There's one problem with the all-black watches everybody loves: while they might look cool as fashion accessories, they don't function well as watches because of compromised legibility. Mostly, you can't have a black-on-black watch design and a solid, easy time-reading experience — but the new, limited collab watch from Hamilton and Japanese fashion label N.Hoolywood just might be the best of both worlds. It also takes the form of one of our favorite field watches...but is unfortunately hard to get your hands on.
Based on watches the brand made for American soldiers, Hamilton's Khaki Field collection offers a range of colors but mostly remains pretty straightforward and traditional. Add Japanese designer Daisuke Obana's vision to the mix, however, and you've got an edgy, modern design that manages to feel authentic to the watches' roots at the same time. It's the second collaboration for the two brands, and this time it's part of the N.Hoolywood's collection based on military post exchange (PX) stores.
N.Hoolywood took the basic military feel of the Khaki Field and doubled down by giving it a stealthy black treatment with matte finishes. The Arabic numeral hour markers are black against the black dial, as with other such "phantom" watches, so they'll appear almost like shadows, visible only in certain lights. All that blackness, though, makes the white Super-LumiNova-coated hands, outer track with its triangle hour markers, and the inner track with military time stand out even more. It all looks unexpected, pragmatic — and just plain cool and unique.
The Khaki Field Auto — which the watch is based on — is a more practical alternative to the basic Khaki Field Mechanical that we love to recommend as the field watch go get. With automatic winding, the Auto offers more detailed case finishing and construction as well as a slightly upsized 40mm diameter. It also offers a case back window to view the H-10 movement with 80 hours of power-reserve, and for the N.Hoolywood model, the window is plainly printed with the words "Watch, wrist: General Design by N. Hoolywood/Hamilton" and some of the watch's specs.
On an appropriately deep black NATO-style strap, the Hamilton x N.Hoolywood Khaki Field Auto is limited to only 300 examples at a price of around $1,060 each. Unfortunately, it can only be purchased in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.