Hands-On With Hamilton Khaki Pioneer Aluminium – Lightweight, Colourful and Affordable (with live photos and price)

Hamilton’s latest addition to its line of vintage inspired, pilots’ watches is the Khaki Pioneer Aluminium, featuring an anodised aluminium case that is scratch resistant, and available in four colours.

Taking inspiration from the chronographs Hamilton made for the British Royal Air Force in the seventies, the Khaki Pioneer Aluminium has the same asymmetric case. But instead of the conventional steel alloy, these new pilots’ watches from Hamilton are machined from aluminium, which is treated to harden the surface – giving it a surface hardness five times that of regular steel – and also to give it colour. Available in sand, blue, black or green, with matching dials, the Khaki Pioneer Aluminium has a 41 mm case diameter, but wears smaller due to the wide bezel and small dial diameter. 

The crown at two o’clock turns the inner elapsed time bezel, when the crown at four is for setting and winding. Inside is the H-80 movement, a variant of the ETA 2824 with an 80 hour power reserve (double that of the stock 2824). 

Though the case style and constructed is simplistic, the finish is even and attracted. The sandblasted, matte grained finish suits the colour and military style very well.

While Hamilton is not the first to use aluminium as a case material, Bulgari and Swatch did it long ago and F.P. Journe more recently, the Khaki Pioneer Aluminium is priced very accessibly relative to the competition. These cost a modest US$1145 or 1530 Singapore dollars. Each is paired with a canvas NATO strap with an aluminium buckle. 

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