That’s not to say it’s been totally ruined by its big event. Oh no. It looks good of course, but like I stated when I wrote about the Intra-Matic 68 when it was announced, if Hamilton had released it in 39mm or 40mm, it would have been perfect. However, I guess that is just me and what additional old-school watch fans might think. And to be absolutely clear, 42mm with this particular piece is not too bad, because at least all other components of this case and dial are at proportion.Speaking of the dialup, it is simple, clean, and very appealing. It’s a reverse panda dial with a black background and an off-white tachymeter and registers. The tachymeter scale runs across the circumference of the dial and the two registers are well placed and also feature subtle graining to get a tiny contrast.Usually, I favor my vintage-inspired watches to dispense with date windows, but the Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 includes a very cleverly integrated date window. It is clever because of its positioning and colour. At 6 o’clock, it brings warmth to the dial up. Furthermore, the date disk has a black background, which divides into the black background of this dial, making the date window very inconspicuous. The typical Valjoux 7753 has an energy reserve of only about 45 hours. The only notable modification is that the Hamilton-signed rotor. Unfortunately, you will not have the ability to find the motion because the Intra-Matic 68 includes a good case back. This might be a deal-breaker to a, but I don’t miss with a display situation back. I am sure the motion is neatly completed, but it is not something that I think must be paraded about.
When it comes to pilot watches, you are generally choosing from one of two categories– the simple Flieger style, or a more modern tool-style watch with a lot of complications. With their latest, Hamilton has sort of bridged the gap, giving us a modern pilot watch with simplicity in mind.
Hamilton traces their aviation roots back to 1919, and this new watch, the Khaki Takeoff Auto Chrono Limited Edition (yeah, that’s a mouthful) draws inspiration from their elapsed time clock produced during WWII.
The main inspiration drawn from that clock looks to be the color scheme, which is at once easily readable, especially with the last 15 minutes of the countdown bezel marked out in yellow hashes (those hashes remind me safety markings on a plane, as well).
A perhaps more indirect inspiration is the fact that you can display this watch on your desk, just like a clock. How so, you ask? Surprisingly enough, the case is able to be detached and placed in its display box, thereby becoming a non-wrist mounted timepiece.
However you wear it (or don’t, I guess), the H-31 movement should remain accurate, providing you around a 60-hour power reserve. Given the fact that it was designed in cooperation with aerobatic pilot Nicolas Ivanoff, one would hope it should stand up to whatever rigors we might put the watch through here on the ground.
Land-locked, or soaring through the air, the top-mounted crown and pushers give the piece a distinctive look–and should also keep them from digging into your wrist–a nice design choice for a watch coming in at 46mm.
The new Khaki Takeoff Auto Chrono Limited Edition will be a limited edition (as it’s very name intimates) of 1,999 pieces, with the price coming in at $3,295. hamiltonwatch.com
Tech Specs from Hamilton
- Size: 46.3 mm
- Case: Stainless steel with black PVD
- Dial: Black with yellow detail and hour markers with Superluminova
- Attachment: Black leather strap with new skeletonized pin buckle in black PVD
- Movement: H-31 with 60 hours of power reserve
- Crystal:Sapphire with antireflective coating
- WR: 5 bar (50m)
The simple fact that far pricier watch brands use some of the same moves and substances is a testament to the Hamilton brand. Their designs pay appropriate homage to the past when utilizing new styles that help bring the brand to the modern age. They’re taking more design risks these days, which is a nice jump from their more conventional designs, and the fact they have the power of the Swatch Group supporting them is a very good thing, indeed.There’s a higher likelihood that Hamilton has a watch that suits your style because their range is fairly expansive. Need something dressy? Jazzmaster is the assortment of choice. What about busy? Hamilton may have started out in Western horological heritage, but its clear that their present Swiss possession has enabled them to venture out of the original style wheelhouse. They have now ventured into genuinely contemporary with much more daring styling within the last couple of decades, but if its the traditional look you’re trying for, in addition, there are a slew of great options.The Jazzmaster lineup is equal parts artistry and elegance, representing what is known as the only truly American art form in both contemporary and traditional horological interpretations. These distinct musical styles within the jazz genre appear in classic and edgy watch layouts, the most recent of which is the Face 2 Face versions that have a rotating instance with just two contrasting contemporary and classic dials placed within. The Maestro Chronograph, nevertheless, remains our favorite with its sharp white dial, rose gold hands and numerals, Swiss automatic movement, and beautiful alligator leather strap. Hamilton’s distinct American tradition shines through in this group as it harkens back to the new origins. It is quite clear that art deco, railway and timeless sports influenced the design of the handsome line. Our apparent favorite is the re-issue of this classic Pan Europ Automatic sports watch that’s based on the 1971 original.