Hamilton Introduces the Khaki Aviation Converter

 

De Watches by SJX.

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https://watchesbysjx.com/2020/09/hamilton-khaki-aviation-converter.html

 

Once an American watchmaker that was a global giant, Hamilton is today a Swiss brand best known for its value-proposition, vintage-inspired watches – and providing watches for several Hollywood films. Its speciality is exemplified by watches like the Khaki Field Mechanical, a robust, military-style watch that costs less than US$500.

Hamilton has just unveiled a new collection of affordable pilot’s watches, the Khaki Aviation Converter. The line up is made up of three watches – time and date, GMT, and chronograph – all equipped with a slide-rule bezel for cockpit calculations and conversions.

From left: the base model automatic, the GMT, and the chronograph in two variants

Initial thoughts

As with the most of the watches in the Khaki collection, the Converter is appealing in design and no doubt solidly, if simply, constructed. While it might not be the most original in design – the slide-rule bezel is synonymous with Breitling’s Navitimer but used by many brands – the Converter is strong value. Starting at US$995 for the automatic and rising to US$2,145 for chronograph, the collection is a good entry into watches featuring a slide-rule bezel.

The bezel features double-row knurling for good grip

The generic design aside, it is heartening to see that attention has been paid to the details. With the large, luminous hands and contrasting colours, legibility appears good.

The movements are visible through the case back, something that can be captivating for a beginner hobbyist, but the movement finishing is undoubtedly bare bones as with all Hamilton watches. That said, the movements are upgraded ETA calibres with a long 80-hour power reserve – a feature most of the competition at this price point lack – and some models are features a high-tech hairspring, namely silicon for the chronograph and Nivachron for the base model.

The base model

The most straightforward offering is the Khaki Aviation Converter Automatic. Despite being the base model, nothing about it is sloppy.

The indices, and even the frame for the date, are applied. And importantly for a pseudo-instrument watch, the hands are just the right length, extending to their respective markers. A nice touch are the grey numerals of the 12-hour scale, helping them to recede a little into the background and not clutter the dial, but still being easy enough to read.

Notably, this is powered by the H-10 movement, an ETA automatic with a hairspring made of Nivachron, a recently-announced alloy that has magnetism resistance superior to the industry-standard Nivarox alloy.

The base model is offered only in black dial, but is available with a brushed or black-coated steel case.

The GMT

A step up from the basic model is the Khaki Aviation Converter GMT Automatic that has a second time-zone indicator. With the bezel being a circular slide rule, the 24-hour GMT scale is on the dial.

The result is a dial that’s a bit crowded but still easy enough to read, in part due to the 24-hour scale sitting close to the red GMT hand. The GMT scale is further differentiated from the dial with a concentric pattern that helps it stand out from the radially-brushed dial.

The GMT model is offered only with blue dial, making it the only watch in collection in blue, making it a little special.

The chronograph

And the top of the line model is the Khaki Aviation Converter Automatic Chronograph. The dial layout instantly brings the ETA 7750 to mind, and for good reason: the movement is actually a heavily upgraded version of the 7750 that’s kitted out with a silicon hairspring and run time of 60 hours instead of the usual 45 or so.

Offered only with a black dial, the chronograph does have two case-finish options, either with black PVD coating or a brushed finish. Both have black dials with a twist, the twin registers for hours and minutes are dark grey, giving the dial a subtle two-tone finish. The black-coated version features gilded accents on the dial, bezel, pushers, and crown, giving it a slightly more luxe appearance.


Key facts and Price

Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Auto
Ref. H76615130 (Steel on bracelet)
Ref. H76615530 (Steel on leather strap)
Ref. H76625530 (PVD steel)
Ref. H76635730 (PVD steel with gilded accents)        

Diameter: 42 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: Steel, or PVD coated steel
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: H-10
Features: Hours, minutes, and seconds
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 80 hours

Strap: Steel bracelet or leather strap

Availability: At retailers starting September 2020
Price: Starting at US$995 (or 1,630 Singapore dollars) for the all-steel model


Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter GMT Auto
Ref. H76715140 (Steel on bracelet)
Ref. H76715540 (Steel on leather strap)

Diameter: 44 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: H-14
Features: Hours, minutes, seconds, and GMT
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 80 hours

Strap: Steel bracelet or leather strap

Availability: At retailers starting September 2020
Price: Starting at US$1,295 (or 2,110 Singapore dollars) on strap


Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Auto Chrono
Ref. H76726130 (Steel on bracelet)
Ref. H76726530 (Steel on leather strap)
Ref. H76736730 (PVD steel with gilded accents)

Diameter: 44 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: H-21
Features: Hours, minutes, seconds, day, date, and chronograph
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60 hours

Strap: Steel bracelet or leather strap

Availability: At retailers starting September 2020
Price: Starting at US$1,845 (or 2,980 Singapore dollars) in steel on strap

For more, visit hamiltonwatch.com


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