Hamilton Presents A Brand New Look For The Khaki Navy Frogman Automatic 2022
Hamilton has a rich legacy in American watchmaking, and not just for railroad and aviation watches. The company created the “Canteen” watch worn by U.S. Navy “frogmen” (the predecessors of the Navy SEALs) during World War II. The commercial version of this watch debuted in 1951 and was simultaneously immortalized through its prominent feature in the movie The Frogmen. Fast forward 70 years and Hamilton has now given the Frogman watch a complete overhaul. The result is the latest-generation Khaki Navy Frogman Automatic featuring a modern engine and a contemporary look.
In a market filled with vintage-inspired dive watches, this is a bold and refreshing move. Hamilton could have capitalized on its legacy and jumped on the bandwagon to churn out a “tribute” or retro number. Instead, the now Swiss-based brand bucks the trend and brings the Frogman up-to-date to open a fresh chapter.
By its own admission, Hamilton’s watchmaking technology has come a long way since joining the Swatch Group. For the Khaki Navy Frogman Automatic, the brand has chosen the solid and reliable caliber H-10. This movement is a product of its sister company ETA. The three-hand caliber is known for its absolute precision and impressive 80-hour power reserve. It is also made superior by the use of a cutting-edge alloy, Nivachron, for its balance spring. This relatively new material keeps the caliber more accurate with its exceptional resistance to magnetic fields, shock, and temperature changes. The H-10 usually has a date function, but it does not get utilized in the new Frogman watch. This self-winding movement is housed in a 46mm stainless steel case and protected by a solid case back with a scuba-diver motif.
The size is imposing, but it also indicates a serious diving watch. When Hamilton released the first Khaki Navy Frogman Automatic in 2016, it aimed to retain the identity of a purpose-built diving tool watch. Six years on, the latest iteration may be a complete departure from the original Frogman, but the utilitarian features remain. Large indexes and numerals, chunky hands, a uni-directional rotating bezel, an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, underwater Super-LumiNova luminescence, and 300m water resistance are all essentials in deep-water environments.
Not to mention a redesigned crowd guard that offers total security and peace of mind. The orange-accented minute hand and seconds-hand tip also enhance readability while adding a touch of style. Some of us may find the new Frogman bears a certain resemblance to its hugely popular Khaki Navy Scuba brothers that we reviewed last year. I find that the aesthetics of this latest Khaki Navy Frogman actually make the model very distinctive.
The modern Frogman comes in four different variants, all of which feature a black dial. Two stainless steel versions have a black bezel, and one stainless steel version has a gray bezel. The fourth version has a black PVD-coated case with a matching bezel and dons gray dial markings for a fully stealthy look. The variants are available on either a new wave-look tactical rubber strap in khaki or black or on a traditional three-link stainless steel bracelet.
With a masculine 46mm case, the new Khaki Navy Frogman is designed as a technical watch and engineered for accuracy, legibility, and endurance. I can see any of the variants working as a cool tool watch worn over a wetsuit for an aquatic adventure. However, I don’t know how many wrists can pull it off in urban settings. Personally, I love the uncomplicated lines and curves of the design, which I find very industrial-chic. I think it is the most rugged version of the Frogman thus far, and it may even be the best-looking sibling of the whole Khaki Navy family. We know that caliber H-10 is not a sizable movement and has been fitted into smaller cases for other models. The odds are that Hamilton may bring in a 43mm or 40mm model in the future.
The Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Automatic in stainless steel will retail for €1,175 and in PVD-coated stainless steel for €1,275.
For more information about the 46mm Khaki Navy Frogman watches, visit Hamilton’s website. And tell us what you think of the new design in the comments below!