The resurgence of vintage timepieces, and those inspired by the past, is proof that if anything, style and trends are all cyclical by nature. As the seasons move in and out of the fashion world, more stylings of the past are brought to the forefront of modern runways. The same can be said of timepieces of course, on a much larger scale of time. Where fashion sees constant change, the watch industry takes it in its stride, slowly but surely. It’s important to note of course, that wristwatches themselves haven’t been around for the longest time.
It has only been about a century and a half since the first wristwatch was worn but a little less since it was made popular. At the dawn of the first World War, watch brands leapt on the growing trend of soldiers needing to tell the time in trenches and fitted entire armies with their watches. In time, the wristwatch became the important accessory that it is today.
A brand that was instrumental in making it the norm back in the day was American-born Hamilton. During World War II, Hamilton provided the American military with the first version of its Field watch, the Hamilton Hacked, an authentic timepiece that oozed military style and nothing but functionality. In line with the absolute love for vintage timepieces that is in favour now, Hamilton recently released a new and improved version of the watch, faithful to its original, the Khaki Field Mechanical at 38mm.
Watch connoisseurs are a hard bunch to please and Hamilton knows this. One of the biggest criticisms of the vintage trend has been the rather unfaithful sizing that brands have kept to. Watches made pre-60s and 70s have always been smaller than 38 or 39mm, significantly thinner than the modern 41mm. With this in mind, the 38mm sizing of the Khaki Field Mechanical makes it a very appealing piece for the gents who want more authenticity in their watches.
The matte sand-blasted stainless steel case is another important aesthetic detail, giving the watch a rugged, no-nonsense look. We’re big fans of the closed caseback (something we’ve seen with more brands recently) that adds to the utilitarian nature of the watch. The NATO strap with leather loops is a nice touch, again with the khaki colour.
The mil-spec inspired piece shows the dual hour timings, one with zero to 12, and a smaller one from 13 to 24 around the dial. The cream-coloured indices and hands are meant to give off an aged tritium vibe, allowing for all the cool, without the radiation.
Another one of our favourite points about the watch is its movement, a hand-wound ETA 2801-2 movement. What this allows for the watch is firstly, no date window (an important point for vintage watch lovers) and the need to wind the piece in the morning. It’s a highly debated topic with many choosing automatic movements for the convenience whereas we enjoy the rather emotional connection one has when winding his watch everyday.
It’s a watch that has really stuck by its roots and we applaud Hamilton for that. Oh, the pricing you ask? Just $690 for the closest you’re going to get to World War II trenches.