Review of Hamilton Khaki Field/Pioneer ‘Team Earth’ Automatic

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Model # H60 455 1/H60 455 533
 
Brand/Model:  Hamilton Khaki Field/Pioneer ‘Team Earth’ Automatic
Movement:  Swiss automatic
Material:  stainless steel case, leather strap
Complications:  date display
Price:  MSRP:  $895 USD


Plenty of photos follow the review.  Click on the pictures to enlarge.

 
Hamilton watches seem to make quite a few appearances here at my blog and for good reason, they represent strong value and excellent build quality for their price point, which is usually quite affordable.  This Hamilton Khaki ‘Field’ or ‘Pioneer’ series automatic is no exception.  This watch offers outstanding vintage looks, great quality and good performance with a reliable Swiss automatic movement.
 
If you’re familiar with Hamilton’s Khaki line, you know that there have been and continue to be a myriad of different models in this popular series.  I won’t even attempt to describe how many different iterations of the Khaki line there are, but suffice it to say that there’s something for everybody. 
This Khaki model comes in a beige/cream colored dial and the dark brown dial featured in this review and in two sizes, 42mm and a ginormous 45mm model.  Don’t be fooled, the dial is dark brown, not black like most descriptions of this watch state.  And it’s not a root beer shade, it’s a deep, chocolate brown that could pass for black in certain lighting. 
 
This brown dialed Field/Pioneer model is a special ‘Team Earth’ edition that Hamilton put out with actor Harrison Ford, who is the Vice Chair of Conservation International.  CI’s mission as stated on their web site is “Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the well-being of humanity.”
The Khaki Field/Pioneer starts with a fully brushed 42mm stainless steel case with a classic fluted fixed bezel (the bezel could also be referred to as ‘coin edge’ or ‘reeded’).  The case measures 46.7mm including the crown.  The large onion style crown is signed and is very easy to grasp and use.  The caseback is polished and is secured by six small screws.  The caseback features a ‘Team Earth’ signature along with Harrison Ford’s autograph.  Case thickness is 11.9mm, while the lugs are the increasingly popular yet still odd 21mm.
The Field/Pioneer’s chocolate brown dial is offset by vintage style hands and simple arabic markers.  The inset lume on the hands and the lumed arabics are a greyish or ‘dirty’ looking color, which mimics aged lume.  It’s not yellowed looking or orange, but a shade that perfectly re-creates a true vintage feel in a modern watch.  Superb!  Lume quality is also quite good. 
The seconds hand is a thin matte silver with no lume.  A simple 60-second timing track encircles the outer edge of the dial.  The fine pointed end of the minute hand makes this timing track quite useful.
The quickset date window at the three position is a bit small and can be hard to see clearly at times.  The date wheel is standard black on white and alignment within the window is good.  Minimal printing on the dial consists of the name ‘Hamilton’ under the 12 position and the words ‘Khaki’, ‘Automatic’ and ‘Antimagnetic’ above the six position.  A slightly domed sapphire crystal caps the dial.
The Khaki Field/Pioneer is factory rated for 100 meters of water resistance.
The Swiss made ETA 2824-2 automatic movement is the standard in work-a-day automatic movements and since Hamilton is part of the Swatch Group, there’s no problem in Hamilton sourcing this well admired movement for this watch.  With 25-jewels plus hacking and hand winding capability, you should be able to expect a lifetime of yeoman service from this movement.  During testing in my atelier, the Khaki Field/Pioneer ran at +8 seconds/24 hours and turned in the expected 42 hour power reserve.  Nothing to complain about here.
Another thing I like about Hamiltons is the quality of their leather straps.  Many are handmade in Germany and at times surpass the quality of straps on watches costing two or three times as much.  The strap on the Khaki Field/Pioneer is no exception.  While unnecessarily fussy in its design (Hamilton wanted the strap to resemble a vintage aviator or pilot strap I believe) the deep dark brown hue, the graining of the leather and the soft, tactile feel of the strap is first rate.  And there’s enough of extra strapping and buckles on this thing to make two separate straps if you really wanted. 
Comfort of the strap on the wrist is not as bulky as the design would indicate, but there’s still too much over-and under-wrapping of the strap, clicking of snaps and trying to figure out if you’ve got the strap on correctly to make it fun.  I would have appreciated a simpler and cleaner strap execution, but Hamilton wanted to keep the vintage feel of this watch through and through.
The strap has white contrast stitching and measures 21mm at the lugs, with two stainless steel screwed rivets on each side of the lugs, tapering to 19.7mm at the satin finish buckle.
Presentation is in keeping with the conservation-minded Team Earth concept, which is a simple recyclable cardboard box.  Nothing fancy, but it fits.
Overall, the Hamilton Khaki Field/Pioneer ‘Team Earth’ automatic is a nifty watch that is simple in its design and execution, offers a great vintage look and remains in reach of most WISes.  Well done!
Pros:  just about the perfect vintage look, nothing feels contrived or forced on this watch, venerable Swiss engine, nice quality, especially for the price; high quality strap
Cons:  overly complicated and fussy strap design, date window a bit too small
Verdict:  every watch collection should have a modern piece that resembles a vintage piece and this Hamilton Khaki Field/Pioneer is my ‘pick to click’ in this department.  A well thought-out design that keeps Hamilton on the leading edge of the value/quality/price equation
Thanks for reading and enjoy the pictures.
Excelsior!
-Marc


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