A while ago, we did a hands-on review of the hand-wound Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical and compared it to the original military GG-W-113 (Hamilton) watch (you can find that review here). With a retail price of just €420, that was very hard to beat. But what if you want a self-winding watch, or feel a diameter of 38mm is too small for you? Or, very important to some, need a date feature? Exit Khaki Field Mechanical and enter Khaki Field Day Date. A 42mm military looking watch with an automatic movement that has a date and day function. For less than €750 (~$895). Interested? Read on.
I will not go into the military history of the Hamilton like Mike has done in his review, I suggest to click the link above if you want to have more details about those watches. But it is clear that this Hamilton Khaki Field Day Date clearly relates to those watches. You could say that the Khaki Field Day Date in this review, is a good ‘civilian’ version of that US Military watch from a few decades ago. With 42mm, a watch suitable for most people and it has an automatic movement instead of a hand-wound one. Now, having a hand-wound movement is far from bad, but I’ve noticed that people who need an everyday watch and are not as deeply involved with watches as most of you are, prefer an automatic movement. Some even feel it says something about quality or value, which it doesn’t, of course.
However, an automatic movement it is. Hamilton’s calibre H-30, which is based on the ETA 2836-2 movement. ETA is, like Hamilton, part of the Swatch Group and that makes it very efficient concerning the use of their movements and requesting slight modifications. Sometimes exclusive to a brand, and sometimes ETA is able to use these modifications for other Swatch Group brands as well. In this case, the Hamilton H-30 movement received a modification regarding the main spring, which allows it to have a power reserve of 80 hours. You can leave your watch off during the weekend and you won’t have to set it on Monday morning again. Perfect. The rotor of the movement has been modified or decorated with the Hamilton logo.
Hamilton made an interesting strap choice here. No leather, or bracelet, or even a NATO, but a green textile strap. A long time ago, I had a similar strap (see here) on my Speedmaster X-33 (which belonged to some special edition for the Japan market), and kinda miss it from time to time. This green textile strap on the Hamilton reminds me of that strap and gives the watch a very cool “military” look. If you want to be even more Rambo, you can opt for the version (reference H70535081) with a camouflage strap. For an additional €50, you can also buy this Hamilton Khaki Field Day Date on a stainless steel bracelet (reference H70535131). However, we have the green textile strap here, which I like very much. I am not so fond of a stainless steel bracelet on this model, but to each, his (or her) own of course.
There’s quite a resemblance with the dial of the Hamilton Field Mechanical, and thus the military spec. GG-W-113 watch. The little arrows at the hour markers, the 24-hour scale and the shape of the hands. These were all done by government specifications in the 1960s. The Hamilton Khaki Field Day Date Auto that I have here is, of course, a bit bigger than those watches, that had a diameter of approx. 34mm. The Field Mechanical was already a bit larger, with its 38mm, but this one measures 42mm. So the dial is also quite a bit bigger. What’s also different, and one of the main ‘features’ of this watch, is the day and date indicators. Furthermore, we find the model name and fact that it has a self-winding movement back on the dial. Also, the famous ‘H’ Hamilton logo proudly sits just below 12 (and “24”).
I know many will not agree with me, but I would have loved to see the luminous material in the hands also be a bit more yellow-ish, or faux-patina, matching the triangles outside the hour markers.
Lug-to-lug, the Khaki Field Day Date measures approx. 55mm. By no means a small watch, but combined with the 42mm diameter these measurements are exactly the same as a 42mm Speedmaster Professional ‘Moonwatch’. The difference is, that the bezel on the Khaki Field Day Date is a bit smaller which means the dial aperture is about 3mm larger. Now, specifications don’t always reflect how a watch actually wears on the wrist, but in this case, the Khaki Field Day Date is a pretty big watch for a three-hander. The day and date feature are easy to set. Pull the crown into the first position and turn upwards to set the date and downwards for the day. Pull once more and you can set the time.
The Hamilton Khaki Field Day Date is basically a no-nonsense watch. If you want to either want to purchase your first mechanical watch or just want to add something to your collection you can wear on a daily basis, the Hamilton Khaki Field Day Date is a good choice. The case has a very nice brushed finish, underlining the military character of the watch. As discussed above, the dial is very legible and it gives a clear nod to the military spec watches used by the US from 1967 till 1986. For 745 Euro (or $895USD), you can’t go wrong, to be honest. It is then just a matter of style (military/toolwatch) and preference (size, functions).
Personally, the day and date feature aren’t really necessary for me but I know there are people that can’t live without having (at least) a date indicator on the dial. To be dead honest with you, I would settle for the 38mm Hamilton Field Mechanical. It is a tad bit smaller with its 38mm diameter, has no date complication and has a hand-wound ETA 2801-2 movement. It is perhaps a bit of a nerd-watch as I call it, but that’s what I like. A very basic watch, with lots of history and close to the original military watch (which was even smaller as I wrote at the beginning). The price is also lower, at “just” €420 (~ $475USD). But I can imagine that this watch is not for everyone, therefore the Khaki Field Day-Date is a wonderful alternative.
Hamilton watches can be bought directly online or, of course, at an authorized dealer. Click here for their e-boutique.
Ever since he was a young child, Robert-Jan was drawn to watches, even though it were digital Casio and quartz Swatch models at the time. In the mid-1990s, his interest increased when he started to read about mechanical watches in... read more