Hamilton was founded in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1892. Now headquartered in Switzerland, Hamilton is well-respected in the watchmaking industry for making reliable and stylish timepieces. Hamilton watches tend to be priced in the $750 – $2,000 range.
I own several Hamiltons and generally have had good experiences with their watches.
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Hamilton has priced the Khaki Field right. At $500 it offers a sapphire crystal, a Swiss-made ETA 2824-2 movement, and a date display. Hamilton is known for quality of craft, and the Khaki Field is another example of that. I’m not a fan of the strap it ships with, but that’s an easy fix and doesn’t sour my opinion of an otherwise fine watch.
Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic Technical Specifications
Automatic, ETA 2824-2
Approximately 38 hours
Setting the Time
The ETA 2824-2 is a hacking movement, meaning the seconds hand stops when you pull the crown. This makes it easy to set the day and date precisely.
How To set the time:
- Pull crown to the furthest position (position 3). Turn the crown clockwise to set the time. Note that the date display will roll over at midnight, thus denoting AM time.
How To set the Date:
- Pull crown to the middle position (position 2). Turn the crown clockwise to set the date.
Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic Aesthetics & Design
The Khaki Field reminds me a lot of the Timex Weekender or Seiko 5, though it is at least 2mm larger than both. The dial is simple and flat, save for the hour markers which bring a slight element of depth to the face.
The green and brown scheme works well together, though I have to admit that I’m not a fan of the strap. The dial and case on their own are a fine combination, whereas the strap’s best accomplishment is that it doesn’t attract attention.
The brushed case lets the polished bezel capture the eye, and that polish frames the green dial very well. A keen eye will notice the tip of the seconds hand, which brings a touch of red to the face.
Another watch I reviewed – the Victorinox Infantry Vintage Mechanical – has a similar aesthetic. Where the Victorinox shows off a little more, this Hamilton is more reserved. I’d say understated, but it isn’t really that- it’s just not yelling as loudly as the Infantry Vintage is.
At night the minute and hour hands are clearly visible. The rest of the dial, however, is much more faint by comparison. You can still see the hour markers, save for the date display at 3 o’clock. Nighttime visibility generally isn’t a problem.
Hamilton Khaki Field Build Quality
One area of concern I have is the polished finish on the dial. The rest of the watch, including the ho-hum strap, looks and feels like it was built to be worn daily. The polished bezel will show wear much more noticeably.
Crystal, Case, and Dial
The sapphire crystal is slightly domed, but otherwise stays tucked out of the way. Hamilton has applied an anti-reflective coating to the crystal, though you wouldn’t know it if you were looking at my very amateur iPhone photos.
The hour and minute hands are mounted straight and look and feel secure when manipulating the time. I don’t expect to see the hands fall off on a Hamilton.
The stainless steel case is built well. The tolerances are tight and there are no defects in the workmanship that I can see.
Strap and Clasp
The leather strap feels quite secure and strong. It’s a little thicker than what I’m used to, and I think that plays a big part in that feeling of strength. It doesn’t show a lot of wear after being worn for a good eighty hours either.
The clasp is a standard Hamilton stainless steel unit. It doesn’t feel flimsy and is snug when secured.
More About the Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic
Hamilton uses ETA movements in their watches. In the Khaki Field, they are using the ETA 2824-2. The 2824-2 is a “workhorse” movement used by a variety of manufacturers from all over the world. It is widely considered a reliable automatic movement.
In the Khaki Field, the 2824-2 is accurate to an average of +/- 7 seconds per day, with a maximum deviation of +/- 20 seconds per day.
Value for Money
You can find the Khaki Field Auto on Amazon for around $400, and I think that’s a fair price for this watch. It’s made with all the right materials, looks great day or night, and is built to last.
Hamilton as a watchmaker is one of my favorites because of the value they offer. They are Swiss made timepieces using Swiss-made movements. My experience with them as a brand overall has been very positive- I’ve owned six Hamiltons in total, with three currently in my collection. The Khaki Field is an excellent first automatic, or the automatic you want to wear every day.
Either way, it’s one of the best automatics you can buy for $400.