Ready to up your wrist game? In our series The Upgrade, we recommend more premium alternatives to popular watch models to help you navigate your next purchase. Today’s starting place: the beloved Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical.
The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is one of the best and easiest ways to enter the world of mechanical watches. It offers such great value and style that we can’t shut up about it, and regularly features in Gear Patrol roundups of everything from the Best Field Watches to the Best Affordable Watches to the Best Summer Watches. There are plenty of good reasons you could happily wear nothing but your Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical for years, but it could very well also spark a broader interest in mechanical watches and lead to the desire to upgrade.
For $495, in its most basic form, the Khaki offers solid build, a manually wound Swiss mechanical movement, sapphire crystal and an unbeatable military style. Like many current Hamilton watches, newer versions include the Swatch group’s impressive new movement equipped with an 80-hour power reserve. Many people find it quite wearable at 38mm, but that’s a matter of individual taste (and wrist diameter).
Upgrading from Hamilton’s iconic Khaki Field Mechanical watch could take you in a number of directions. Maybe you’d like the convenience of an automatic movement, a little more wrist presence, or maybe more shine and prestige. There’s a whole world of luxury watches out there that offer those features, but we’ve selected a few below that share some characteristics with the iconic Khaki.
Like the Khaki’s old-school vibe? Try the Hamilton Murph
An intra-Hamilton upgrade? Why not? The Khaki is a basic field watch in many ways, from its hand-wound movement to its subdued, matte-finished case. This is precisely what many people love about it, but Hamilton offers more premium watches with the same aesthetic that recalls its American roots from decades ago. The Hamilton Khaki Field Murph Auto is one great example.
Beginning life as a movie prop in the 2014 film Interstellar, fans loved it too much for Hamilton not to produce it serially. It’s got a sapphire crystal and a Swiss automatic movement — but at 42mm wide, it’ll offer a bit more wrist presence than the Khaki Field.
Like the Khaki’s military theme? Try the Weiss Field Watch
Weiss is based in Los Angeles, California, and the company basically focuses on field watches and is well known for its Standard Issue. Weiss even finishes and assembles the movements themselves, and the resulting watch offers a refined design and a strong value. The Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch has a manually wound movement and measures 38mm wide — so it’ll feel similar to the Hamilton’s Khaki Field in some ways, but definitely like an upgrade.
Like the field watch book but want some more refinement? Try the Monta Triumph.
Monta stands out for the refinement and value their sporty but versatile watches offer. With a bit more of a swanky feel than anything else on this list, the Monta Triumph features numerous field watch design cues but doesn’t feel entry-level due to its Swiss-made automatic movement, solid construction and excellent details. The 38.5mm Triumph has a range of strap options, but the high-quality bracelet is probably worth paying a little more for.