What Is Military Watch? – Telling Time in the Field

History of Watches

So what is military watch? A military watch, aka field watch, is pretty much what it means – it’s a watch made to be used by the military. As you might’ve guessed, this means it’s highly durable, able to withstand tonnes of punishment, and just about any tough standards you can think of, the army watch will excel in it.

It’s a watch made to be used during war after all!

History Of Military Watches

War, although in and of itself a hideous human activity, has always been an instigator of technological, and even medical improvement, not to mention the significance WWII had for women’s rights in the West.

In this vein, it could be argued that we owe the existence of wristwatches, and military watches in particular, to this hideous activity and demands it put on the industry. It is because of war people are using wristwatches!

(read my history of watches article for more info of how watches evolves from ancient to modern age)

Bulova military watchBulova military watch made for the US Army

Early Military Watches

The first military watches ever were, most likely, worn by the German navy officers as early as 1880s. These were made by Girard Perregaux, a Swiss watchmaking company still very much alive.

Chronologically speaking, there is a tie between the Japanese during the first Sino-Japanese war and the British during the Boer War as to the next instance of military watches being actually worn. However, the first hard evidence, several photos from the Boer War, clearly show the British wearing them.

These watches were made by the Swiss company Omega, and sold through Mappin and Webb, or rather, supplied to the army.

Mido Multifort military watchMido Multifort military watch

The Great War

At the onset of WWI, the British army had pocket watches as standard issue, until the trench watch (trench watch is basically a pocket watch with a strap that could be worn anywhere) replaced the pocket watch for ease of use in battles.

By 1916, “proper wristwatches” emerged, which were more convenient, easier to use and overall more practical.

The development of military watches shadowed the development of heavy ordnance and military strategies (or was it the other way around?). The creeping barrage is a WWI tactics that implies heavy shelling of the enemy’s positions. The trick is to know when it is going to strike.

Moreover, around this time Cartier designed the famous Cartier Tank Watch (not meant for tanks, but inspired by them), which offered ultimate shrapnel protection on the battlefield (not to the wearer, however, apart from the wrist).

Interestingly enough, WWI also saw the among the first luminous watch and the Military Luminous Watch supplied by Goldsmith. While the European armies relied on the Swiss watchmakers (Longines, Zenith, Omega, Girard Perregaux) during this period, Hamilton and Elgin produced for the US.

Military watch examplesSix vintage WWI military watches from various makers

World War II

During the WWII, the market for military watches experienced a real boom (no pun intended) and companies like Rolex, Jaeger, LeCoultre, IWC and Omega were official suppliers of the British. As a matter of fact, all British army watches came from import, though they did have to pass exacting standards, upon which they received the right to have the British Arrow engraved in the face as a sign of quality.

On a similar note, watches that were certified as waterproof received the right to engrave the letter W. W. W. to signify this.While the UK imported their watches, Germany had her own manufacturers, most notably A. Lange & Sohne. Receiving the right to engrave DH on the back was the German equivalent of the British Arrow, denoting that the watch meets the military standards.

Meanwhile across the Atlantic, the US army codified the MIL-SPEC for the US army. Its purpose is to impose a standard for military watches for the US issued military watches. The US Army also had a number of suppliers, such as Bulova, Elgin, Hamilton, Movado and Waltham, which are mostly American brands

Rare Jules Jurgensen WWII military watch

Rare Jules Jurgensen WWII military watch

So who are the real winner in WWII? I’d dare say the watch manufacturers profit the most. During this time, governments contracted watch makers to produce large bulks of military watches which equals to big fat cheques to them.

Not to mention the experience of having to produce large quantities of watches in a short time had them improve their manufacturing processes for better efficiency and profitability.

Military Watches after WWII

As means of production became ever more cost-effective, the era of disposable military watches dawned. It was sometime during the Vietnam War that the US Army realized it was more cost-efficient to dispose of the watches than to repair them. This significantly streamlined the production and made for a simplified design.

Incidentally, this was also when stainless steel was introduced as a casing material and reinforced plastic displaced glass. Some of the major suppliers during this period for the US Army were Benrus, Hamilton and Westronics.

The Vietnam War also sparked another innovation in military watches (and, eventually, commercial watches) the introduction of tritium gas. Tritium is a type of self-illuminating radioactive isotope of hydrogen that was administered as painting on the hands and markers (or dial numbers).

However, due to health safety issues and environmental concerns, tritium was eventually encased in capsules. It was again the Swiss who were responsible for this breakthrough and MB Microtec managed to design these capsules, which were able to illuminate for about 10 years, until the tritium within them decays.

Luminox, Traser and Nite are some of the most prominent military watch brands that still use this form of illumination to make their watches. Most other consumer watches have moved on to phosphorescent pigments as luminous paints to avoid any dangerous health issues that could be exposed to wearers should the watch were broken.

Post World War II

This decade saw a real boom in wristwatch development. Not only did the military watches become increasingly diversified, but the tech going into making them spilled over into commercial waters (with matching price-tags, though). Granted, both military watches and those products that seek to emulate them are fairly costly, but they more than make up for it with durability and longevity. Weíll get to that point shortly.

Although digital watches with gizmos appeared earlier, it is during the 90s that they flowered as well as the popularity of electronic watches (G-Shock and the like). Traditional analog watches comes with little functionality and cannot be seen in dark.

On the other hand, newer electronic watches came with various features from stopwatches and barometer, through digital compass and thermometer to world time and LED lights. Some commercial watches even incorporated calculators (in the words of an Internet meme and only 90s kids will know).

Not only that, but their durability increased and they became ever more self-contained. Watches became solar-powered, shock resistant, mud resistant, water resistant and dust resistant.

Casio G-Shock military watch

Casio G-Shock – A great all round rugged watch which is perfect for military use

Main Characteristics Of Military Watches

The differences between regular watches and military-grade ones are pretty much intuitive. Here is a list of some of the main characteristics of a military watch:

1. Easily Read Face (Legibility)

The face of a military watch must be easily read and numerals must be discernible at all times. If you notice, most of them have big numerals (numbers) so that its wearer can easily tell the accurate time at a glance. Lume are also incorporated to help with low light visibility.

A contrasting colors between the watch background (usually black) and the numerals/hands (usually white) is also needed.

2. Durable

Both the body and the strap of a military watch must be durable. Stainless steel is generally used though titanium casing that’s lightweight and sturdy is a perfect alternative (albeit more expensive).

It’s watch crystal also need to be very durable and shatter proof. The watch has to have resistance to shock, as well as good water resistance rating.

3. Extra Features

Military watches might have more tactical features than their civilian cousins, such as compass, altimeter, barometer, storm alarm, sunrise/sunset time, moon calendar, or even GPS.

So what do these tells us about a military watch? First, it’s function oriented. Second, it might not look good at all. Most great military watches are quite bland looking, and it’s thoroughly designed for functionality. Well, I never been to a battle before but I sure as hell know that a stylish watch is the last thing you need in that situation lol!

Seiko 5 SNK809 – a new watch with all the styling of a 60s military watches

Military Inspired Analog Watches

Due to its long history, simplistic and unique design, military watches are quite popular and in a good demand nowadays.

Watchmakers with history of supplying field watches (like Hamilton and Bulova) has used their heritage to this advantage by producing modern analog military watches. These watches usually comes with modern design to cater to current tastes.

The design still uses the big and legible hand and numeral markers, but it’s more polished and shiny – basically much more stylish to wear than its predecessors.

The result: a great looking rugged watch with military styling perfect for those living in this peaceful times.

Hamilton Khaki King Field Watch

Hamilton Khaki King watch – a new watch with modern design made as homage by the brand to its very popular military watch heritage. Best of all, it also comes with automatic movement!

Conclusion

Military-grade watches are invariably durable and specifically designed to withstand lots of punishment. It’s a great tool for the army during war and battles. It’s also an important pivot point in history of watches. Without them, men today might still be using pocket watches!

I hope you guys enjoyed this article on what is military watch. Drop your questions or comments down below and share this article on social if you like it. It’ll definitely help me =). Also, subscribe to my posts (subscribe form at the right sidebar) for more awesome stuffs in future.

Cheers!
Isaac

Seiko 5 SNK809 Automatic Military Watch Review

Seiko 5 SNK809 Military Watch Review

 

In today’s post, I’m going to write about Seiko 5 SNK809 review, a very affordable automatic watch with military styling which comes at a very affordable price.

It does not have the trendiest look to be honest, but it’s very popular due to its simple style, versatility, low price and utilitarian look & function.

Let’s get on with the Seiko SNK809 review and have a closer look at why is it one of the best affordable automatic watch around.

Update: I’ve recently featured the SNK809 in my list of the top 10 automatic watches under $200. You guys can check the article HERE.

 

Seiko 5 SNK809 Specification

Diameter: 37 mm
Thickness: 11 mm
Lug Width: 18 mm
Lug to Lug: 42 mm
Case: Gray matte stainless steel case
Strap: Black nylon strap with pin buckle

Dial: Black military style dial
Dial Window: Hardlex crystal
Markers: Numeral markers with lume pips
Hands: Arrow hands with lume

Movement: Seiko Caliber 7S26 Automatic Self-Wind Movement
Movement Features: 21 Jewels, non-hacking and non-hand winding, 21600 vibrations per hour or 6 beats per second
Power Reserve: 40 hours
Accuracy: +-15 seconds per day

Water Resistance: 30 m or 99 feet
Other Features: Date and day display, Date can either be in English or Spanish, Exhibition caseback, Lume on hands and markers

Best Place To Buy: Amazon

Best For: Anyone looking for a no frills watch for casual wear or outdoor/sports activities. Also perfect for those first getting into the automatic watch world due to its very low price.

Seiko’s Version Of Military/Aviator Watch

This Seiko SNK809 watch is Seiko’s version of military and aviator watch. These watches are actually the kind of watches that was mass produced during the last wars to be used during battle.

Soldiers on the front line needed a watch that is very legible with big markers and have some lume on it for low light visibility.

The watch also must be lightweight to not impede movement of the soldiers, preferably automatic movement so that it won’t require any battery change and of course very tough and able to withstand harsh usage.

 

Hamilton Khaki Field Officer H69419363

Hamilton Khaki King Officer military watch. A very similar looking watch – but costs at least 4 times the Seiko SNK809

 

I’ve reviewed some of these military watches such as the Hamilton Khaki King and Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Vintage but it was the Hamilton Khaki King Officer that really is similar to this watch (except that it is much more expensive, about $200 on Amazon). Notice how they both look similar with the simple dial concept.

The SNK809 also has the same military/utilitarian look that prioritizes function over form. It’s not the best good looking watch, but it is something that you used when you want to get things done.

The dial of this watch is black, with numeral markers (60-minutes as main markers with 12-hours as inner markers). It’s easy to read with the contrasting black and white markers.

I don’t really like the usage of 60-minutes as the main marker because it’s not a normal watch design. It’s very strange but I guess those pilots and armymen have their own reasons for that.

I would prefer a 12-hour markers as the main marker with the minutes placed at the inner dial instead. I can say this is the only thing that I don’t like with the simple and fully functional dial.

There are day and date displays which are very useful in my opinion. These function is very handy especially if you are in a working environment and you need to attend meetings, write reports, etc.

To have day and date function is hugely useful and I couldn’t recommend enough that all working guys should at least wear a watch with this function to your office.

There are lume pips above each markers and lume applied on the arrow hands which I don’t think will lasts long (it’s a really cheap automatic watch after all!). But it’s always good to have it instead of nothing at all right?

The dial window is made of Hardlex crystal, Seiko’s proprietary crystal which supposed to have high resistance to impact.

I thought they will use the cheap mineral crystal but no, they use their Hardlex (which is much better btw) instead.

To sum it up, the dial is not the best looking watch out there, and it’s never intended to be good looking.

It’s very functional with big markings (though I certainly prefer 12-hour markings as the main one), day and date windows – perfect for casual, outdoor and sporting activities.

Wearing it to work? Dress it up by strapping a leather band and you are good to go.

 

Seiko 5 SNK809 Military Watch Review

Gray Matte Stainless Steel Case

The Seiko 5 SNK809 is encased in a stainless steel case with a gray matte finish that really suits well with its military/field theme.

I definitely prefer the surface to be brushed as it will give the natural stainless steel look that feels more refined, but this matte finish looks fine too.

It’s very small – at 37 mm diameter, 11 mm thick and 42 mm lug to lug – these are the kind of watch dimensions from decades ago and I have to tell you now that not all wrist can fit with this watch.

For those with big wrists, your destiny lies with other 40+ mm diameter watches instead. It also have a solid construction, which is totally needed for a military watch and perfect for extreme activities.

 

Seiko 5 SNK809 Military Watch Review
Seiko SNK809 on a Nato strap. It really wears small though it fits well with the wrist above. You might want to consider wearing this watch if you have a larger wrist than this. Featured above is the watch on Nato strap – it will also look gorgeous on leather band too =)

 

The crown is positioned at 4 o’clock, a different design than normal crowns. Seiko like to do this for many of their diver watches and truthfully, I believe crowns for watches is better positioned here.

I don’t like the normal right position (3 o’clock) for a crown as it will disturb our hands when we are flexing it upwards.

The crown will just obstruct the hand’s movement and trust me, it won’t feel nice. The crown at 4’clock like this watch here is the best in terms of comfort though not the best looking design because it’s not symmetry.

One “flaw” that I have to say about the crown is it’s too small. It is much smaller than normal crown and I’m sure most guys will have trouble using it.

The watch comes with an 18 mm black nylon strap with pin buckle. One nice thing about the strap is the Seiko engraving at the buckle – it’s very nice to have this small detail for a $60 watch.

Another great thing about this very affordably priced watch is the presence of open caseback. Now how is that for a watch at this price eh?

You get a fully functioning caseback that exhibits the Seiko Caliber 7S26 movement inside. I’ll tell it right off the bat – the movement isn’t as pretty as what you will see in Swiss watches but then to have an open caseback for a watch at this price point is just mind blowing.

The steels at the back around the open caseback is also polished, so you will see some nice transition between the top and sides that have matte finish with the polished stainless steel back. Totally a nice touch by Seiko there.

 

Seiko 5 SNK809 Military Watch Review

 

It also comes with an unimpressive 30 m water resistance. I would have liked it to be at least 100 m rated so we can use it to swim.

That way this will be the perfect watch to use – above ground and under water. But then Seiko must have their own restrictions in terms of costs while designing this watch.

A higher rated water resistance will mean more seals need to be applied with special design of the case. Just remember to take off the watch whenever you are going to swim, shower or even washing your hands.

 


Watch the unboxing review video above for a closer look at the Seiko SNK809

Robust Seiko Caliber 7S26 Automatic Self-Wind Movement

Inside the Seiko SNK809 is the highly robust Cal. 7S26, an inhouse automatic self-wind movement by Seiko. Thing is, this is the same movement inside many Seiko’s popular diver watch (SKX007 and SKX009) which are ISO 6425 certified diver watch.

Now that should be something right? If it’s good enough to be used for a diver watch that can sustain that harsh use and high water pressure up to 200 m, this definitely means it is a very robust movement.

The movement has 21 jewels, with 6 beats per second (meaning you can see the sweeping seconds hand is actually ticking 6 times in a second).

It’s inferior to Swiss movement that typically has 8 beats per second (and much smoother sweeping seconds hand) but the lower beat rate means lower mileage of the watch over time, and longer movement life without needing of service.

And that’s a true fact. Many SKX007 that was bought 20 years ago are still running fine until today.

Apart from that, it also has 40 hours power reserve and a modes +-15 seconds per day accuracy. A huge disadvantage with the movement is it’s non-hacking and non-hand winding.

The non-hacking part is not so important. It’s just to stop the seconds hand when setting the time for accuracy. But the non-hand winding means you cannot hand wind the watch by rotating the crown.

The only way to recharge the watch (or mainspring to be accurate) is by wearing it. As mentioned in my post about why to wind automatic watch, I prefer to keep my watches running all the time for convenience purposes.

But don’t let my opinion sway yours on this watch though. It’s still a great movement with long history of usage in the harshest environment and should serves you well.

 

Where To Buy Seiko 5 SNK809?

This watch is currently retails at an MSRP of $150 but you can get it way cheaper at Amazon. Click the link below to check out the best deals on Amazon.

 

->Click Here To View The Best Prices For Seiko 5 SNK809 On Amazon<-

Final Verdict

Seiko SNK809 is definitely a worthy military/field watch to have a look at. It’s very cheap, with all the right designs. It’s also quite small, so for those with large wrist it might not wear well on you.

Simple dial design for easy time reading with impact resistance hardlex crystal is a bonus. Not to mention the robust and reliable 7S26 automatic movement – the same movement in many Seiko’s affordable diver.

It’s best for those looking for a tool watch and don’t mind the plain and simple look. It’s also a very good watch for those starting into the automatic watch world due to it’s very cheap price.

 

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I hope you guys enjoy this Seiko SNK809 review. If you have any questions drop it below. If you own this watch, please share your experiences with it. Thanks for reading and have a good day.

Cheers!

Isaac

Hamilton Khaki Field Officer Handwinding H69419363 Review- A Rugged Military Mechanical Watch

Hamilton Khaki Field Officer Handwinding H69419363 Review

Welcome to the post on Hamilton Khaki Field review. True to its military wrist watch root, Hamilton has produced another watch identical to their military watches issued decades ago.

The Hamilton Khaki Field Officer H69419363 is a very rugged military watch by the brand. It’s also have a mechanical movement – meaning it cannot self-wind like automatic watches – which makes it a very rare watch nowadays. Let’s have a closer look at this little timepiece.

 

hamilton-khaki-field-officer-review-h69419363-2

 

Hamilton Khaki Field Officer Specification (H69419363)

Diameter: 38 mm
Thickness: 9 mm
Case: Stainless steel
Lug Width: 20 mm
Strap: Canvas strap with leather lining and pin buckle

Dial: Dark green dial with numeral markers
Dial Window: Sapphire crystal

Movement: ETA 2804-2 Mechanical hand-wind movement
Movement Features: 17 Jewels, 28800 vibrations per hour or 8 beats per second, 42 hours power reserve,

Water Resistance: 50 m or 165 feet
Features: Slim case with vintage looks, date display, lume on hands and markers

Best Place To Buy: Amazon 

 

Hamilton Khaki Field Officer Handwinding H69419363 Review

 

Simply Styled Military Wrist Watch

The one thing that you will notice when first laying your eyes on the Khaki Field Officer wrist watch is how simple the design is. The case is simply designed without any complicated curves. The dial/watch face is matte green in color with bold numerals as markers. There are also 24 hours markers in the inner dial.

On the outer edge of the dial we have some triangles next to the markers – apparently these triangles are filled with lume to provide some indication in low light environment. There is a date display at 3 o’clock for added functionality. Signatures on the dial are kept to a minimum with small fonts.

The hands are sword shaped hands that is neither slim nor bulky and filled with lume. The total look of the dial is very simple and not eye-catching at all. There is no reflecting elements at all – the stainless steel case is powder coated while the dial is matte.

The 20 mm strap is also made of canvas (with some leather lining for comfort) instead of leather. This is truly a down-to-earth and humble wrist watch with military styling.

 

Side by side comparison: Hamilton Khaki Field Officer on the left and Hamilton Khaki King on the right. Both are inspired by Hamilton’s vintage military watches but have diifferent styling concept – the Khaki King is more refined and beautiful while the Khaki Field is simpler

 

Hamilton Khaki King Vs Khaki Field

The Khaki Field Officer watch is very different than the Khaki King. Hamilton has chosen to make both military watches to cater for different tastes of their customers. For those that like a military watch with a beautiful shining watch face and case, you can choose the Hamilton Khaki King. It’s also has the exclusive look with its brown leather band and contrast stitching.

Meanwhile those that want a no frills military watch can go for the much simpler (and cheaper) Hamilton Khaki Field Officer. This watch is meant for those that love simplicity and just want a watch that can work. It’s also perfect for outdoor activities and sports as the watch is light and the simple look suited those activities well.

Just don’t go for any diving or swimming with it. It got a 50 m water resistance but most watch experts don’t think a water resistance rating like that can actually be used to go deep to 50 m. A splash of water here and there should be fine though.

 

Quality Swiss Wrist Watch At Low Price

Another thing that I really like about the Hamilton Khaki Field Officer wrist watch is the low price of it (around $260 online) with some quality materials. It can be said to be a full fledged Swiss watch, material wise. It has a stainless steel case with a diameter of 38 mm and just about 9 mm thick.

It is very thin due to its mechanical movement (more about that later) which gives it a very nice slim look just like vintage military watches decades ago. The 38 mm diameter also adds to the exclusivity and will really suit most people’s wrist.

The watch also features a sapphire crystal which is just outstanding for a $260 watch. The sapphire dial window crystal is slightly domed and will provide good protection against any scratch to the watch.

The choice of a canvas strap is actually very suitable to the retro outdoor look of the watch. Some might not really like canvas straps and prefer leather but this is a watch that is meant to be used outdoor, in the jungle somewhere. A leather strap is really out of place in those places =)


You can watch this video to see the Hamilton Khaki Field Officer up close 

 

Mechanical Hand-Winding Movement of ETA 2804-2

The most special and interesting aspect of the Hamilton Khaki Field Officer is the mechanical hand-winding movement. What does it mean? It means the watch is not an automatic watch (you can “recharge” the watch by using it everyday).

Instead you have to hand-wind it manually to keep it running as it don’t have the self-winding mechanism. For more information, you can read my previous post on automatic and mechanical movement here.

The absence of self-winding mechanism made the watch thinner than other watches and give it the very sexy thin body. The reason why I feel that this watch is very special is that there are not much mechanical movement timepieces out there right now. It’s always automatic and quartz only. This gives the Hamilton Khaki Field a unique position in the eyes of watch lovers.

The movement features ETA Cal. 2804-2, which is based on ETA’s most common automatic movement – the Cal. 2824-2 (which is featured in Tissot Le Locle). This movement has 17 jewels and vibrates at 28800 per hour or 8 beats per second. It also has a good 42 hours power reserve. In order to hand-wind it, you just have to rotate the crown (positioned at 3 o’clock) upward to wind the mainspring.

Everyone should be very careful when hand-winding a mechanical watch. The winding must be done when not wearing the watch. The crown has to be turned while being gripped by the fingers at the side. Only rotating action can be applied on the crown – any other actions such as pushing up, down, or sides must not be done because it could damage the internal mechanism.

A huge disadvantage with the ETA 2804-2 mechanical movement is there is no slip spring. So theoretically you can actually break the mainspring by overwinding the watch. Luckily to break it is not an easy feat as you need to have a super strong grip and fingers. The key is to stop winding as soon as a resistance is felt when winding the watch.

 

Hamilton Khaki Field Officer Advantages And Disadvantages

Pros:
1- A cheap mechanical watch with great quality by Hamilton
2- Sapphire crystal at this price is simply outstanding
3- A truly simple retro wrist watch – perfect for those who like understated watches and not eye-catching
4- Great for outdoor activities due to its small size and light weight.

 

Cons:
1- It is a mechanical hand-winding movement which means the watch has to be hand-wind everyday
2- ETA 2804-2 mechanical hand-wind movement does not have slip spring. There is a possibility of damaging the mainspring or gears inside the watch if you are not careful

Like This Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical? Buy It Cheapest From Amazon!

If you would like to buy the Hamilton Khaki Field Officer H69419363 wrist watch, you can check out Amazon it.

Currently Amazon has a huge discount on this watch making it much cheaper from the MSRP of $395. Click the link below to check out the best prices of the Hamilton Khaki Field Officer H69419363 from:

-> Hamilton Khaki Field Officer H69419363 on Amazon <-

 

Final Thoughts

So who is the watch is for? It is perfect for those looking a simple watch to be used for casual or outdoor activities. You don’t need a beautiful shining watch with leather strap while camping in the jungle right?

This Hamilton is sufficient enough to be used for outdoor activities. It is also light on the wrist. The mechanical movement is considered a step backward for some people but I feel that this adds to the choice of the watches nowadays. Some people (me included) will feel excited to have a mechanical watch, the original form of our watches today.

 

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I hope you guys enjoy this Hamilton Khaki Field review. If you have any other questions about this unique handwinding/mechanical watch, feel free to drop it at the comments section below.

Don’t forget to share this post on social media. That will really help me a lot. Subscribe to my site to be updated of future awesome posts. Till next time.

Cheers!

 

Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Vintage Automatic Chronograph Watch Review

Victorinox Infantry Vintage Automatic Chronograph Watch Review

Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Vintage Automatic Chronograph Watch is definitely one of the best looking military/sports chronograph watch out there. From a brand that is more recognized for their Swiss Army Knives, this watch truly exceeds expectation in the built quality, design and finish.

The company was started in 1884, selling cutlery and multi-purpose knife to the Swiss Army. The brand name “Victorinox” was a combination of Karl Elsener’s (Victorinox’s founder) mother’s first name “Victoria” and “Inox” – another name for stainless steel. Their Swiss Army Knives become very famous all round the world for its impeccable quality. On 1989, they started to enter the watch business with the brand name Victorinox Swiss Army.

The Victorinox Infantry Chronograph comes with a few variations with different dial color, casing color and strap. But the overall design, chronograph function and internal mechanics of the watch are the same. I’ve chosen the 241526 variation for this review as I love the brownish gunmetal case and the gray copper dial as compared to the rest.

Victorinox Infantry Vintage Automatic Chronograph Watch Review

 

Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Chronograph (241526) Specification

Diameter: 44mm
Thickness: 15mm
Lug size: 23mm
Dial: Dark gray dial
Dial Features: Seconds index markings and Telemeter index markings (in km) at the outer dial.
Subdials: Running second hand (9 o’clock), 30-minutes chronograph subdial measurement at 12 o’clock and 12-hour chronograph subdial measurement at 6 o’clock
Case: Stainless steel with brownish gunmetal PVD
Band: Dark gray leather band
Dial Window: Sapphire crystal with triple coating for glare/reflection reductions
Movement: ETA Valjoux 7750
Movement Features: Automatic self-winding, Swiss Made, 25 jewels, 28,800 vibrations per hour (8 beats per second), 40 hours power reserve, manual winding via crown, hacking feature, accuracy of +-15 seconds per day
Water Resistance: 330 feet / 100 m
Other Features: Exhibition caseback, Chronograph function, Telemeter function, Date display, Luminous hand and markers, signed crown
Best Place To Buy: Amazon

 

A True Military Watch

From the first look, the Victorinox Infantry Chronograph gives the vibe that it is a very rugged watch and will become a loyal companion to your adventurous trips, wherever that may be (except for underwater of course. You will need a diving watch for that lol.). It looks tough but at the same time is very beautifully designed. The dial is dark gray, with large numerals as markers. The hands are also big and you can clearly see the luminous material on them. The visibility is definitely there, even in dark environment that’s for sure.

The 44mm diameter casing of the watch is okay and will fit with most men’s wrist comfortably. The only problem I have with this watch is it is too thick, at 15mm. I doubt you can wear a suit with this watch as it definitely won’t fit into your sleeve. This is probably because of the ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic movement’s (more on that later on) chronograph function that takes quite a bit of space as compared to normal automatic. But then again, the watch is never intended for cocktail parties and the like. You are better suited with a dress watch for that purpose (for example the gorgeous Seiko SARB065 Cocktail Time).

 

Gunmetal PVD Case – What Is PVD?

The casing of the Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Chronograph is stainless steel with brownish gunmetal PVD. As you can see from the pictures and video below, the casing color matches well with the dial and the 23mm leather darg gray band. But what is PVD? I think I should write a bit on this PVD for my readers that first encounter this term. PVD is actually a method to apply a coating to an otherwise gray colored stainless steel.

Stainless steel is a common material for watch due to it being hard (it’s steel after all) and it won’t corrode easily. It has a natural color of gray. By polishing or brushing it, watchmakers have created beautiful stainless steel watches over the years. But of course not everyone likes a gray colored watch. So in order to apply color to it, coating is applied on the steel – kinda like a paint if you may. This is the traditional method but it is not durable as the paint can be easily peeled off the surface.

PVD, or Physical Vapour Deposition, is a method to apply coating on the stainless steel. It will bond metal compounds with the color to the case, combining them to become a unit. PVD cases are more resistant to peel and crack but a deep scratch can still expose the base case (they are still coatings mind you). You can read this interesting article on the pursue to make a black watch at this link here. )

 

What’s The Three Subdials For?

On the dial, you will quickly noticed that there are 3 subdials. It is quite easy to make a mess of a watch with 3 subdials but Victorinox had done a good job designing them to make it look pleasing and complement each other. The top and bottom subdial at 12 and 6 o’clock are the 30-minute and 12-hour measurements for the chronograph function. The third subdial is for the running second hand of the watch and is beautifully designed to be half circle so that it wont obstruct the 9 o’clock marker. I should point out that the main second hand is just for the chronograph and won’t be running normally. It’s a waste actually as we won’t see the sweeping motion of the second hand (same disappointment I felt with the Hamilton Intra Matic. Gorgeous watch but no sweeping second hand!).


  You can watch this awesome review of the Victorinox Infantry Vintage Automatic Chronograph to see it up close and how the chronograph function works

 

Very Useful Chronograph Function. But, How To Use It?

The Victorinox Infantry Chronograph has a chronograph function that is very useful should you want to keep track of time. But then, how actually do you use the chronograph? The operation of it is very simple. There are two pushers, the top pusher at the 2 o’clock for starting and stopping (you can also pause it). The bottom pusher at 4 o’clock is for resetting the chronograph. Simply push the top pusher to start tracking time and you can see the main second hand started sweeping at 8 beats per second. Once it completes one minute cycle, the top subdial will changes position to denote the 1 minute elapsed time. Very simple to use and very convenient to have.

 

Telemeter? What’s that again?

On the top of the dial, you will see a signature “Telemeter” with some indexes next to it – on the outer edge of the dial. The telemeter scale is basically a way to help you calculate the distance between you and an event that can both be seen and heard. It works by the simple mathematical calculation of the speed of sound. Sound travels around 340 meter per second. In other words, it will take about 3 seconds (more or less) for sound to travel in 1 km. Since light travels faster than sound, you have to start the stopwatch as soon as you see the light of that event (e.g thunder, fireworks, artillery fire-this is a military watch, remember?). Stop the stopwatch when you hear the sound. Read the outer scale of the Telemeter to know the distance between you and the event.

It is a really cool scale to have, but I think Victorinox can also include a Tachymeter scale on the bezel. Tachymeter is used to calculate the speed of something, provided you know the distance it has travelled. Since the bezel is empty, a Tachymeter scale will be perfect there. Not to mention it will make the Infantry Vintage more useful and full pack of features.

Victorinox Infantry Vintage Automatic Chronograph Watch Review

Tag Heuer Carrere with Tachymeter (or Tachymetre) scale on its bezel. Most racing watch has it because it enables the user to calculate the speed of a car.

Powered By The Ubiquitous ETA Valjoux 7750

Inside the Victorinox Infantry Vintage is the ETA Valjoux 7750, a widely used caliber for most automatic watches with chronograph nowadays. Developed in 1970, it is widely used because of its toughness, durability and affordability. It can also be tweaked easily to reach COSC Chronometer standard. Even high-end watchmakers use this movement in their chronograph watches, though they will make some adjustments here and there to suit there design. What we have in the Infantry Vintage here is the plain vanilla 7750 movement though. A major disadvantage of this movement is the quite thick profile. It is unavoidable as the chronograph module can take some space inside the movement. Some also argue that the thick profile has actually helped the movement to be robust and can be used for years.

The automatic movement has 25 jewels, and vibrates at 28,800 per hour, giving 8 beats per second. It has 40 hour power reserve, hacking feature (the second hand will stop when you want to set the watch) and can be wound manually by rotating the crown clockwise for about 20 to 30 times for a full charge. This watch has the plain 7750 movement that is accurate up to a maximum of +-15 seconds per day. This accuracy value is the maximum accuracy published by ETA though real life accuracy reported by watch owners can be very accurate, around 4-5 seconds per day. In short, the Victorinox Infantry Vintage has a very trusted automatic chronograph movement in it that is well respected to be an accurate and solid timepiece – the things that is very important for a military watch.

Victorinox Infantry Vintage Automatic Chronograph Watch Review

The ETA Valjoux 7750 movement can be seen from the exhibition caseback

Victorinox Swiss Army: Is A Good Watch Brand?

I think this should be a question that will pop up in your head right now, is Victorinox Swiss Army a good watch brand? Well, the short answer is yes. It produces great quality product, with solid construction and beautiful design. It seems they have completely replicate what makes their Swiss Army Knives so successful into their watches. The movements also are sourced from reliable Swiss movement makers e.g ETA, so you can rest assured that the watch’s internal mechanics are from the Swiss master watchmakers. So their watches are true Swiss Made quality without a doubt.

The only think that is lacking is the brand power. What I mean is the brand power of Victorinox Swiss Army in the watch market. They are very popular with their multipurpose knives that their other products (watches, travel gear, cutlery, etc) are easily overlooked. Not to mention they have been been in the watch industry for only 20 years, which can be considered a toddler age for a watch brand. Other brands have been around for more than 100 years. There simply do not have that much history in their watchmaking. Victorinox watches are great, that’s for sure but the brand name is still not mature enough to be considered alongside other heavyweights such as Tissot, Hamilton, Bulova etc.

 

Victorinox Infantry Automatic Chronograph Watch – Advantages and Disadvantages

I’ve summarized the advantages and disadvantages of the watch below for your easy reading:

Pros:

1- Chronograph function is a great feature to have
2- Beautifully designed chronograph subdials that are in harmony with the dial and case
3- Big markers with lume will guarantee visibility in the darkest environment
4- Hiqh quality craftsmanship and build quality – everything you would expect from a Victorinox quality
5- Rugged and solid, perfect for outdoor activities
6- Telemeter scale is cool to have
7- Very nice leather band with clasp (won’t damage the band like buckles)

 

Cons:

1- Brand name of Victorinox is not that outstanding in automatic watches market (as compared to other traditional bona fide watchmakers, e.g Tissot, Seiko, Hamilton, etc.)
2- At 500$+, the watch is a bit on the expensive side, coming from a non-traditional watchmakers.
3- A tachymeter scale on the bezel would be a nice addition
4- The watch is a bit thick, at 15mm

 

The Victorinox Infantry Vintage watch is a very good looking watch. It is uses Swiss ETA movements, and manufactured by the great Victorinox company, the same company behind the high quality Swiss Army Knife. It is no doubt the watch will be of great quality and reliable to be used, especially for outdoor activities.

 

I really hope this review is beneficial to you guys. If you feel there are some mistakes here or you feel that I have missed out on some important information, feel free to comment on this post by using the comment box down below.

 

 

Currently, the Victorinox Infantry Vintage Automatic Chronograph Watch is sold on Amazon at a very attractive price. Click the link below to see the best deals on Amazon for this watch.

 

–>>Click Here To Check The Best Price Of Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Chronograph On Amazon<<–

Hamilton Khaki King Automatic Review (H64455533)

Hamilton Khaki King Automatic Watch H64455533 Review - A Homage To Military Watch

Swiss Military Watch Heritage – A Hamilton Khaki King Review

Hamilton is an old legendary American watch company and today’s post is about Hamilton Khaki King review.

The Khaki king (Model No. H64455533) is made as a homage to Hamilton’s Military watch (the company made military watches for American Army during World War II) but with some modern twist in it.

It’s very beautiful to look at, very rugged and tough (and also manly!) – as expected of a military watch, and last but not least (though could mean the world to some of us) it’s Swiss Made. Let’s get on to the Hamilton Khaki King review for a closer look at this watch.

 

Hamilton Khaki King Review

 

In A Hurry? >>Check Out The Hamilton Khaki King on Amazon.com HERE

 

Hamilton Khaki King Automatic Watch H64455533 Specification

Diameter: 40 mm
Thickness: 11 mm
Case: Heavy duty stainless steel with brushed finish
Strap: 20 mm leather strap with contrast stitching and buckle.
Bezel: Fixed bezel without decoration

Dial: Black dial
Watch Crystal: Anti-reflective Sapphire crystal dial
Hour Markers: Numeric markers with 24-hour numbering at inner dial
Hands: Sword shape luminous hands

Movement: ETA Cal. 2834-2 Swiss Automatic self-wind movement with 25 jewels
Accuracy: up to +-15 seconds per day
Power Reserve: 38 hours

Water Resistance: 50 m or 165 feet. Not suitable for swimming or diving.
Other Features: Crown at 3 o’clock, crown guard, day and date display at 12 o’clock, exhibition caseback showing decorated movement

Where To Buy: Amazon where we can get it for a cheaper price than its MSRP.

 

Hamilton Khaki King review Hands on

 

A Homage To Hamilton’s Military Watch History

Hamilton watch company was founded in the US around 1900s in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It began by making and selling pocket watches, and later wrist watches to the public. The company was famous for being assigned with producing accurate and durable timepieces for the American army during World War II.

Around the 1980s, the brand was sold to the Swatch Group, and later it was moved entirely to the Swiss. It’s quite sad to know that a once popular American watch manufacturer was sold to another country. But hey, look at the good part. Now all Hamilton’s watches are Swiss Made =)

The Hamilton Khaki King is a homage to their military watches, but with some modern styling twist. Hamilton still preserved the big and very readable hour markers. The watch was made using heavy duty stainless steel, an absolute must for the maximum protection and durability for any military watch.

It’s slightly bigger than it’s older brother, at 40 mm diameter and 11 mm thickness – though that’s actually just the right size with the current trend right now for men’s watches. With the size, it will look balanced on any wrist.

Traditional military watches used Nato straps, but Hamilton opted for a 20 mm leather strap on this watch. A good move I would say as the leather strap with contrast stitching make the watch look much elegant and manly, not to mention very comfortable to wear too.

 

Hamilton Khaki King hands on

Look at how gorgeous the watch is. The usage of polished finish on some parts of the watch make it less rugged but still a tough watch nonetheless =p

 

Want Your Own Khaki King? >>Check Out The Watch on Amazon.com By CLICKING HERE

 

Simple, Rugged and ManlyMilitary Watch Styling

As mentioned earlier, the Hamilton Khaki King took some design cues from it’s older brother. The dial is black, with combination of 12-hour markers at the outer dial and 24-hour markers at the inner dial – classic design of military watches.

There are minute markers around the edge of the dial. Day and date display are at located 12 o’clock, a quite unique position as most watches would put it at 3 o’clock.

But then the day is displayed in full e.g “Saturday” instead of just “Sat” like normal watches as they have more space. It depends on the people really, but I found it quite interesting and like it.

The hands are simple sword style luminous hands. The dial window is anti-reflective sapphire crystal, normal for watches at this price range. It’s scratch resistant and a must for a durable military watch.

The watch also has an sapphire crystal exhibition caseback, where we can see its ETA 2834-2 movement. The movement has been engraved with the Hamilton signature and shows some of the 25 jewels it has.

 


Check out this awesome review of the Hamilton Khaki King

 

Hamilton Khaki King (H64455533)Hamilton Khaki King (H64455533)

On the dial, we can see the signatures “Hamilton”, “Khaki” and “Automatic” on it. The crown is positioned at 3 o’clock, with crown guards.

There is an H emblem on it signifying Hamilton. The bezel is not decorated, and fixed in its position.

The finish of the casing is a combination of polished and brushed surfaces that makes it looks totally gorgeous and yet still look as a military watch.

Overall, the watch is very rugged and tough looking watch. I certainly love its manly feeling. It’s made of high quality material and craftsmanship.

Some people would say the watch can be wore with dress shirts, but I beg to differ. It’s a handsome watch for sure, but it’s just too rugged to be used with a dress shirt. For me, this watch fits perfectly when I’m going out in my casual wear, jeans and all.

 

 

Hamilton Khaki King Automatic Watch H64455533 Review - A Homage To Military Watch

The back of the watch is an open caseback so that its lucky owner can see the ETA 2834-2 movement. Open caseback has always been a favorite watch element to me. There is something satisfying to see the wheel balance oscillates in swift manner as if the watch itself is alive =)

 

Swiss ETA 2834-2 Movement

Underneath the brushed stainless steel casing of the watch, there is a Swiss ETA Caliber 2834-2 automatic movement, a powerhouse and commonly used in many watches under the Swatch Group brand. The movement has 25 jewels with some of them can be seen from the exhibition caseback.

The rotor has also been engraved with Hamilton’s signature and can be seen from the case back. This movement is accurate up to +-15 seconds per day, though most watch owners out there report that it has a much higher accuracy, only +-5 seconds per day. The movement has 38 hours power reserve, pretty standard for automatic watches.

The watch is water resistant up to 50 m or 165 feet. This means that it is not suitable for diving, snorkeling or swimming. Though some splash of water here and there would be fine.

 

Where To Buy Hamilton Khaki King Automatic?

If you are looking to buy the Hamilton Khaki King, check out Amazon as the online company usually has discounts for the watch, reducing its price from an MSRP of $545! Click the link below to go to Amazon to check on this amazing deal.

 

–>>Click Here To Check The Best Deals Of Hamilton Khaki King (H64455533) On Amazon<<–

 

Conclusion

Hamilton Khaki King is a tough and rugged watch, taking its cue from Hamilton’s American military watches during the World War II.

But even then, the design is stylish and handsome. Combined with the tough look of the military watch, it’s definitely a “manly” watch =)

It has a sturdy construction and build that will guarantee you this watch will be able to take any beating. As a made in Swiss watch, you can also rest assured that it has the highest quality and technology the Swiss has to offer.

American spirit, Swiss precision – that is the tagline from Hamilton, and this watch fully embodies that tagline truthfully.

 

 

I hope this article on the Hamilton Khaki King review is beneficial to you guys. Should you have any comments or questions, feel free to ask me about it.

Drop your comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to my site =)

Cheers!

Isaac