Today, we’ll go hands-on with models from the newest Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot series. These are great-looking watches that bring a healthy dose of everyday utility along with cues from pilot’s watches. Expect great legibility and specs. Also, because this is Hamilton, all of that goodness is affordable.

The Hamilton Khaki series will always have a special place in my heart. I think it was in the mid-’90s when I entered university in Pennsylvania. My parents came up from Florida in the fall, and one of the activities was to visit an outlet mall to stock up on cold-weather clothing — something I never owned back home. This was at a time when outlet malls were still novel, and during a visit to one in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, my dad happened upon a watch shop. It was there that he purchased a relatively inexpensive Hamilton Khaki with an automatic movement. I liked the watch for its no-nonsense looks and its reference to Lancaster. Fast-forward nearly 30 years later, and that experience still causes me to sit up when Hamilton releases a new model like the Khaki Aviation Pilot.

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Auto 36mm midnight blue

The Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot series

Hamilton is kicking off 2024 with what should be some highly popular models. The Khaki Aviation Pilot series brings seven new watches to the table in two different sizes. All of the watches use automatic movements with 80-hour power reserves and are water resistant to 100 meters. Low-light visibility is a real selling point here, and the newest Super-LumiNova formulation, X1, is on board to help these pieces glow like beacons. Of course, sapphire crystals with double antireflective coating are included. Now, let’s break down the models within the two different size ranges because there are notable differences.

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Auto 36mm black

The 36mm models

Perhaps it’s telling that Hamilton is coming with several great choices for its smaller Khaki Aviation Pilot Auto watches. If nothing else, it’s very on trend in the current “smaller is better” climate. These 36mm watches may be more petite, but they bring an eyeful of detail. Large (frankly, exaggerated), brushed nickel pilot-style hands mix with a dial that feels like a cockpit instrument. A minute track is printed on an angled rehaut and surrounds lumed indexes at the quadrants. Large numerals are in between these and are scaled every five minutes. Interestingly, the hours are printed on the innermost portion of the dial and are visible when the skeletonized tip of the hour hand is on top. All in all, with the massive hands, it took me some time to acclimate to the looks, but I’ve adjusted now. This is a clean watch and is just different enough.

The 36mm models are notable for their lack of a date function. This translates to the Hamilton H-10 automatic behind the scenes, which boasts an 80-hour power reserve. This is Hamilton-speak for the ubiquitous and respected Powermatic movement, and here, it contains a Nivachron balance spring to aid its antimagnetic properties. Per the photograph above, all models have a screw-in display case back.

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Auto 36mm black on wrist

Four options for the smaller Khaki Aviation Pilot Auto models

The 36mm Khaki Aviation Pilot Auto watches are available in four variants. They measure 45mm from tip to tip and are a reasonable 11.15mm thick. They also have an 18mm lug spacing, which should help make them suitable for both men and women.

Two of the four models come on a stainless steel bracelet equipped with a push-button clasp with three holes for manual micro-adjustments. The links have an Oyster-esque design, but the center links are raised and feature polished edges all around. Additionally, the bracelet has female end links, which allow for a comfortable drape on the wrist. The bracelet models are available with either black or midnight-blue dials and retail for €1,155 / US$1,045 / £990.

Two additional models are available on leather straps with an “H-style” pin buckle. The first has a rose-gold-tone PVD-plated case and a midnight-blue dial. The hands are also treated with rose-tone PVD, and the leather strap is described as having a “rose” color as well. This watch will sell for €1,155 / US$1,045 / £990. The final model in the 36mm Khaki Aviation Pilot collection has a standard stainless steel case, a silver dial with gold hands, and a white leather strap. This variant has a price of  €1,075 / US$995 / £915.

The larger 42mm Day Date Auto models

The Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot is also available with a 42mm diameter. Here, the watches have a 51mm lug-to-lug and a 12.1mm thickness. The 20mm strap width helps keep the watches from looking too large. The primary difference in the larger models is the inclusion of a side-by-side day and date display.

Like the smaller pieces, the luminous markers at the corners are inset. This creates a very clean and modern look on a classic pilot’s watch visage. Note the engraved circle that separates the hour and minute tracks. This bisects the date display perfectly, which, at the very least, shows a level of forethought. To be frank, though, the day display comes a bit too close to the center pinion for my liking. Leaving this watch with a date-only function would have been my choice.

The 42mm Khaki Aviation Pilot Day Date Auto models all contain the Hamilton H-30 automatic movement, which is also on display via the screw-in case back. Once again, expect an 80-hour power reserve, hacking, and quick-set day and date functions.

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Day Date Auto olive dial

Three Khaki Aviation Pilot Day Date Auto variants

Hamilton is offering two different 42mm Khaki Aviation Pilot models on leather straps. The first has an olive dial with brushed nickel hands, and it comes on a dark brown leather strap. For these larger models, the straps feature a stamped paramilitary Hamilton logo on the surface. A silver-dial model contains greenish-yellow luminous material and is paired with a medium-brown strap. Both of these watches will retail for €1,075 / US$995 / £915.

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Day Date Auto blue dial

The final model comes on a stainless steel bracelet and has a matte navy-blue dial. This watch has a price of €1,155 / US$1,045 / £990.

Thoughts on the latest Khaki releases

The new Khaki Aviation Pilot models should prove popular with buyers who are looking for a clean, functional watch that can handle 99% of life’s activities. I like the 36mm models due to the cleaner dials, but I am sure that many will find them too small. In the larger sizes, the olive model is hard to deny — that’s a classic Khaki color. Then again, the blue-dial option on the bracelet also looks great. It’s always nice to see Hamilton continue to evolve with more Khaki models that are recognizable yet somehow fresh. What are your thoughts on these latest pieces?

For more information on the Khaki Aviation Pilot watches, visit the official Hamilton website.

This is a preferred-position post. Learn more.

Watch specifications

Khaki Aviation Pilot Auto / Khaki Aviation Pilot Day Date Auto)
H76245840 (36mm Rose Gold PVD) / H76215850 (36mm Silver Dial) / H76215140 (36mm Blue Dial) / H76215130 (36mm Black Dial) / H64635140 (42mm Blue Dial) / H64635560 (42mm Olive Dial) / H64635550 (42mm Silver Dial)
Midnight blue, silver, black, or olive with Grade X1 Super-LumiNova
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
36mm (diameter) × 45mm (lug-to-lug) × 11.15mm (thickness) / 42mm (diameter) × 51mm (lug-to-lug) × 12.1mm (thickness)
Sapphire with double antireflective coating
Case Back
Stainless steel with sapphire display, screw-in
Hamilton H-10 — automatic with hand winding, 21,600vph frequency, 80-hour power reserve, 25 jewels, Nivachron balance spring / Hamilton H-30 — automatic with hand winding, 21,600vph frequency, 80-hour power reserve, 25 jewels, Nivachron balance spring
Water Resistance
10 bar (100m)
Leather strap with stainless steel "H" pin buckle or three-row stainless steel bracelet with push-button clasp
36mm: Time only (hours, minutes, central seconds) / 42mm: Time (hours, minutes, central seconds), day, date
€1,075–1,155 / US$995–1,045 / £915–990
Two years