Rugged style and reliable functionalityBASELWORLD 2016: Die Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman
What do rubber, titanium, portholes and blockbuster movies have in common? All are elements of the exciting 2016 relaunch of the Khaki Navy Frogman watch.
This on-trend revival line is a tribute to a piece of real and onscreen diving history: the iconic submersible watch created for the US naval “frogmen” teams and featured in the 1951 smash-hit movie The Frogmen and the brand’s very first on-screen appearance.
This first foray into the movie industry, in which the company has become a leader, has its roots in its military reputation that dates back to World War I and II when Hamilton, founded in 1892, equipped the American military.
Fast forward to 2016 and the sportier, more rugged Khaki Navy Frogman collection with a technical, aggressive edge, matching style with function in an appealing choice of variations. Fronted by world-renowned free diver Pierre Frolla, each model is equipped with a stunning crown-protection device, inspired by its 1951 ancestor with its inimitable military canteen design.
Meeting high demands
In keeping with its double billing as a super-sporty watch and stylish accessory, the 2016 standout 46 mm titanium model is clearly built to meet the high demands of its underwater vocation. Large surfaces ensure easy readability and high-tech specs include an edgy, red unidirectional rotating bezel. The latter frames a black dial with luminescent triple-facetted hands. The red-trimmed tip of the seconds hand highlights its role as an operating indicator and a vital feature of diver’s model.
Other key features one expects from a first-rate diver’s watch are all there: a tough and sturdy titanium case, water-resistance to 1’000 meters/100 bar and a helium valve to equal out internal and external pressures in saturation diving conditions. The rubber strap features an unexpected tone-on-tone central section and ribbed exterior that creates pleasing texture and color contrasts. The solid case-back bearing a scuba diver motif is a nod to this model’s maritime mission. And last but not least, the H-10 caliber with its 80-hour power reserve proves just as useful on land as below the sea.
In addition, the collection comprises 42 mm stainless steel versions that may also be fitted with a triple-row bracelet secured by a smart adjustment folding clasp, featuring a convenient and stylish diving extension. These models are available in two colors with a blue or black bezel (as well as matching dial and strap) to suit individual tastes.
In an eye-catching salute to a proud tradition of diving heroes, the 2016 Khaki Navy Frogman watch comes with a dedicated packaging inspired by a typical navy porthole.
Side-bar on Frolla
The perfect face for the Khaki Navy Frogman
Like Jacques Mayol, the hero of Luc Besson’s film The Big Blue in 1988, Monaco-based super diver Pierre Frolla caught the diving virus as a child. Growing up with fins on his feet and the Mediterranean Sea as his playground and field of exploration, Pierre was in the process of becoming a physical education teacher in Nice when he met Claude Chapuis (world record holder in static apnea in 1990 and member of the French Apnea team).
Chapuis took Frolla under his wing to share the adventure and by 1999, Pierre Frolla held the world record for freediving. Freediving is one of the three disciplines of competitive freediving and apnea and requires descending with nothing but the sole strength of the arms, without fins and mask. In 2004, Frolla achieved his fourth world record in the Variable Weight category, in which weighed down by a lead sled, the ascent to the surface requires the sole strength of the limbs. Frolla reached 123 meters, an uncanny depth the pressure of which (13 kg per cm2) can only be withstood by a fully trained body with incredible self-control.
Besides his own challenges, Pierre Frolla’s life path and work are also those of a team driven by values of FREEDOM, HUMILITY, COURAGE, COMMITMENT, the need to share, passion and honour. All these values are conveyed by L’Ecole Bleue and through other initiatives to help disadvantaged children (Opération Poséidon, Amade Monaco project, the fight against cystic fibrosis, etc…). The protection of the environment is the link to make today’s children of the Earth tomorrow’s great « sea-carers » !