You know me – I’ll pretty much take a look at anything when it comes to watches. Sure, I’ve got my preferences, but I don’t mind checking out a variety of watches, and even if it’s a style I don’t care for, I look for details that do grab me. That’s the boat I found myself rowing with this Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC loaner.
To be sure, the Khaki Pilot itself is not necessarily a new watch. What was interesting here was them cozying up with Schott NYC to create a leather strap (and storage pouch) for the watch. Schott is a brand I’ve admired from afar – they’ve got lovely leather jackets, but just not one I could bite the bullet on especially since I stopped riding. So, maybe this is a way to live out that dream.
When you first see the strap on the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC, you’re thinking (or at least I was) that it’s going to take a long time to break in. And sometimes, with a higher quality leather, that’s how it is – like a pair of shoes, sometimes you need to work at it. That’s totally not the case here – the 22mm strap, while thick, was immediately soft and supple, and easily formed to my wrist. This lead to holding the watch firmly in place (no doubt helped by the double-tang buckle) which was important on this watch.
Why is that? Well, you see, the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC is nowhere near being considered petite. While it’s a relatively thin 12.3mm, it’s coming in at a massive 46mm. And yeah, you can tell that was done for design solely, based on how much blank metal there is on the exhibition caseback (aka, this movement could fit in a much smaller case). And, ok, historically, pilot watches were indeed big so they could be easily read and strapped on the outside of the pilot’s jacket. But none of us are dogfighting in the skies, so I think we could handle a smaller design.
That said, it does give the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC plenty of room to play with the dial and handset. Here, the minute numerals take center stage, with the inner ring having the hours printed. What’s neat about that is the end of the hour hand is hollowed-out, which then centers over those hour indices, while the hollow on the minute hand allows you to still see the day portion of the day-date indicators.
In terms of styling, the dial of the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC is classic pilot watch, though there’s no oversized crown to go along with it. Guess you won’t be setting it with your gloves, but then again you won’t having it digging into your wrist either.
So, was the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC a watch for me? While there some details I enjoyed, and I really, really liked that strap, it was just way too big of a watch for my tastes. I know everyone’s tastes differ, so perhaps you’ll be properly chuffed by the idea of this one. If so, the Swiss-made H-30 movement will keep you on time, and you’ll certainly have no problem reading the time. Just bring along $1,145 to pick one up, and make sure you do it before they run out of the 1,892 pieces they’re building of this collaboration. hamiltonwatch.com
- Brand & Model: Hamilton Khaki Pilot Schott NYC
- Price: $1,145
- Who’s it for? You want a large watch that comes on a strap you’re no immediately going to want to replace because it feels like cardboard
- Would I wear it? No – at 46mm, it’s just much larger than I prefer in a watch
- What I’d change: Hit it with the shrink ray boss
- The best thing about it: For a small detail, I really liked the cutout on the hour hand that allowed you to see the marking on the dial. Also, the strap – for a leather strap as thick as this one was, it was immediately soft and supple, quickly conforming to the wrist (important when the case is as big as this one).
Tech Specs from Hamilton
- Limited edition: 1,892 pieces
- Movement: Automatic, H-30
- Diameter: 46 mm
- Thickness: 12.3 mm
- Crown: Screw Down
- Water Resistance: 20 bar / (200m)
- Case material: Stainless Steel
- Lug width: 22 mm