Review of Hamilton Khaki Navy GMT Automatic

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Model # H77615833

Brand/Model:  Hamilton Khaki Navy GMT
Movement:  Swiss automatic
Material:  stainless steel case, dark brown leather strap
Complications:  date display, independently adjustable 24-hour GMT disc
Price:  MSRP:  $975 USD; Street Price:  $600 USD



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

 

This is one Hamilton model that I have always wanted, because it has great, clean looks and superior functionality all at a true value price.  I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, Hamilton is one of several Swiss brands that represents what I believe to be an incredible value.  Their quality, their features and their movements represent what many other Swiss brands deliver, but with one exception:  price.  Succinctly said, Hamiltons are tremendous bargains in the world of Swiss watches.

The Khaki line is one of the most popular and extensive of Hamilton’s offerings.  Military-inspired, the Khaki line features both quartz and mechanical movements (manual wind and automatic) with standard, GMT and chronograph models on stainless bracelets, rubber or leather straps and in a variety of dial colors, configurations and styles.  There’s truly something for everyone in the Khaki lineup.
I have a penchant for GMT watches and for GMT world timers as well.  Even though it is hard for me to read the cities on most world time watches without the aid of my readers, I find this style of watch hard to resist at times.  This Hamilton Khaki Navy GMT world time brings a lot to the table and it all starts with a nicely finished brushed stainless steel case that measures 42.4mm in diameter without any of its three signed and screwdown crowns.  Include any of the crowns and the size is 45.4mm.  Thickness is 12.1mm and lug size is the increasingly common 21mm.  Fit and finish on this watch, especially for its price point, is exceptional.
The caseback is polished stainless steel with a mineral crystal display back showing off the automatic movement sporting a suitably signed rotor.  This Hamilton Khaki Navy GMT is factory rated at 200 meters of water resistance.
Underneath the front sapphire crystal (which is ever so slightly domed) is a very dark brown dial that looks black in 98% of all situations you would wear this watch in.  As a matter of fact, it was only during the photo session for this watch that when I had it in strong sunlight did I realize the dial is a very dark shade of brown.  Super nice!
The hands are standard issue Hamilton Khaki, which is to say fairly plain, but extremely useful.  Silver with inset lume.  I have never been a big fan of these Hamilton hands as they seem awfully plain, but on this watch, they work very well.  The hands have fine pointer tips.  The seconds hand is simple silver tone with a lume-filled arrow tip.
The arabics that surround the dial, the lume dots above the arabics, the markings and arabics on the inner rotating bezel, the hands, the pointer for the 2nd timezone and the inverted triangle at the top of the bezel all glow very well and rewarded me with an excellent lume shot!
A quickset date is located at the 3 position with a standard black on white date wheel.  The date opening is framed with a white square.  Alignment of the wheel within the window is acceptable.
The inner rotating bezel is operated by the large screwdown crown at the 4 position.  Being screwdown, it prevents the bezel from being accidentally moved or having it creep around the dial on its own (see my previous Seiko 5 Sports review for a watch with ‘bezel creep.’)  The bezel can be rotated in either direction using the crown.
There is an opening between the ‘40’ and ‘50’ marks on the bezel for display of the selected city used for tracking the time in that location.  When the bezel is rotated, of course this window rotates as well, so you really can’t track the time in the chosen location and use the rotating bezel at the same time, but this is not a major inconvenience.  Most world timers forgo a timing bezel, I for one am glad Hamilton chose to include this convenient feature on this watch.
The crown at the 2 position adjusts the main time and also quicksets the date and rotates the second time zone disc that is located just to the right of the ‘9’ arabic on the dial.  The crown at the left side of the case at the 9 position adjusts the cities disc that resides underneath the rotating bezel. 
All three crowns are the same size (7.2mm), are polished and signed with the Hamilton ‘H’ and are nicely knurled for ease of operation.  They all screwdown and have crown guards, for water resistance and prevention of accidental movement.  Kudos to Hamilton for going the extra mile with these crowns.
I was somewhat concerned that a 42+mm case with three large crowns affixed to the sides would make this piece ungainly on the wrist, not to mention uncomfortable.  I am happy to report that this is not the case.  The crowns don’t intrude on comfort or looks and just go along with the extreme functionality this watch offers.
The cities bezel can be rotated in either direction using its crown and some of the cities on this watch are not the usual world locations found on most world time watches.  This is a nod to the history of this watch and its ‘Navy’ designation.  The cities listed on this watch are:  Honolulu, Juneau, Los Angeles (abbreviated), Easter Island (abbreviated), Acapulco, New York, Cayenne, Rio de Janeiro (abbreviated), Azores, Reykjavic, London, Monaco, Capetown, St. Petersburg (abbreviated), Dubai, Karachi, Colombo, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, Noumea, Auckland and Midway.  Quite a unique and varied list of 24 cities.
This Hamilton Khaki Navy GMT is also the only GMT watch I own that features a second timezone disc instead of the usual third hand used for the GMT function.  The disc is a variation on the theme and functions well, the window for the timezone disc is located to the right of the ‘9’ arabic and has a wide-angle window showing almost five hours of the disc, with an arrow and the designator ‘T2’ printed on the dial that  points to the set GMT time.  The disc sets in one-hour increments via the crown at the 2 position, when moving the crown clockwise.
Inside this Hamilton GMT beats the well-regarded ETA 2893-1 21-jewel automatic movement that both handwinds and hacks.  This movement winds almost silently and has achieved superior performance during my testing regime.  It has run consistently at +4 seconds or so over 24/hours, with a fine power reserve of 50-1/4 hours.  Second hand sweep is smooth and the accuracy of the second timezone disc is spot on.
Hamilton certainly doesn’t scrimp when it comes to their leather straps.  This Khaki Navy GMT has a beautiful dark brown leather croc pattern strap with white contrast stitching.  The strap measures 21mm at the lugs and tapers ever so slightly to 20mm at the stainless steel ‘H’ buckle.  The strap is handmade, is signed and has moderate padding.  There are two rows of holes to accommodate the ‘H’ buckle and its double tangs.  Two keepers are featured, one fixed and one floating.  I usually see this Hamilton Khaki GMT on a stainless steel bracelet, which works fine, but I really think it rocks on the leather strap; it jives very well with the overall look and feel of the watch.
Presentation is typical Hamilton, a fairly large black cardboard box with removable lid and a thick owner’s manual/warranty guide.  Nothing fancy, but in keeping with this watch and its no-nonsense functionality.
Overall, this Hamilton Khaki Navy GMT World Time Automatic (say that three times fast!) is a practical, good-looking and very well constructed watch that should exceed the expectations of its owner, especially at its relatively low price point.
Pros:  great fit and finish, reliable and well-regarded Swiss GMT movement, screwdown crowns all the way around, superb functionality, sapphire crystal 

Cons:  three crowns on the case may be a bit much for some, somewhat odd cities selection on world time disc, window on inner bezel limits functionality at times

Verdict:  a winner in pretty much all categories, this Hamilton Khaki Navy GMT provides functionality, reliability and no-nonsense good looks all at a remarkable price.  A salute to the Khaki Navy, indeed!

Thanks for reading and enjoy the pictures.

Excelsior!

-Marc


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