The Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Chronograph family (the one, which is listed on their website as a member of a larger Khaki Aviation family of military-themed watches) was recently updated with a limited edition collection (including a version with black dial, pictured, ref. H77766331.) Being ahem limited to ahem just 1999 pieces, it will never become a true rarity (well, maybe in fifty years or so), but I must admit that this little guy still looks nice. Featuring all the usual stuff, like a true chronograph movement and their famous drift angle calculator, the new watch differs from the rest of the pack with its new color combinations and a slightly reworked dial.
As usual, the X-Wind offers a busy dial with its “Drift Angle Calculator” scale on the dial matched by another scale on the bezel. Together with an extremely detailed minutes/seconds track on the dial proper that allows you to measure time intervals with even greater precision.
As you can see on the pictures, the new version of the Khaki X-Wind ditches the mundane chronograph totalizers in favor of more attractive indicators that are styled to resemble aircraft gauges. Neatly open-worked and brushed, the complex-looking plate that decorates the sub-dials looks contrast on the matte black background of the dial giving it a kind of three-dimensional appearance.
The 3D-effect is emphasized with another machine-brushed plate that is slightly lower than the main part of the matte black dial.
Of course, the parts don’t look particularly expensive (I mean, the watch costs almost €1800 and you should expect it to sport top-notch components), but is nicely executed and, while seriously obstructing view at the small seconds display at 3 o’clock (which, adding insult to injury is equipped with a white hand running across white background), gives the watch some extra mojo.
Well, at the very least it makes the timekeeper stand out from the rest of classic “pilot’s” chronographs that are powered by the legendary ETA Valjoux 7750 mechanism and usually look like they were cloned from some master copy.
Yes, the Caliber H-21 automatic chronograph movement that powers the watch is a redecorated version of the industry work-horse that is often used in more expensive watches, but is a rare find in this price range. Robust and reliable, the movement is also known as a good time keeper, so the watch may very well be used even by real pilots as a backup tool.
So, it looks like the Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Chronograph gets another star in this review thanks to its use of incredibly reliable and energy-efficient movement, which is not only relatively easy to repair (and it can be repaired by any qualified servicemen), but also offers power reserve of whole 60 hours: enough for the watch to keep ticking even if you take it off on Friday night and get it from the chest of drawers on Monday morning. Sure, it can barely make it, but there is still a good chance that you won’t have to waste time re-setting the timekeeper while struggling with your breakfast and shower.
It will be officially presented at Baselworld 2014.
See also: Hamilton Khaki X-Mach Pilot’s watch
Photos: Hamilton Watches
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Chronograph (ref. H77766331) specification
Price: $2400 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Hamilton caliber H21 (based on ETA Valjoux 7750), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 25
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 60 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, drift angle calculator, chronograph
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 45.00 mm
Dial: Grey and black
Hour markers: Luminous
Hands: Luminous, polished
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet / Caoutchouc rubber strap with a steel ardillon buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective