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Thread: Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical White Dial Mini Review

  1. #1
    Hall Monitor Samanator's Avatar
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    Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical White Dial Mini Review

    Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical White Dial

    Currently exclusively through Topper Jewelers



    As I've learned recently the topic of Field Watches can bring on some heated and passioned discussions among watch enthusiast. Depending on who you talk to there are varying opinions as to what constitutes a field watch even among the various horological review sites. Views on what are correct dial layouts, case sizes, and strap configurations seem to go all over the place. Given this, I'm going to avoid that area altogether and focus on the watch currently adorning my wrist. This would be the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical white dial. I don't believe any camp would exclude this watch from the field watch designation except for its inclusion of a non-MIL-W-3818B white dial and not black. As noted by Cole Pennington (Editor from Hodinkee) "Before those initial specifications were issued there were plenty of soldiering watches featuring white dials. In fact, many early Hamilton Army Ord. Dept. watches had white dials, so this new Khaki Field Mechanical does, in fact, draw on some legitimate history." For this writeup, I'm not going to get caught up on what it's not, but what it is.


    Let's start with the measurements and these may not jive with what you've seen elsewhere, but they are what I got when I measured the watch.
    Case: 38mm
    Length: 47mm
    Lug width: 20mm
    Thickness: 9mm
    Weight: 58gm (w/nylon strap)
    Pin-to-Pin(spring pin): 45mm
    Gap (spring pin to case): 3mm
    Water Resistance: 50m





    These measurements make for an incredibly light and balanced watch on the wrist assisted by the curved lugs which set the bottom of the spring pin in line with the bottom of the case. This set up makes the gap between the spring pin and the case look and function bit bigger than it measures out at. The positive side of this is NATO style straps can be taken on and off very easily (even thicker ones) without having to pull a spring pin out. The negative, if you are of a similar view as me, is conventional straps sit too far away from the case to look right (except a bund or Gas Gas Bone strap that the watch can sit on). I tried a whole host of conventional 20mm straps on it including rubber, sailcloth, and varying thicknesses of leather in many finishes and nothing looked right to me. The good news is this watch looks fantastic on NATO straps of nearly any color. The bead blasted case looks very industrial and along with the white dial, it opens up an extensive range of colors that will work with this watch.




    Speaking about the dial it is no secret I'm a fan of real white dials. A real white dial will almost always be my first choice if it is available as an option. To me white with black markers makes for the readable dial set up in any form of light. I feel it even makes the lume at night work better than a darker dial. Even the black second hand is highly visible on this watch. This is something I've learned from many years with my white Explorer II which also has black lacquered hands and markers. The watch has aged look lume on the hands, second-hand tip and twelve triangle markers around the dial. I like this look and feel it works much better with this dial color and industrial case finish. I think normal white lume would just not work on this watch. I was surprised how brightly the lume glowed green after a quick charge. Something I've come to appreciate as of late is this watch also has no date so it is a very clean face. Only usable data to tell that time (hours, minutes seconds) are on the dial with an understated Hamilton logo. Iíll note this all sits under a sapphire crystal that appears to not have AR.

    The movements is the hand-wound H50 mechanical with an 80-hour power reserve thanks to its 3 Hz (21,600 vph) beat rate. This is a proprietary movement exclusive to Hamilton so it kind of falls into my in-house only grey areas that I have in my collection. Some will not like the little visible stutter that is the by-product of lowing the frequency from 4Hz to 3Hz to allow nearly doubling the power reserve. I'm firmly in agreement with this action. Give me power reserve any day over a minor reduction in frequency. It has little to no effect on accuracy. There are several very high end watches with a similar beat rate or less. I will note the watch has a hacking function. On my timegrapher machine, the watch is reading +2 to +5 in all axis which is more than acceptable. Iíll report back with my on the wrist rates when I have a bit of time with it.


    Crown action is excellent on the Hamilton. The crown is a push/pull set up which yields a usable 50m water resistance. The crown is large enough to grip it even with wet fingers easily and allows the user to make time adjustments on the wrist. I purchased the two strap kit with the watch that comes in a nice box with a spring pin tool as part of the set. The Straps are one army green nylon and one tan leather NATO. Both use a 3mm square tipped Hamilton signed pin buckle. and have reinforced leather hoops in place of metal buckles between the top and bottom parts of the NATO. The nylon strap has an extra matching leather reinforcement area stitched in to strengthen the pinhole areas. The watch looks great on either strap. The leather strap is a bit stiff being new making it a slight bit less comfortable than the nylon one. Both have identical weight registering 58grams on my postal scale with either strap. The watch sits down nice on my round wrist due to its thin case (9mm) and downward curving lugs. Even on my hairy wrists, I can easily manipulate the crown without pinching anything. This is the only watch I can think of that I can do this with. The size and weight of the watch have it barely noticeable after just a few seconds on the wrist. It will easily tuck under any shirt or glove cuff.





    Price of this watch is under $500 ($495) with one strap or $625 for the two straps boxed set with tool. At this price point, I find it a very compelling piece against any of its competition due to the overall finish, exclusive high PWR movement and stand out dial color and configuration. I was convinced based on some of the first pictures that I would like the leather NATO better, but I will admit I think I like the look and comfort of the nylon one better. If you only buy one that would be my suggestion. I've never liked NATO straps, but this watch has me shopping for some other ones to try. Part of that may be that on some watches it, not any easier to put on a NATO than a conventional two-part strap. I've swapped between the two straps about 20 times today, and I believe I can take the watch off of the wrist, change the strap and fasten it back onto the wrist in less than a minute. With practice, I could cut that in half.

    My round 7.5" wrist can sport 47mm Panerai watches so I'm always concerned with any watch under 40mm. I've had some other 38mm watches that some have worked (Nomos Metro) and some have just been too small looking(MKII Hawkinge) on my wrist. I've had a similar thing happen with 39mm watches, where the Rolex Explorer looks too small yet the GS Kira-zuri looks fine so sometimes measurements cannot be your only guiding factor. The Hamilton is at the very bottom edge for me size wise, and I'm hoping the dial set up, and slim case makes it seem more like the Nomos. Maybe having this will make me more accepting to smaller watches and I can revisit the Explorer again? I'm looking forward to trying on a few different NATO straps since I now have the perfect watch for them. I think this will be fun. If you're on the fence on these, I think this watch is unique enough to take a chance, and the price removes any risk.







    Last edited by Samanator; May 4, 2019 at 01:27 PM.
    Cheers,

    Michael

    Tell everyone you saw it on IWL!

  2. #2
    Very NICE! luv the field style and the blasted case...
    after almost 5 years of ocationaly wearing the Seiko 5 SNK 809 and 803 (black and cream dial), i always wonder what would be the upgrade for this same style.. -- this New series oh Hamilton at 10x the price seem to offer the right value for tool watch with nicer case, better movement and sapphire glass... still with the legacy look&function of true field watch..
    Superb purchase Michael! such a sweet and Handsome watch.. very
    I'm on instagram: @iyonk_strap

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  4. #3
    Super Member Raza's Avatar
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    I'm really ​digging this watch.
    Read my latest IWL blog entry! An Ode To Rule Breaking

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  6. #4
    MWC is that my watch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iyonk View Post
    Very NICE! luv the field style and the blasted case...
    after almost 5 years of ocationaly wearing the Seiko 5 SNK 809 and 803 (black and cream dial), i always wonder what would be the upgrade for this same style.. -- this New series oh Hamilton at 10x the price seem to offer the right value for tool watch with nicer case, better movement and sapphire glass... still with the legacy look&function of true field watch..
    Superb purchase Michael! such a sweet and Handsome watch.. very
    depends mate their are steps in between of course plus country if you are going usa well walthan /benrus also pop into the mix ... the uk well cwc /pulsar/seiko come to mind ..well and of course smiths when we talk mech... I had the quartz one in black dial think it has a slightly different look can't remember will add a pic .

    I know I regretted getting the quartz later on ( at the time felt it was more the right one when you think of the early quartz field watches ) think should have gone mech think that would have been a deciding factor in it as I hardly use it as just my cwc beats it has down ..

    so yes would advise mech over quartz but the quartz is very light on the wrist thou and does seem able to take a knock or two .. just wonder if the mechs could do the same with the delicate nature of a mech movement ? .
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    Last edited by is that my watch; May 4, 2019 at 08:44 AM.
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  7. Likes Greg, iyonk, Samanator, Strela167 liked this post
  8. #5
    Congrats Michael. Great review.

    I'm really enjoying my black dial model also. It definitely looks better on a one piece strap. I already had a one piece iyonk strap that works perfectly and a couple NATO's.

    The new movement is a terrific upgrade, along with the light colored dial, this one is definitely on my list.

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  10. #6
    I think youíre doing yourself a disservice calling that a mini review, Michael. Being a fan of simplicity, I really like that one. I donít think, given the lug-to-lug, that it will wear too small. Very nice pickup!

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  12. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    Congrats Michael. Great review.

    I'm really enjoying my black dial model also. It definitely looks better on a one piece strap. I already had a one piece iyonk strap that works perfectly and a couple NATO's.

    The new movement is a terrific upgrade, along with the light colored dial, this one is definitely on my list.
    could you please share your Hammy picts in this thread also on various combo Greg? thank u..
    I'm on instagram: @iyonk_strap

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  14. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by iyonk View Post
    could you please share your Hammy picts in this thread also on various combo Greg? thank u..
    Sure iyonk. Away from my computer right now but I can add more later.

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    Last edited by Greg; May 4, 2019 at 09:49 PM.

  15. #9
    Another Member crownpuller's Avatar
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    I was that close to getting the black-dialed version earlier in the year and would (probably) have one by now had the PRS-1 dial Speedbird not been released while I was deliberating.
    Just before that, I'd ordered the Zodiac so funds are now very much depleted. Maybe I'll get the Hamilton when I've saved a little more.....
    Some people have opinions - The rest of us have taste.

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  17. #10
    Member litlmn's Avatar
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    Hell of a write up. Not sure there is anything mini about it.


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