Hamilton's Khaki Field Collection
The Khaki Field watches are resilient military watches with a rugged design. As the first soldier’s wristwatch, the Khaki Field line pays homage to Hamilton’s military background, and the collection has watches that are ready for any expedition.
The Khaki Field has a wide range of timepieces. The men’s line includes over 70 models with quartz to hand wound and automatic mechanical movements.
The Hamilton watches in the Khaki Field collection are classic army designs that have stood the test of time. They’re designed for life’s explorers and are sure to meet your demands in the wild.
History of the Hamilton Khaki Field Collection
With World War II in full swing and the United States completely committed to the war effort, Hamilton made the valiant decision to halt all civilian manufacturing in order to mass produce watches and other precise timekeepers for the war effort. Hamilton provided almost a million watches to the military during the following three war-torn years, earning five Army-Navy “E” Awards for their continuous excellence.
The watches that would later become known as the Hamilton Khaki were made of chrome-plated base metals, sized roughly 34 mm in diameter, had bright radium paint on their dials for nighttime visibility, and were powered by Hamilton’s manually wound, 17-jewel Caliber 987 movements.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Hamilton continued to supply timepieces to US military forces, maintaining their high quality and precision.
This era’s watches created what we now consider to be the definitive field watch look: black dials with 12 white Arabic hour numbers, an inner ring of smaller numerals showing 24-hour time (i.e., military time), and a minute track with triangle marks at each hour.
The Hamilton Khaki for Civilians
Fast forward to today’s Hamilton Watch Company, which was acquired by the Swiss Swatch Group in 1974 after moving its manufacturing to Switzerland in 1969, and the brand’s revival of its historically significant military timekeeper as not just one model but an entire collection under the Khaki umbrella. In the 1980s and 1990s, Hamilton continued to make timepieces for military forces, but in the post-Vietnam period, the business began promoting its military emblem to a wider audience of civilians. Some of the first “modern” Hamilton Khaki watches were co-branded with the outdoor stores where they were sold. During this time, the “Khaki” emblem began to emerge on the dials, defining the collection that would follow.
*By clicking on the product links in this article, we may receive a commission fee at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.
Our Picks: Top Watches from the Hamilton Khaki Field Collection
We picked these watches to highlight the different features (movement, size) that are available in this collection.
Hamilton Khaki Field: Quartz Movement, 38 mm
This watch is proud of its military background and has a distinctive appearance. The design, while steeped in elements derived from the original military aesthetic, is modernized and made to sit comfortably and reliably on the wrist. A quartz movement enhances the dependability and ease of 21st-century lifestyle activities.
See examples below:
- The first picture features the NATO strap and green dial, and is for a more active, adventure filled lifestyle. Alternatively, it pairs well with any casual outfit and is great for a variety of daytime events.
- The second option with the stainless steel bracelet and black dial could function as your everyday watch, but it can also be dressed up and looks just as impressive paired with a suit.
Hamilton Khaki Field: Mechanical Movement, 38 mm & 42 mm
The case size of one of Hamilton’s most recognizable watches has been increased. The Khaki Field Mechanical 42mm is powered by Hamilton’s own hand-wound H-50 movement.
The H-50 is a unique caliber designed exclusively for Hamilton’s handwinding timepieces. The H-50 comes with or without a date function and features an extended power reserve of up to 80 hours, assuring optimal dependability even when not wound for several days.
The sandblasted stainless steel casing and an ultra-readable white or black dial are great additional features as well.
Our picks for the mechanical movement options in order:
- NATO strap with black dial and 42 mm width
- Great active look.
- NATO strap with white dial and 38 mm width
- Active look, a little pop of color, AND great size for smaller wrists.
- Stainless steel bracelet with black dial and 42 mm
- Great as an everyday watch, and it could be dressed up.
Hamilton Khaki Field: Automatic Movement, 42 mm
Climbing mountains, traveling through forests, or navigating the urban jungle: the Khaki Field Auto is up to the challenge. With the stainless steel bracelet, this can be an excellent everyday watch, while the dial’s style and color are great reminders to always welcome a new challenge or adventure!
The impressive H-10 automatic caliber provides up to 80 hours of power reserve.
Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto, 38 mm & 42 mm
This is the perfect all-purpose watch for modern warriors, with a century-long lineage in military watches paired with lightweight materials.
The H-10 automatic movement provides a very impressive 80-hour power reserve.
We love the fact that this design with the titanium case is available in two sizes:
- 38 mm for smaller wrists.
- 42 mm to add to the watch’s readability.
Bonus: Hamilton Khaki Field Murph – The Interstellar Watch
Not just any watch, mind you. This is the watch that saved the world in the movie ‘Interstellar’. The beautiful Hamilton classic that Coop (Matthew McConaughey) left for his daughter before departing on his mission to the stars. The watch was then used as a tool to communicate coordinates in Morse code from another dimension, enabling Murph Cooper (the daughter) to complete an equation and therefore save humanity from complete destruction. As a well-deserved nod to the movie, the word “Eureka” is printed on the seconds hand in Morse code in lacquer. A great watch with an awesome background story? YES please.