Form over function, or function over form? The Hamilton Khaki Pilot Day Date supports the argument that we can have both, with incredible symmetry in its design, yet housing a slower beat movement to bump up its power reserve. We think that this piece is one of the best swiss watches you can find under $1,000: let’s take a closer look.
The Hamilton Khaki Pilot is most notable for its appearance in the movie ‘Interstellar’, featured on Matthew McConaughey’s wrist and gaining plenty of screen time. But this watch can stand on its own – its an incredible example of a modern take of the Flieger Type B from the 1940’s, enhanced with tough design cues and materials, making this one hell of a tool watch.
With its black sunburst dial and chrome applied markers, the watch takes on an almost dressy presence, gaining greater levels of brilliance with each refraction of light. This means that there’s no lume on the indices, however you will find a lumed minute track, as well as the hour and minute hands. Embedded is a full day display at the 12 o’clock position, together with a perfectly aligned date window at 6. This composition is the most aesthetically pleasing placement of the day date complication, where form and function meet together in perfect harmony. Its slightly divisive with its 42mm case diameter, especially for those leaning towards more vintage sizes, however at 48mm lug to lug together with its beautifully curved lug design, the watch has a rather comfortable wrist presence despite its larger size.
The heart behind the watch is a modified ETA 2824-2, which as the introduction mentions, features fewer vibrations per hour, down 28,800 to 21,600, enabling Hamilton to squeeze out a whopping 80 hour power reserve. The tradeoff does impact the smoothness of the second hand sweep, however only marginally and barely noticeable unless you’re comparing watches side by side.
Hamilton’s khaki range represent great value for money. With the Pilot Day Date sitting at the higher end of the line, it comes into direct competition with the Stowa’s and Laco’s of the German watch world, which is certainly something to consider before making your decision.
Model: Khaki Pilot
Case size (not including crown): 42mm
Lug to lug: 48mm
Lug width: 20mm
Caliber: Hamilton Calibre H-40 (Modified ETA 2824-2), 21,600 bph, 80 hour Power Reserve
Crystal: Sapphire Crystal
Strap / Bracelet: 20mm stainless steel bracelet, with solid end links and signed push button deployant