Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hamilton Khaki Military-Style Handwind

Today I'm wearing my Hamilton Khaki manual-winding watch. It's probably from the 1980s (although I suppose it could be older. The only number on the back is "9219".) and is styled after the watches Hamilton was making for the U.S. military at the time. Actually, it's more than "styled after", it's the same watch, but with different markings on the dial and caseback. Hamilton also produced the same watch for L.L. Bean which just added the company's name to the dial. All of these versions share the same stainless steel case and back, acrylic crystal, lume-filled hour and minute hands (the lume falling out as you see on my hour hand is pretty common) and the dials all share the same lume pips and 12- and 24-hour markings. I think some of the earlier military watches had fixed bars instead of spring bars which is more durable but necessitates the use of open-end or pass-through straps. I believe later ones had spring bars as you seen here. Here's another pic of an early '80s military version along with measurements that match mine. I don't believe this watch has ever been serviced, but it's still keeping excellent time, to seconds a day. I purchased it through eBay for a lot less than an actual military Hamilton would have cost. As you see in my pictures, I have a pretty unique band on mine. This band was my grandfather's and I think he used it during WWII when he was in the Marines stationed in the the Pacific. I have seen other bands similar to this used by other soldiers stationed in places where leather straps would quickly deteriorate. As I don't know specifically when this was made, it is possible that this band was purchased after he returned from WWII. It's actually a little narrow for this watch which is small by modern standards as well. It's probably not a watch I will wear often, but unless I get a new suitable watch to which I can attach the vintage band I will probably keep both of these together.

No comments: