The Table Clock Watch - Hamilton Khaki Navy Pioneer  4 Comments


During the second world war, Hamilton was an American watch brand that supplied  Marine Chronometers to the Navy and wristwatches to the Army.  It was successful for many years after but the brand lost it's market to the Swiss who eventually acquired the brand. Last year saw the brand's ambitions to return to horological significance by their launch of Pan Europ and this year again, of the Navy Khaki Pioneer. Hamilton in recent decades had been reasonably successful in reaching out to the public via mainstream media and product placements (e.g. the Ventura in MIB movie series). Its offerings however did not excite serious collectors. Realising that Hamilton has a long history, their new strategy is to reissue tribute watches from old designs in new calibres - essentially to bridge the years apart by producing successful designs with proven modern movements and materials. For 2012, Hamilton launched this Khaki Navy Pioneer Limited Edition.

Two primary aspects of Marine Chronometers is its accuracy and how they are mounted on board the ships. These are more akin to clocks than to watches are usually mounted on a gimbal to reduce the rocking of the ship affecting its mechanical accuracy.

Hamilton has cleverly crafted this miniaturised tribute time piece to be both a table clock and wristwatch. The key innovation by Hamilton is the developing a camera bayonet type mounting for the watch onto either the gimbal box or the watch strap case. The watch could either be displayed as a table clock.

Or be used as a watch if one is able to carry off the 46.5mm case.

The design of the mount onto the watch strap is so ingenious that it hardly adds any height to the watch when worn on the wrist. The watch though is nevertheless enormous with its wire lugs potentially hanging over the wrist of anyone with less than 7 inches of wrist circumference.

Nevertheless, because of its versatility of being either a watch or a table clock at the simple twist of the watch mount, this watch will find owners quite easily. Its beautiful blue hands on arabic numbers on a white dial is a simple classic design that will not age. With only 1892 pieces to be made at retail of about US$3000, it will probably sold out even before the first pieces are due to be delivered in September 2012.



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  • This is a personal blog of Harry SK Tan on all things pertaining to Horology - from watch collecting, horolography, news and developments from all over the world particularly Singapore.
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Horolography - noun, the art of photographing timepieces

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