Review of the New Hamilton Khaki BASE Jump ¶
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Hamilton's new Khaki BASE Jump watch was released in April at the 2009 Baselworld fair. It will soon be available at the Matt Baily boutique. I had the chance to look at one at the store before I left for Switzerland. Here are some notes.
At first, the large 50mm case took me by surprise. I didn't know what to think of it. Was it a marketing stunt to attract the large-watch-hungry attention of the industry? As I looked at the watch on and off my wrist, it was evident that this watch was made not for hype, but for someone. I doubt that every one will like it, but it is an extremely well-designed timepiece. For those who like large, visible watches, it will not be hard to fall in love with the Khaki BASE Jump.
The model that I had in my hands was the bronze PVD treated version. The details of the dial really impressed me. There are several different textures used, including hobnail or clous de Paris pattern in the middle section. The hour markers are independently applied to add intricacy. Needless to say that the time is very easy to read.
I was pretty engrossed with the look and feel of the watch, and originally failed to realize that it was a chronograph model. This realization led to the discovery of my favorite aspect of BASE Jump. The bezel serves as the start/stop and reset pushers of the watch. This function goes beyond the "cool" factor, as it turns the use of the chronograph functions into a pleasure. The movement that provides these functions is the good ol' 7750 caliber by ETA, which is known for its quality and durability.
The watch was inspired by the perilous activity of BASE jumping. Although it doesn't offer any specific functions to be used for the sport, it reflects the intensity of a sport who's fatality rate in 2002 was estimated at 1 in 60 participants.