Hamilton as a brand has a special place for aviation/military-inspired watches and a glance at its Khaki collection explains it all. For its latest addition to the Khaki collection, the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical, the brand revisited a chapter from its rich history to create a faithful modern reinterpretation of a military watch that was produced for the Royal British Air Force in 1973.
Dimensions can make or break a vintage reissue, so let’s begin by looking at the case. Measuring 36mm in diameter and 42mm from lug to lug the barrel style case on the new Hamilton Khaki Pioneer Mechanical is size-wise a replica of its vintage inspiration. While a surprisingly bold move in today’s modern time, what this has resulted in is a watch that looks as if it belongs to the past and would also sit comfortably on a variety of wrists. Sitting on top is a box-shaped mineral crystal that adds to the retro vibe of this piece.
Akin to the case Hamilton has kept the nostalgia intact on the dial front as well. Presented in black with a textured finish, the dial has been tastefully done with a strong focus on functionality. Bold Arabic numerals form the primary index, a railroad-style represents the minutes and making it a breeze to read this information is a well-proportioned sword style handset. While most of the printing has been done in white to provide a high contrast against the black background, the lumed bits have been painted in cream for a vintage flavor.
Powering this watch is Hamilton’s modern H-50 caliber. A modified version of the trustworthy hand-wound ETA 2801 movement, the H-50 operates at a lower frequency of 3Hz and offers a massive power reserve of 80 hours. And in yet another nod to the past, the movement has been kept hidden behind the closed case back.
To sum all I would like to say is that it does not get better than the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical in the world of heritage reissues. The watch would be sold on a grey nylon mil-strap for USD 850 and on a brown leather nato for USD 890.