Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

Hamilton Khaki Automatic – in depth review (HR & EN subtitles)

Hamilton Khaki Automatic – in depth review (HR & EN subtitles)

Hi and welcome to another Watch Geek video! Today I will be doing a review of a Hamilton
Khaki Automatic that I think, is to field watches what Seiko SKX007 is to dive watches. In my opinion every watch collector should
own one at least once in their lifetime. It has a timeless design and will always look
good, as is usually the case with designs that were made to be functional first. And this one is a perfect example of that,
as the design is based on military watches used in WW2, meaning it was made to be legible
and easy to read. When it comes to the specs, Khaki models wear
larger than their size might suggest as they are usually very long. This is the 42mm version, meaning, that the
diameter is 42mm. However the lug to lug is almost 53mm which
is very long and makes me think a 38mm version with its lug to lug of 46mm would look better
on a smaller wrist like mine. The reason for this length apparently is to
make NATO straps fit easier, since these are military inspired watches after all. Whether this is true or not, I don’t know,
but it does kind of make sense. The thickness is 10,5mm and is one of my favorite
features of the watch as I usually love slim watches. In fact it makes the watch appear so slim,
that after being used to watches that are between 12 to 14mm thick even when they are 37mm
like most Seiko 5’s, this watch makes you feel like you are wearing a quartz watch,
that’s how slim it is The watch comes on a very soft and supple
leather strap with a nicely sized brushed buckle that has the Hamilton engraving. Although the strap is very comfortable I am
not really sure about its durability as you can see it got pretty deformed at the hole even though
the watch is not worn that much. If I was getting one, I would go for the bracelet
version as the bracelet is really well made and is a lasting solution, but even if you
go for the leather you really can’t go wrong, because let’s face it, you will be buying and trying
many different straps on this watch, as it just begs to be worn on as many straps as
you can afford. The case just like everything else about this watch
is purely functional and simple adding to the already mentioned timeless design. The lugs curve downwards and help in making
the watch comfortable on the wrist. The one thing that works against comfort is
the huge crown. It does make operating the watch easy but
to someone used to smaller crowns or ones placed at 4 o’clock, like me, this will
feel uncomfortable. As you would expect from a field watch it
is completely brushed and the brushing is very fine, making for a lasting finish that
will handle scratches well. The bezel is the only polished part of the
watch and to be honest I don’t know why they went with that. I mean I understand they wanted to add some bling
to the watch as to not make it too boring with all the brushing, but choosing the bezel,
which is the part of the watch that will get most scratches, just seems kind of wrong, and if you look at pictures of used ones, you will know what I mean. It does make the watch look prettier while
new, but with age it just shows more scratches than would be visible if the bezel was brushed
or bead blasted. The crystal is sapphire and has no AR coating
at all, which can be a bit of a problem because it is also slightly curved meaning it is very
reflective. It’s almost impossible to take a look at
the dial without seeing something reflecting in it, and most of the time it’s your own face. I still like this better than if they went
with outer AR, but they could have at least put it on the inside or went with a flat crystal. Both of these would have reduced the reflections
by a huge amount. I even know some people who sold their watches
because of this, but then again, some people like that look and find it cool so I guess
you lose some and you win some. The dial is a typical field watch but with
some added finesse and dressiness so you have a sunburst effect on the smaller center part
where the 24 hour markers are, then you get this circular brushing on the hour markers part
followed again by a sunburst effect on the outer chapter ring with seconds and minute
markers. Now, I am really a sucker for legible watches
and this one really excels at that. Another thing you might have noticed me saying
often in my videos is the length of hands relative to the markers and how it annoys
me when the hands don’t reach their designated markers. On this watch it is the complete opposite. In fact, this watch could be used as an example
of how hands and markers should be placed relative to each other. The hour hand ends exactly at the inner part
of the dial, the minute hand touches its markers and the seconds hand is even longer, touching
the seconds markers. All this gives the watch a very professional
almost an instrument like look. I especially love the red seconds hand tip
as it adds just the right amount of color to the dial. The inscriptions are also very minimalistic
and work well with the spirit of the watch. The date is at 3 o’clock and done in white,
with a white line running around the window. To me that is the one thing I would change
about this dial as it just kind of stabs you in the eye and ruins the symmetry. It also pushes the 15 hour marker to the inside
making it look out of place. I would prefer if they went with a black date
and no line around the window, to blend in as much as possible and I would also leave out
the 15 hour marker all together. That way the date would give the illusion
of being the missing hour marker and in my opinion the dial would look better. And now the lume. I will be generous and say the lume is adequate. What I mean by that is that the hands are
perfectly visible throughout the night as with the fading of lume, your eyes get more
sensitive so you can always read them. The hour markers on the other hand, not so
much. The lume on the markers is visibly weaker
and fades away quite quickly once in the dark, but since this is not a diver’s watch I
think its ok. I also noticed the lume application on the
hour markers is a bit sloppy but that’s only visible on macro levels and it cannot
be noticed with your bare eyes. An interesting thing is that the blue dialed
version that WatchUP69 did a review of, and I will put a link right here, has no lume
on the hour markers, as they are just painted, which is kind of odd. So if you decide to get one, and want to have
the lumed markers make sure to check before buying. The watch features an exhibition caseback
and the movement powering the watch is the H10 caliber, which is Hamiltons version of
the Powermatic 80 we first saw introduced in Tissot watches some 4 years ago I believe. This movement is a modified ETA 2824, where
the beat rate has been lowered from 28.800 bph to 21.600 in orded to increase the power reserve,
which has gone up to 80 hours, thus the name Powermatic 80. Some people were not so happy with that decision
as the smoother seconds hand was the reason they liked the ETA over equivalent Seiko calibers. I personally have nothing against it, and
from what I read on the forums from owners of these calibers the accuracy is very good,
meaning the lower beat rate hasn’t negatively influenced it, and you do get 2 positives
out of it, the already mentioned increased power reserve, and the service interval for
these should be longer then the equivalent 2824, as there is less wear. Another change is that there are no regulating
pins so the watch gets regulated in the factory apparently by sharks with freakin’ laser
beams on their heads, or something like that, which is something we also heard when System
51 was introduced, making this watch supposedly impossible to regulate at an independent watchmaker. I personally don’t think that’s entirely
true as you can see little screws on the balance wheel and they can slide inwards or outwards
which effectively means you can regulate the watch that way. But this is just my assumption so please take
it with a lot of reserve. To conclude, the Hamilton Khaki has been THE
field watch for years and you can see why, it is a beautifully made modern, dressier
version of a timeless style where form follows function. I personally love the look of this watch minus
the little things I would change, but I find those on every watch I review, so that’s
nothing new. The new version comes with the H10 movement
that has yet to prove itself, but I have no doubts it will be as reliable and rugged as
the 2824 it is based on. If for some reason you cannot live without
the higher beat of the 2824 or you want to be sure an independent watchmaker can service
and regulate one, older versions can still be found online from to time to time, and
my guess is their prices are going to go up from now on. Although the look of this watch is based on
military field watches it is different in many ways, making it more civilized and dressier
as I said earlier. For those who want the real deal, and by that
I mean the closest to the actual military spec you can get, you should check out the
Khaki mechanical, as on that model, the case finish, the dial layout, and even the
hands are the exact replica of the Milspec Hamilton watches of the past, plus it’s
even cheaper than this, and is a handwinding watch, which is an instant cool factor! Well this pretty much completes this week’s
review, so thank you for watching. I hope you enjoyed, if you did, please like
and subscribe by pressing this button right here, and until the next video, bye!

Reader Comments


  2. I recently got the (one of the) quartz version of the Hamilton Khaki Field. I wanted it to be slim and rugged, and the 40mm size (lug to lug 48ish) fits me well. The H68551933 looks quite similar at first glance but doesn't have the dial/date window placement issues you mentioned in the video, a slightly smaller crown, and the steel bracelet is great: the polished center links which aren't those weird two-piece ones with the line down the middle) combined with the polished bezel brings the perfect balance of bling in my opinion (don't like completely brushed watches generally). Quite happy with it.

  3. I like this watch and will be adding it to my collection but I will be searching for the 2824 movement great review

  4. Vlasnik sam Hamiltona Khaki Mechanical i jedan od mojih favorita. Sat je kojeg bi nosio do kraja zivota
    Btw. Odlicne recenzije. Svaka cast i nastavi i dalje tako

  5. A real timeless classic!  To me it wears well on your wrist, not overly large.  Good detailed review, that strap starting to unravel so early is a problem though. 😜✌️

  6. what a fantastic review all the way through, and a huge thank you for the mention to my Khaki review. I totally agree with the ‘15’ marker and I was going to mention this also, but have decided that my reviews need to be shown not to involve my personal opinions and thoughts, but you carry it well 😉 I couldn’t really see a difference in the second hand between mine and yours, as mine is 28000 an hour. As always a huge thumbs up for support and thanks again for mentioning me 🙂

  7. I do not like the inner thin circle (probably create by the inner 24h circle) that appears on the crystal as if it were scratched. Also due to its multiple higher price versus a Seiko 5, not to have the day marking is another deal breaker for me.

  8. I just ordered this watch today based on your review thank you I was looking for a military field watch and your review convinced me to do so… I am also a subscriber to your channel…

  9. Loved the review – I am looking at getting either the 38 or the 42mm version (I don't like the changes made for the recently released 40mm option). I am in Australia though and can't access a model in a store so I am having trouble picking a size. I have about a 7.25-7.5" wrist, but a wrist diameter of about 60mm which I think makes wrist quite wide relatively. I don't want lug overhang obviously. Given the lug to lug distances of 46mm (on the 38) and 52 (on the 42) Which do you think is the better choice for me? What are your wrist measurements because it seems to me the 42 fits you perfectly!

  10. The watch is gorgeous!
    However replace this strap with a Hirsch Terra bracelet
    Looks better and in the long run the cheaper solution

  11. I miss my Hamilton Field Khaki. It wore great. Lost it in the damned Middle East. The best watch at $350 (Seiko has nothing close).

  12. Excellent review. The only point I would disagree with is the color of the date marker. Although I am a huge fan of a black background on most date markers, with a military field watch having so many numbers on the dial, it makes sense to me to have the date displayed in white so as not to be confused with any other number(s) on the dial. I would tend to believe this was Hamilton's reasoning as well. I recently purchased this model, and based on all the overall positive reviews, I am eagerly awaiting it's arrival. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your experience!

  13. I completely agrees with your assessment about the 15 hour marker. It looks out of place, sloppy, and has been the only thing keeping me from buying this watch. Great review my friend.

  14. Thank you, this is one of the most competent watch review I’ve ever seen. It really helps to understand pro and cons of the Hamilton Khaki Field

  15. Hi, just subscribed and liked.
    Nice video. I’ve had no problem regulating the H10 movement. As far as I can tell you don’t need to slide the screws on the balance wheel as just a small rotation of the screws make quite a change in the timing. You’ll notice that the screws are asymmetric. If you move the slightly fatter (pregnant looking side ha ha) clockwise towards the centre of the balance wheel, it increases the inertia and so speeds up the movement. Making sure the opposite screw is rotated an equal amount also clockwise.
    Try 10 to 20 degrees of rotation for just a few seconds a day. Obviously great care is needed not to exert undue pressure on the balance wheel when making the adjustment.
    I’ve been wanting to make a video on YouTube but just don’t have the confidence or proper equipment. Keep up the good work.

  16. I enjoyed your review which gave the information I needed. However I own one of these and while I agree that it’s looks and legibility are fine the time keeping is not. Mine is at least ten seconds out every day. V disappointing.

  17. The 38mm is much superior in my opinion firstly because its more similar in size to the original field watches it resembles and also because the date is executed a lot better on the dial without the need of ruining the symmetry of the military 15h mark. Also on the smaller one the crown looks even bigger relatively to the case which also gives the watch a cooler tool-watch look imo

  18. i think is better to nbuy the model with the bracelet: Nothing against the one with leather strap but i think in this case the bracelet has really good quality

  19. Great review. Mhhh I think I pull the trigger. Or is the big crown really that uncomfortable? Or should I go instead for the khaki king?

  20. I think is disrespectful for customers to not put AR coating on sapphire crystal. People are paying a lof of money and Hamilton should provide a good product

  21. Exhibition caseback on a FIELD watch???
    Unacceptable. That's the weakest point of the watch now, the glass on exhibition casebacks can be broken with your bare finger just by pushing on it. Seems a no-go for me.

  22. The reflectiveness is an absolute non-issue. To sell it for that reason is nuts. I've never had a problem telling the time: much ado about nothing… it the fact that people talk the watch down because of the reduced bpm. I mean seriously?! It has 80hr power reserve! Being petty like that suggests that those people look at the smallest issues with watches (and possibly other things in life) and thus can never settle for one watch. There will always be one imperfection that will prevent them from buying a watch. You have to sacrifice at some point.
    This watch has waaaaay more benefits. I agree the bezel could have been brushed rather than polished, but just be careful…and the curved glass gives it character and another dimension. Beautiful watch, best one for under £500

  23. Leather is not "soft and supple" it was sooo stiff and took a while to conform to my wrist. But I guess one could argue this makes the leather last longer.

  24. Does anyone know if I can pull off a Khahi Mechanical? It’s 38mm and I’m pretty big 6’4. I love the watch but don’t know if it looks right on me.

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