These days, when you talk about pilot’s watches, it is usually the large diameter watches, with large numerals and unique hands that come to mind. And it had a good reason for this. The sole function that differentiated pilot’s watches from the rest of the military timepieces was that it would be highly legible, letting pilots read the time with only a glance. The new Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer, however, decided to go with a different vein, offering a pilot’s watch with a mere 33mm diameter case. The inspiration for this new Hamilton piece comes from the W10, and its size is because the watch is an exact remake of this vintage piece.
Hamilton is one of those brands with a deep history with military timepieces. Originally an American watchmaking company (before eventually ending up in The Swatch Group), it supplied the US Armed Forces with watches back in the 1940s. The W10 however, was only produced between 1973 and 1976 for the British Army, and it wound up being issued mainly to pilots.
Despite being an exact remake of the W10, Hamilton has undoubtedly added in some modern comforts with the Khaki Pilot Pioneer. The 33mm case is matte-finished to avoid any unnecessary glare and the box-shaped crystal also comes with an anti-reflective coating for added legibility. Unfortunately, the crystal is made from hardened mineral, it would have been nice to see a sapphire crystal instead but because of the high cost associated with making boxed shaped sapphire, it is understandable considering the Khaki Pilot Pioneer’s price. Underneath the dial, the watch is powered by a modern H-50 hand-winding movement that packs in a whopping 80 hours of power reserve.
At 33mm, the watch is definitely on the small side, even for those with smaller wrists. The appeal comes with the fact that it is almost a one to one remake of the W10, giving it immense historical value. The Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer will fit the bill for a niche audience of watch enthusiasts who enjoy a vintage-inspired piece with all the right details.
Case: Stainless steel
Case size: 33mm
Crystal: Boxed shaped hardened mineral crystal
Movement: H-50 manual-winding
Water Resistance: 100m
Price: MYR 3,200