Earlier this year, we showed you the announcement of the Hamilton Murph. This watch is inspired by the Hamilton used in the Interstellar movie from 2014.
Michael did a write-up on the Hamilton Murph and its role in the Interstellar movie, so I am not going into that in this article. I will be looking at the watch as such. Hamilton sent us the Khaki Field Murph Auto for review, including the limited box. Only the first 2555 pieces will come with this beautiful bright box, that was designed with the help of Nathan Crowley, the production designer of the Interstellar movie. After these 2555 pieces (with box) have been sold, the Hamilton Murph will come in a regular Hamilton box. We’ve been informed that a number of boxes have been allocated to the different markets, so inquire with which box your Hamilton Khaki Field Auto Murph will be delivered before you order.
I have to admit that I did not see the Interstellar movie, so I am doing this Hamilton Murph review based on the watch and I am not bothered with any background information. Of course, I am familiar with the movie plot and know where the watch got its name from and which role it played. I am just not that much of a movie guy in general, except for some lost hours during a long flight I rarely watch movies.
It leads me a bit to the point if this watch is worthwhile when you are not a movie buff or at least not a fan of the Interstellar movie. Being one of the few out there that have not seen it (I know I exaggerate), I think I am able to give a clear answer to that. But first, let’s have a look at this 42mm stainless steel Hamilton.
The Morse code on the hand is a nice little gimmick, especially if you’ve seen the movie.
The first thing to notice is the vintage-inspired design for both the case, dial and hands. I have to say that I really like the case style, with the long lugs, and a combination of brushed and polished surfaces. It gives the watch a bit of sophistication to it, which I like. On the dial, you will find Cathedral hands filled with lume. The lume colour in the hands and on the dial itself is a bit yellow/brown-ish, to create that vintage look. Some people like it, some don’t. I happen to like it and think the faux-patina discussion is more a matter of taste than whether it is ‘historically’ or ‘technically’ correct. There was no Hamilton Murph before, it is a new watch, based on the watch used in the movie, that wasn’t based on a particular model anyway. The long sleek seconds hand has a little gimmick, that is barely visible with the naked eye. With a loupe you will see it for sure, and our macro lense also captured it on some of the pictures in this article: there’s Morse code on there. It is a reference to the Interstellar movie and reads ‘Eureka’. Apparently, in the movie the seconds hand was used for communication (in Morse code) between Murph and her father. A nice little gimmick, especially if you’ve seen the movie. If you didn’t seen the movie, it is barely visible and certainly not annoying. I like the fact that each of the hands have a good length. They’re all touching the scale they are meant for. It may sound obvious, but it really isn’t. Even Rolex messed it up once (remember the first 39mm Explorer?). Designing a good set of hands is truly a challenge and I think Hamilton did good here. Also by choosing the Cathedral type hands they didn’t go for the obvious route.
I am happy that Hamilton decided not to use a date window for this watch. It wasn’t on the one used in the movie I think, so I am very glad they didn’t decide to put it on there afterwards. It would have ruined a very clean looking dial in my opinion. Who needs a date window anyway.
The lug-to-lug length is 52mm and that’s not short.
As I wrote above, I like the case because of the brushed and polished surfaces. I also like the design of the case in general: long and curved lugs, a big crown (signed ‘H’) and a screw-down case back. The size of 42mm is very acceptable, and the thickness of 11mm is also fine for this watch in my opinion. The lug width is 22mm, which is relatively wide for a 42mm case but it still works. It also gives you the opportunity to relatively easy swap straps yourself (22mm straps are out there on the market, I mean). But 20mm would open up more possibilities I guess, or at least easier to source those straps. Perhaps it would even look a bit more elegant, but Hamilton chose 22mm and it doesn’t look bad at all. In the end, it is not a dress watch but a watch inspired by pilots’ and military watches. The lug-to-lug length is 52mm and that’s not short. As a comparison, a Speedmaster Professional measures 42mm in diameter and has a 47mm lug-to-lug length. A modern 40mm Rolex Submariner measures 48mm from lug to lug. You might want to give this a try before you buy if you have medium or smaller sized wrists.
38 hours of power reserve ought to be enough for anybody, freely using part of a quote that Bill Gates used (or didn’t use, but let’s not go into that). A lot of movements these days offer around 40 hours of power reserve, in some cases even less, like 38 hours on ETA’s 2824-2 or some of its Sellita clones. While a day has only 24 hours, I like the fact that you don’t have to worry that your watch stopped after a day or two not wearing it. And with 38 hours or 42 hours, it is even less than two days. It is not really an issue, but more power reserve is always welcome. Enter Hamilton’s caliber H-10 movement. It offers 80 hours of power reserve, enough to get you through the weekend wearing a different (or no) watch. Now, Hamilton is not a movement maker but is part of the big Swatch Group, which happens to own a couple of other watch brands as well. Not only that, but Swatch Group also owns a number of ‘suppliers’ like ETA for the movements. The Hamilton caliber H-10 is based on the ETA C07.111, which on its own turn has been based on the widely used ETA2824-2.
Pictured below is the case back of the Hamilton Murph, proudly showing the H-10 movement. It is a no-nonsense movement, with no special finishing except for the nicely engraved ‘H’-signed rotor. The bezel of the case back has some engravings with regards to the water resistance, “Swiss Made” and some numbers (reference and serial number).
There has been some discussion about the price of this watch, which is €895,- (retail including VAT) / $995 USD. By the time of this article, my guess is that most of the special case versions have been sold out. But that – to me – wouldn’t matter that much. I think this watch is mainly for wearing and I don’t see it becoming a sought-after collector’s item that will be stored in its original and special box. The box is nice, admitted, but I can live without.
The discussion on the price of this watch mainly focussed on the lower prices of the Hamilton Khaki Field Auto watches (38mm/40mm/42mm/44mm) that start at €525 and go up to €745,- (with stainless steel bracelet). The Murph with a retail price of €895,- is the most expensive one of the Khaki Field Auto collection, while another 42mm Khaki Field Auto on a strap is also available for €525,-. Is it worth it? The dial of the watch surely looks different from the other versions, but the friendlier priced versions also used the H-10 movement for example. For movie buffs, the watch might be very special and an item to have, regardless of the few hundred difference in the price. To me, who has no specific relationship to the movie (that I haven’t seen yet at all), it is simply a nice watch. Is it worth the difference in price? I like this Hamilton Murph model best from the entire line-up of Khaki Field watches, so I rather look at whether I like the watch (or not) or perhaps would prefer another model from their collection. If I would like the 40mm version of the Khaki Field Auto better, for example, it would be an easy choice, but I like the Murph best. What remains is the fact that I can’t find a real reason for the relatively big difference in price. That said, I don’t feel it is a bad deal at all. A 42mm nice looking watch with an ETA movement with 80 hours of power reserve and a nicely finished case for €895,- is something I could live with.
More information via the official Hamilton website.
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