Model # H69619533
At a Glance:
Brand/Model: Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical
Movement: Swiss manual wind
Material: stainless steel case, leather strap
Price: MSRP $645 USD
Plenty of photos follow the review! Click on the pictures to enlarge.
I’ve wanted to add a Hamilton back into my collection for quite some time now. The last Hamilton I owned was a black dialed Jazzmaster automatic, and that was about three years ago. Hamilton is one of those great big-value for the price brands, although their prices have gone up considerably in the past couple of years. Nonetheless, on the used market or when bought new at the right price, they will not disappoint the true WIS.
The Khaki model line is vast and varied within the Hamilton stable. These Khaki watches mainly have a simple, military inspired design about them and can be had in both quartz and mechanical (both manual wind and automatic) movements.
In addition to wanting another Hamilton, I also wanted to add another Unitas 649X based movement to my rotation. I’ve owned three previous Unitas-based watches (two Swiss, one Asian) and they were all 6498 ‘6’ eaters, so this 6497 ‘9’ eater is my first watch with this configuration.
This Hamilton Khaki Mechanical starts with a beautifully brushed all stainless steel case that measures 44mm without the signed crown, 48.6mm with the crown. The crown itself is 7.7mm in diameter. Thickness is 11.7mm, lug width is 22mm. Overall fit and finish, especially at this price point, is excellent.
Unitas fans will realize these dimensions are not quite as large as some Unitas-based watches, which was a plus for me. Compared to the Getat pilot I had, this watch is smaller in diameter, in lug width, in thickness and in size of crown. So small wristers out there, this Hamilton could be a perfect watch for you!
The caseback is simply superb. Secured by six very fine screws, the caseback is brushed finish stainless steel with a unique porthole style display window over the movement’s balance wheel.
Another unique aspect of the caseback is Hamilton’s depiction of the watch’s main specifications via pictograms. These diagrams list sapphire crystal, stainless steel, handwind movement, 100 meter water resistance and 22mm lug width. Hamilton also prints the case size and movement caliber on the case back. So if you lose your memory, the pertinent information is always at the ready, just flip the watch over!
The dial presentation on this Khaki Mechanical is just about perfect, not too busy nor too sterile. The black dial has large Arabics (with the 12 and 6 Arabics oversized), along with an inner 13-24 hour dial for tracking time in military mode. There are small printed minute markers on the outside of each Arabic and a segmented minute track that makes up the chapter ring.
The 9-eater subdial is appropriately sized and has all sixty second marks depicted on its dial. A subtle record-groove pattern is seen when examined closely. One unique aspect of this subdial is the red track running from the ‘50’ to the ‘0’ marks. I’m not sure why Hamilton has colored the subdial this way, but it looks pretty cool.
The hour and minute hand are luminous and have pointer-type ends on them, which lend a finer look and a somewhat vintage air to the watch. The seconds subdial has a plain silver hand. Lume quality is good, purposely brighter on the hour and minute hands and less so on the one-to- twelve Arabics.
A slightly domed sapphire crystal caps the dial. It appears the crystal does not have any anti-reflective coating on it. The crystal is clear and exhibits no distortion when viewing at various angles.
As previously mentioned, this watch is factory rated at 100 meters water resistance.
The knurled crown is signed and smoothly winds the venerable Swiss Unitas 6497 manual wind movement. It takes 50 turns of the crown to achieve a full wind and this Khaki Mechanical turned in a fine 54 hour power reserve on such. Time keeping has been excellent.
The strap on this watch is another very appealing feature. It’s a handmade German strap in a softer leather that has a rich aroma and a quality look and feel. You almost feel like it’s part of a furniture set that should be in a private den or library, with its stunning dark brown shade bordering on burgundy and its satisfying smell and tactile suppleness.
The strap is slightly padded, has a mild gloss finish and is signed on the inside. Contrast stitching offsets the overall look of the strap. There are two keepers, one fixed and one semi-fixed, that is, it is secured from going too far up the strap by a nylon loop attached at the back. A small but nice touch.
The strap measures 22mm from lug to buckle and the dual-tang design of the buckle is yet another unique touch on this watch. The buckle is unsigned in the traditional sense, but look closely at the one-piece tang and you’ll see the Hamilton ‘H’ staring at you. Hamilton does these kinds of design features, fairly subtle and that don’t scream HAMILTON! in your face. They have more respect for you than that.
I have also seen this same watch offered with a bund-style detachable leather cuff in the same shade as the strap. To me, this would be far too cumbersome, but some with a larger wrist could find this accessory to be of some value.
Presentation is standard Hamilton black inner and outer boxes and a thick Instruction Manual in multiple languages.
Street prices for this watch run in the $350 to $400 range, brand new.
Overall, this Hamilton Khaki Mechanical offers a no-frills approach to a classic watch style with just enough design augmentation to set it apart from the seemingly endless array of Unitas powered watches out there.
Pros: Swiss-Made build quality, Hamilton cache, beautiful strap, sapphire crystal, rugged and proven Unitas power
Cons: One of those rare watches that really has no glaring omissions or faults. Really, it’s true!
Verdict: Superb value and looks in a quality, brand-name Unitas 9-eater design. Hamilton knocks it out of the park with this one! Well done!
Thanks for reading and enjoy the pics.