Category Archives: Classic Swiss

Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Camo Edition

Hamilton has added a Camo variant to its Khaki range. The 45mm watch gets a NATO strap, plus beige and green colours on the dial and inner bezel. Here’s the word from Hamilton;

Designed with pilots in mind and built for a life of adventure, the Khaki Aviation X-Wind Automatic Chronograph flies through the crosswinds in a bold new guise, with camouflage patterns and new color variants extending across the dial, strap and case. Featuring an inner rotating bezel and an anti-magnetic Silicon hairspring, this high-performance piece has combat-chic looks and assertive style.

Verdict: You could lose a grand on this one in 3 months of ownership.

This is no entry level watch, it’s a hefty CHF2095 (£1930) and although it has rugged adventure watch looks, you could probably invest in a Breitling Navitimer if you like big watches, and expect to get 60-80% of the value back one day.

The same isn’t generally true of Hamilton watches, which are still not seen as true prestige or luxury watches by many collectors and posers alike. Don’t believe me? Just take a Hamilton Khaki with box n papers etc. to a pawnbroker or jeweller and see what they offer in cash, not as a PX value.

You’ll be shocked.

Doxa WhitePearl Is a Cool, Understated Number

We love the super clean, pure white looks of this Doxa dive watch. Some dive watches have bells n whistles, big chunky cases, or feature more lume on the dial, hands and bezel than a Las Vegas showbar. But this is just…snow leopard cool.

Swiss automatic movement, 38 hour reserve, quirky 19mm lug width.

You can personalise the strap with a coloured rubber option in orange, blue, red, yellow etc, or go for the steel, beads of rice links. Retail is $990 on this one.

Here’s the spec from Doxa;

Unveiled at Baselworld 2019, this 3-hand diver’s watch has a case made of highest-quality 316L stainless steel. At a diameter of 42 mm, the SUB 200 is topped by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating and the distinctive curvature of the domed plexiglass used back in the day.

Waterproof to a depth of 200 meters (20 ATM), the model features a unidirectional rotating bezel. All the elements providing dive-relevant information, except the bezel, have a Super‑LumiNova® luminescent coating. The bracelet is 316L stainless steel and features a folding clasp with the DOXA fish symbol.

Yeah, They Made the Hamilton Khaki Bigger

The Hamilton Khaki is arguably one of the most authentic modern takes on the famous Dirty Dozen watches from the WW2 movie.

For starters, it’s a Hamilton and yes, they were actually used in combat back then. Secondly, it’s  just got that military look off to a tee. Green NATO strap, aged lume that carries a bit of old school radium patina – not real radium of course. Plus a Swiss movement inside and a 24 hr dial diplay that’s just punchy, sharp and readable in any light.

Best of all, they made it a bit bigger this year, with a 42mm case size. Yep, a 38mm is more in keeping with wartime watches, which had to be small and hidden under your sleeve, because well…snipers n stuff. But we think the 42mm case will prove more popular today where dudes like to show off their watches a bit more.

All this for £470. Not too pricey considering it’s a Swiss watch. OK, Hamilton are entry level but this is a cheaper option than a Tudor Field Ranger, by about 1700 quid.

Cheaper rivals from Timex, Seiko and Luminox are more serious for Hamilton, especially the Seiko Field watch which can be found online for about £100.

Frederique Constant Vintage Healey Model

If you are a fan of the classic Austin Healey sports cars, then Frederique Constant have the perfect watch for you.

The Vintage Rally Small Seconds has a classic dashboard design, with a small sub-seconds dial at the 9pm marker, plus a deep blue dial and a great Healey car graphic embossed onto the caseback.

It has an automatic FC Cal.345, 31 jewel movement inside a 40mm case, which is rose gold-plated. This model is limited to 888 pieces, which must be a lucky number somewhere.

There is also a green dial, or grey dial option.

Price is £1495.

 

Hamilton Khaki Bronze Offers Military Look

Hamilton has introduced a bronze case variant in their Khaki model range. The watch retails at £795 and has that classic WW2 military look, with a touch of dive watch bronze patina going on.

Paired with a rugged black color dial, ultra-legible luminescent 24-hour markings, bronze-tone hands and a high-grade leather strap, the case metal’s deep, sunset tones give our practical field watch a dash of serendipitous charm – says Hamilton.

Slim and lightweight thanks to the lack of a winding rotor, our exclusive, hand-wound H-50 movement powers the 38mm field watch with military precision behind a titanium case back.

Like all bronze watches this one will age nicely over time.

Is Hamilton Price-Walking The Intra-Matic?

Price-walking is that thing insurers do at renewal time. You get an email, forget it ane they auto renew; same product but £55 more this year.

So adding an olive green dial version to the Intra-Matic and raising the RRP to over two grand seems kinda the same deal. The old blue or white dial models looked great. In fact I prefer the blue dial Intra’s vibrant punch, it really lifts off the wrist.

But why is the same watch now another £300 to buy? We found a blue dial model on CW Sellors at £1930 with a 10% off pop-up window on the website. That makes it about £1740 retail.

It won’t work Hamilton. Even if you did see off Lewis and his trademark case, don’t get cheeky.

Can Hamilton Re-Invent Itself as a Gamer’s Watch Brand?

Hamilton has a problem within watch retail. It’s seen as a budget brand, with nice models, but a lack of true collector appeal and you could say, a lack of defining, unique models within the brand line-up.

The quirky Ventura IS different, but it needs a modern brand ambassador – you can’t sell watches using Elvis now, he’s been dead for four decades.

The Khaki struggles to win cult admirers in the same way a Seiko Alpinist does. The Intra-Matic is very cool chronograph but it shares its movement with budget Hamilton models and retails at nearly two grand. Really, the Intra-Matic should have something like a micro-rotor movement with a see-thru caseback to set it apart in terms of tech.

Just ideas, we all have them. But Hamilton have decided to capitalise on the craze for online gaming with a Far Cry model.

Here”s the video trailer;

So what’s the deal here? Well the Khaki watch will feature gameplay benefits and functions. Hamilton say that the Khaki Field Titanium Automatic is gifted to game players following the completion of a dangerous mission.

That is you win a virtual watch, not a real one. You have to buy that.

But will gamers decide that the Khaki is cool enough to wear, or just collect, in the real world? It’s a difficult question and Hamilton faces tricky decisions in the future if it is to save itself from oblivion. Fact is, Swiss watches under £1000 struggle to sell because buyers see them as low status, not impressive enough to command bragging rights down at the gym, classic car meet etc.

We are seeing the collapse of the middle market in watches, cars, clothing and so much more. People want an impressive brand name, or something cheap n cheerful that ticks the right boxes at Aldi or Lidl. That’s why Debenhams is dead. That’s why M&S is heading the same way.

 

Ball Watch Tribute to The Blackbird SR-71

The Blackbird SR-71 is one of the huge leaps in engineering that blows your mind. In the early part of the jet age, it was impressive that an English Electric Lightning could hit Mach 2 in the mid-50s. But just a decade later the Americans were building a project that could crack 2000mph – basically outrun, or catch up to, an intercontinental missile.

To celebrate that engineering and the bravery of the test pilots Ball Watch is putting a new Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT on pre-order at £2770. It has the multi-lume dial that you expect from Ball, plus GMT hand, 100m water resistance and a very cool SR-71 logo at the 6pm position.

Inside there is a Ball in-house, COSC level movement, so you are buying a quality Swiss product.

I’m going out on a limb with a controversial take on this one; the Ball watches in general are better value watches than most of the Bremont Pilo/Chronometer range, as they do the same job – with more lume – for about 2 grand less. The only thing I don’t like about Ball watches is the name, as Ball is just too basic somehow – illogical I know, but there you go.

More her at Ball’s website.

Yema Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT is On Pre-Order

French brand Yema have a good looking GMT model on pre-order right now, with a typically vivid blue dial.

The  Marine Nationale model is also a tool watch, with a 990 foot depth rating, in-house calibre movement and stainless steel case and bracelet.  That cool anchor logo is on the winding crown as well as the dial. It also has a canvas webbing type strap, which is basically a tougher version of a traditional NATO strap.

Here’s the word from Yema – the GMT retails at EUR1049, plus import duty and VAT.

The YEMA Navygraf is the first GMT Official Watch in the history of the Marine Nationale. Designed by French Navy personnel for marine professionals, the Navygraf Marine Nationale GMT is military-grade, rugged and resistant, able to withstand the harshest conditions and travel across the most unforgiving seas.

The notion of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC/GMT/Zulu Time) being essential for sailors sent out to the world’s oceans on military missions, this collector’s tool watch is equipped with our GMT In-house Caliber YEMA3000 so as to display up to 3 different time zones.

Omega Certificates Will Help Watch Collectors Everywhere

For decades Swiss watch factories were totally uninterested in the pre-owned market. Many, like Rolex, would offer you a 5-10% discount on a new watch rather than repair your older model. They wanted their dealers to sell new watches, not pre-owned and often took action against smaller jewellers who had a secondhand section, such as removing the franchise.

But the rise of Watchfinder, Chrono24 and other sites has proved that there is huge demand for secondhand Swiss watches, from a classic Omega pie-pan Constellation, to a more recent Breitling Superocean. That’s why Richemont bought Watchfinder a few years ago – they can see there’s money in it. Of course, the rise in values for brands like Omega, Rolex, AP and Ptek ahas also prompted fakers to start selling replicas of older watches, complete with fading lume on the hands, patina on the dials and other tricks, simply to fool buyers online.

So Omega launching its own Certificate of Authenticity is perfectly timed. Collectors and watch dealers can bid on as watch knowing that it’s been verified by Omega as the real deal. As in-person auctions seem unlikely to ever happen again, due to the Plandemic hysteria and climate agenda zealots seeking to ban non-essential travel full stop, the only way that online watch reselling can go is down the verified, money back guarantee route, surely?

The Omega cert ONLY applies to models that have passed their 30th birthday by the way, so this doesn’t really address much of the fakery that poisons the pre-owned luxury watch market. But at the modern end, ideas like Breitling and Vacheron’s Blockchain digital certificates can do the same job of offering a guarantee that this is the real watch, as sold in Dubai 2019 etc.

But for collectors of older Omega bumper automatics, Constellations, Chronstops, Seamasters and more, this is a useful feature to look out for. Plus, watch dealers with something truly rare can get it checked out and certified. You can also order an extract from the Omega archive on the development and production run of watches that are a decade older or more – handy.

More here.