Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hamilton Mechanical Officer

Let's start the year off BIG. 44mm to be exact, but it seems even bigger thanks to the dial that stretches to the edges of the case, big numbers and oversized crown. It's my Hamilton Mechanical Officer H69619533, part of the Khaki Field collection. This one is not self-winding, and uses the ETA (née Unitas) 6497 with an approximately 40-hour power reserve. A unique twist is instead of a full display back, this has only a small porthole over the balance which adds to the industrial look of the caseback. The dial is dominated by the oversized 12 and 6 and small seconds at 9. The little dash of red on the seconds dial does keep the dial from looking a bit drab. The strap is heavy with two rows of holes for the double buckle, a functional touch on such a wide strap. Most of these I've seen have been sold with a large "Bund"-style pad behind the watch, but when I found this one on sale (and most I've seen for sale lately) they omit the pad. Looks like it's probably just a change in the model since it's shown sans pad on Hamilton's site as well. On such a large watch it seems like overkill anyway, I prefer Bund straps on smaller watches that need some bulking up. Shortly after I bought this I also found the matching bracelet on eBay, so after a bit of hemming and hawing, I picked it up (seen here on the Officer Auto Chrono.)

My watch buying has slowed down considerably in the last couple of years, but I still have a number of new ones that I will feature here. As I'm sure many of you have noticed, prices for even lower-end Swiss timepieces (not cheap per se, but the more reasonable offerings from Hamilton, Victorinox and various others) have in many cases doubled in the past few years. I still keep an eye out for good deals when I can, but I find it hard to spend $500-600 on a watch that three years ago could be bought easily for $250. The thought crosses my mind occasionally to thin out my collection, especially since I could sell most of my watches for more than I paid for them, but if I wanted to replace them with something equivalent it will cost more as well. For now I think I'll hold onto them.

I hope everybody had enjoyable holidays and I look forward to bringing more watches to the blog on a regular (if not daily) basis. Happy New Year!

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