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Reviewing the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Bronze

The bronze Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer watch is powered by a reliable manual winding movement and boasts an undeniably vintage-inspired aesthetic based on the brand’s much earlier Model 23 pocket watch. This is thanks to its closely echoed dial and radium-style luminous dial elements all housed in a patina-developing bronze case.


The story of the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer watch starts with the Model 23 - a pocket watch developed by Hamilton for the US Armed Forces during WWII. During the time of its release, military personnel were in great need of a legible and durable timekeeping instrument for assisting with crucial tasks whilst in flight. These tasks would include determining ground speed, calculating fuel consumption, and determining the correct speed for bomb drop trajectory.


The Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer manually wound watch drops the chronograph function but what it does bring to the table is a choice between a stainless steel case and a bronze case option. It’s the latter we’ll be looking at in a little more detail today. Bronze watches are becoming an increasingly popular choice for vintage watch fans, plus the choice to offer the watch in this material is sure to appeal to fans of the vintage-inspired look.


Bronze - the popular patina-developing material


The pairing of bronze and the sea is something we see quite often in the watchmaking industry these days. But the appeal of a bronze case does not end there. Used in pilot’s watches, it exudes a distinct vintage-inspired style, developing a patina over time as it ages. There are endless options for dial colours and features when it comes to bronze watches, but for the design of this Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer watch, the case and dial design are parred back to promote legibility, just as the Hamilton Model 23 did.



To highlight the similarities between the Model 23 pocket watch and the manually-wound Khaki Aviation watch, it makes sense to look at the dial of the vintage military tool. Model 23 had a black grained dial with a railway track and crisp, easy-to-read Arabic numerals. It also featured a subsidiary hand and a register hand for the 30-minute sub-dial. Its high-quality nickel three-quarter plate movement had a lever escapement and a micrometer regulator.


The Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer manual-winding bronze watch features a very similar dial. A matte black grained surface goes without the bicompax layout of the original pocket watch but does feature a small second sub-dial at 6 o’clock. The display is also home to a similar railway minute track, along with slim Arabic numeral hour markers. The entire surface of the dial is protected by a double domed lens of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass treated with a double layer of anti-reflective treatment. This treatment ensures that the wearer is rid of any undesirable glare when referencing the time regardless of whether out in natural daylight or standing under artificial lighting.

The Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer watch has…


The new manually wound Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer bronze watch measures a 43mm diameter. This is considerably larger than the 38mm automatic version released by Hamilton alongside the mechanical steel and bronze options. The case of the watch is also 100-meter water-resistant and features titanium elements. The choice to equip the back of the case with titanium prevents any tarnishing of the skin whilst the watch sits against the wrist. In addition to this, the pin buckle fastening on the watch’s vintage-inspired brown leather strap is also crafted from titanium.  The watch features a bidirectional rotating bezel with a clear mineral glass surface that protects a legible 60-minute scale.



Inside the bronze case of the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer, watch is a reliable manually wound movement that provides an impressive 50-hour power reserve. The ETA Unitas 6498-1 movement performs at a rate of 18,800 vibrations per hour and puts its traditional finishes on show through the watch’s sapphire bottom case. For many Hamilton watch collectors, this feature is a huge part of the appeal of this new bronze pilot’s watch, especially if they are partial to a hand-wound movement and all that it stands for.



If you’d like to learn more about the manual-winding Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer bronze watch, you can visit the link to the product page here, or call out Jura Watches sales team on 01335 453453


Technical specifications of the Hamilton Khaki Aviation Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Bronze watch

  • Case: 43mm – bronze – titanium caseback with sapphire crystal glass exhibition feature – 100-meter water-resistant – double domed sapphire crystal glass front with double AR layer – oversized onion crown
  • Dial: Matte black – grained surface – luminous Arabic numeral hour markers – cathedral-shaped central hands with old radium-style Super-LumiNova – small second sub-dial at 6 o’clock – railway minute track
  • Movement: ETA Unitas 6498-1 – manual-winding – 50-hour power reserve – 17 jewels- 18,800 v.p.h
  • Strap: Brown – vintage-style leather – titanium pin buckle
  • Reference; H76709530
  • Price: £1,305
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