Everyone loves a watch with heritage. You strap on a timepiece and instantly become part of something that spans generations, taking your place in the history of that watch.
There are few watches out there with as much heritage as the Hamilton Khaki Field. Famous for being used by the American military, the watch has expanded in the modern age with different styles. I recently got hands on with the Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman, which is a modern dive watch, for example.
Now, the range has expanded to include another new model with an interesting complication. It's called the Hamilton Khaki Field Expedition, and features a rotating bezel with a compass on it. That allows you to track the position of the sun to navigate when you're off grid.
Let's start with some specs. The Khaki Field Expedition comes in two sizes, 37mm and 41mm. The model photographed here is the 37mm version, just for reference.
You'll also find four different variations. There's the white dial on a brown leather strap, as pictured above, plus a blue dial with a tan leather strap and a black dial available on either brown leather, or a stainless steel bracelet.
The case is also stainless steel, with a steel bi-directional bezel. That features the north, east, south and west markers, with small arrows at halfway to denote north-east, south-east, south-west and north-west.
The dial is decorated in typical Khaki Field fashion, with minimal complication. You'll find numerals around the dial, fed by a lumed marker. The Hamilton logo sits at the 12 o'clock position, while note of the automatic status is shown at 6 o'clock.
The hands are nickeled, creating a nice contrast against the dial. Each is slathered with SuperLumiNova, too. The hour and minute hands are covered across most of the hands, while the seconds hand features a lumed tip.
Inside, the Hamilton H-10 movement keeps things ticking away. That features an 80 hour power reserve, which should be more than enough to use as part of a rotation of watches.
What is the Hamilton Khaki Field Expedition like to wear?
On the wrist, the Khaki Field Expedition is a delight. The unit I used for this review was the 37mm on a leather strap. That combination is fantastic, offering a nice lightweight wearing experience. Sure, it's not as light as something in, say, titanium, but it's certainly not an anchor.
As one of the sportiest looking models in the Khaki Field collection, this is a really versatile piece. The bezel almost makes it look like a dive watch from afar. With the white dial, there's almost a Rolex Explorer II vibe to it, which is really appealing.
It's also magnificently easy to use. Because that dial is so sparse and simple, you'll never struggle to read it, even at a glance. That's really handy on a day-to-day basis, and makes this a great choice as an everyday wear.
Sure, I'd have loved a date complication on there for that use. I feel like the addition of a date window would just add a little more utility. But it's hardly a deal breaker, either.
Then, of course, we have the bezel. Now let's be frank, I've not had a reason to use it while testing this. Fortunately, I haven't found myself lost in the woods, with no phone signal or map. But, if I had been, the Khaki Field Expedition would have given me a fighting chance of getting out.
The bi-directional bezel is used by mapping the position of the sun, relative to the time of day. We know that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, so based on the time, you can map which way is which. From there, you can direct yourself in a completely analogue way. Pretty cool, huh?
Is it a complication you're going to make use of every day? Probably not. But it is cool, and something you definitely don't see all that often.
Is the Hamilton Khaki Field Expedition worth the money?
Hamilton, and especially the Khaki Field line, have always been regarded as some of the best value on the market. This range, really, is no exception. In the UK, you'll pay £965 for the model on a leather strap, or £1,035 on a steel bracelet.
That's great value for the standard of watch you're getting. The movement is solid, it's nicely built and feels like a premium product. From the brushing of the steel, to the comfortable leather, everything just feels as good as it can be.
Of course, you may think the complication is a bit redundant. I think it would be hard to argue otherwise, no matter how big of a Hamilton fan you are. But we could probably argue that about a lot of watch complications, really. Perhaps it's a stone best left unturned...
Anyway, it's not like every complication has to be useful. Sometimes, just being cool is enough. And this watch oozes cool from every pore.
In short, if you're looking for a quirky everyday watch with some sporty pedigree, a really legible dial and a great bit of history, this Hamilton Khaki Field Expedition is well worth your money.