is one millimetre high) the Super-LumiNova can absorb light from all directions and glow twice the length. They are available in three versions: the ‘Stealth Edition’ in all black with a black PVD-coated stainless steel case and black Super-LumiNova, the ‘Earth Edition’ with a sand-coloured PVD-coated stainless steel case and the ‘Steel Edition’ with a matte sandblasted stainless steel case. They come, other then the 38mm watches, with a NATO-strap in leather.
Heavyweight – the limited Khaki Field Mechanical with a 50 millimeter case