Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph Watch Review

Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph Watch Review

The latest creation from Hamilton calls for collectors of vintage watches, taking inspiration from a range of pilot’s chronographs created for the British Royal Air Force during the 1970’s. The Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph delivers a black grained dial, retro-coloured lume, clean stainless steel architecture and a manual winding movement at its core.

Looking at the vast selections of pilot’s chronographs on the market, you can quite safely source the inspiration for each to one of just a handful of historic designs. Alongside the German and Swiss offspring, the B-Hur, and the flyback Bund Chronograph from the 60’s, one of the most famous pilot’s chronographs was issued to the British Royal Air Force during the 1970’s. Suitably named the Fab Four, the set of four watches was issued to the British military by Hamilton, CWC, Newmark and Precista. Each design was characterised by a black dial, luminous markers, bi-compax display, a 39mm case and the Valjoux 7733 movement. Another key feature was the reinforced case which protected the crown and pushers on the right hand side. Hamilton lightly reinterpreted their Fab Four watch last year with the quartz-powered Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Chrono but now, offering a significantly more faithful design is the new Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph.

The form and function of the original 1970’s RAF pilotd watch is depicted beautifully and accurately in the new 2022 Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph watch but it still includes several contemporary touches for better useability on a modern wrist. One of these is the case size which has been increased slightly to 40mm in diameter and 14.35mm in height. It is still engineered from brushed stainless steel and features the significantly important cushion-shaped profile with protective shoulder on the right to ensure the integration of the crown and pushers. The push-pull crown is large and notched for easy manipulation while wearing thick pilot’s gloves and the chronograph pushers are pump style.

Attesting to the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph’s height is large box-shaped sapphire crystal glass which gladly replaces the less scratch resistant Plexiglass of the original. The sapphire crystal is treated to a double layer of anti-reflective coating for easy legibility of the black dial beneath. The case also features a screw down case back, a 100 metre water resistance and a handsome vintage-inspired brown calfskin leather strap secured by a classic stainless steel pin buckle.

The dial of the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph watch replicates the centrepiece of the 1970’s watches with a matte grained finish, two horizontally aligned subsidiary dials for measuring the minutes and running seconds, a printed minutes track and large markers and numerals. The hands like the original are white lacquered and are generously adorned with old radium Superluminova to complete the vintage-inspired aesthetic and ensure clarity in low light conditions. A victory for many is also the lack of a date window, a complication we’ve seen needlessly added to vintage revivals one too many times!

A significant upgrade to the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph watch is the movement. Still manual winding like the original, it now relies on the calibre H-51-Si, a Swatch Group-engineered movement equipped with an anti-magnetic silicon balance spring, a revised kinetic chain and mainspring and an extended power reserve of 60 hours. The movement also delivers 27 jewels and a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.

Surprisingly, the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph watch is not a limited edition and is part of the brand’s permanent collection. How long it will be there for however is another question… If you’d like to learn more about the watch and order it for yourself, head over to the Jura Watches website here. Alternatively, get in touch with the team by calling 01335 453453 or send us a message at help@jurawatches.co.uk.


  • Case Size: 40mm
  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Bezel: Fixed
  • Glass: Box-shaped sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective treatment
  • Crown: Push-pull with pump pushers
  • Case Back: Screwed
  • Water Resistance: 100 metres
  • Movement: Calibre H-51-Si, manual winding
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, central chronograph seconds, 30 minutes counter
  • Power Reserve: 60 hours
  • Jewels: 27
  • Frequency: 28,800vph
  • Dial: Black grained with old radium Superluminova hands and markers
  • Strap: Brown leather
  • Buckle: Pin
  • RRP: £1,800

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