Hamilton has a unique and impressive history as a watch brand. Its story spans two continents, nearly 130 years, and includes as many watch styles as you can imagine. From refined dress watches to pure tools, Hamilton’s catalog runs deep, and has embedded itself into our culture in a way that few watch brands have accomplished. Hamilton watches have seen time on the silver screen, and have been strapped to the wrists of men and women in our armed forces. And, weíd be willing to bet, if you havenít owned one yourself, you know someone who has.*
Hamiltonís new Khaki Navy Frogman*collection is completely in line with the brandís tendency to dig into its archives and polish vintage models up for modern tastes. This current iteration of the Frogman finds its roots in the US Navy ďBUSHIPSĒ models that date to World War II. These ready-for-duty, chrome-plated tool watches were fashioned with a canteen-style screw-down crown, an early method of protecting a watch from water ingress that the Navy certainly would have been interested in. Itís a distinctive look, to say the least, and a clear example of form following function. With a specific military application, legibility was key, and the large hands, generous lume, and crisply printed Arabic numerals were all thought through with function in mind.
An original Hamilton BUSHIPS with the iconic canteen-style screw-down crown protector (image courtesy of wannabuyawatch.com).

Hamiltonís first mass produced Frogman debuted in 1951, and it was based on the aforementioned military pieces. The Frogman also marked the second time a Hamilton watch appeared prominently in a film, a tradition that continues to this day. The Frogmen, released by 20th Century Fox, was based on stories of Navy demolition teams, one of the most dangerous jobs you could have in the second World War. The film was made in cooperation with the Navy and Department of Defense, and it became a cultural sensation largely because of its novel depiction of SCUBA diving, an activity that hadnít been featured in a major film before.
The current version of the Frogman pays fitting tribute to this history, but it’s also a modern diving instrument through and through. A lot of the DNA from earlier watches can be seen in the Frogman at a glance. The locking mechanism on the crown, for instance, is a clear call back to the chained, screw-down crown protector of the original BUSHIPS reference. Itís still functional and still distinctive, and itís thoroughly mechanical in nature, providing satisfying tactile feedback to the user when the time needs to be set or the watch needs to be wound.

Hamiltonís modern Frogman comes in a variety of materials and colorways to suit any taste. At 46mm, the titanium version is an imposing and sporty contemporary timepiece. The diving bezel and second hand accent give the watch a stylish flair against its black dial. With a case cast in titanium, itís lightweight and comfortable on the wrist, and ready for any aquatic adventure you might throw at it. A more conservative and traditional 42mm Frogman is also available in stainless steel, sporting both blue and black dial/bezel variants. Just as easy to read with their expansive dials, these models represent a great option for watch lovers who have smaller wrists, or who just prefer a more compact form. The Frogman in 42mm is available on either a hard wearing stainless steel bracelet or a lightweight and water-ready rubber strap. Both sizes, of course, feature the distinctive crown locking system that really sets this reference apart.
The Khaki Navy Frogman*from Hamilton strikes a great balance between modern sportiness and classic military tool-watch appeal. This watch, and the watches that inspired it, have always been technical marvels that humbly get the job done, no matter the circumstance. This newest version takes an aesthetic leap, making it not only a trusty and reliable companion, but one with a distinctive modern style.

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