Introducing the Mk II Hawkinge AGL

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Sometimes all you want in a watch is something rugged and tactical. Nothing fancy, no gimmicks. Something that is easy to read, reliable, can take a bit of a beating, and doesn’t draw attention to itself. Mk II excels at making watches in this category, and they’ve developed a cult following among fans of vintage military and tool watches with their straightforward, no-nonsense designs that pay homage to watches that are just good watches, plain and simple. They’re also affordably priced and come complete with all the key trappings of a modern mechanical watch, unlike the valuable and increasingly rare issued watches from which they draw inspiration. Their newest release, the Hawkinge AGL, is decidedly in that vein.


Mk II Hawkinge AGL

  • Case Material: Stainless steel 
  • Dial: Black
  • Dimensions: 37.8mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire 
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters 
  • Crown: Screw down 
  • Movement: Seiko SII NE15
  • Strap/bracelet: Leather strap (tan) or Maratac mil-strap (black or grey) 
  • Price: $595
  • Expected Release: Available now

The Hawkinge AGL is derived from the famous Mk XI, manufactured by both IWC and Jaeger LeCoultre to the specs set forth by the British Ministry of Defense beginning in 1949. Mk II had previously released a limited edition of the Hawkinge with this dial layout (made in partnership with Robert Spangle of 1000 Yard Style), but the new Hawkinge AGL is a permanent part of their collection, sitting alongside the standard Hawkinge, a more direct tribute to the Mk XI.

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The classic Mk XI is considered one of the purest expressions of a tool watch by many aficionados, so any watch based on that classic design demands a certain robustness while also showing some restraint when it comes to the little details that brands like to throw in to differentiate themselves from the competition, and I think this is an area where the Hawkinge AGL excels.
Let’s take a look at the dial and how it compares to an OG Mk XI. At a glance, you might find the Hawkinge a little busier than a vintage Mk XI, and you wouldn’t be wrong, but the rearranging of the Arabic minutes and hours tracks, plus the addition of some small, subtle indices on the inner hour register aid significantly in the all important legibility at a glance factor. Even more critical, the additions aren’t flourishes, and they’re in the spirit of the original watch, for which everything was thought through and designed with great care and purpose. It’s a natural, gradual evolution of the idea of the most tactical, austere, pilot’s watch might look like.

The Hawkinge AGL’s case is a tool to the core, with plenty of brushing and an appropriately oversized screw down crown. Notably, it’s somewhat small by modern tool watch standards, measuring 37.8mm in diameter. This will be a great size for a lot of wrists, and I expect a lot of folks (like me) with large wrists will be surprised how comfortably a more traditionally sized watch wears when you’re used to sports watches in the 40mm and above range. There’s a lot of logic to making a tool watch like this on the smaller side, because presumably while wearing it you’re taking part in activities where a big hunk of steel could get in the way. But even if you sit at a desk all day, smaller watches have a way of just feeling better for hours on end than something big, thick, and heavy.

Coming in at $595, the Hawkinge AGL is a compelling value considering prices for vintage examples of original Mk XIs continue to climb, and you can use and abuse the contemporary version without fear of destroying an heirloom. The Hawkinge AGL is available now on the Mk II website. Mk II

Thoughts on the new Mk II Hawkinge? Let us know by dropping a comment below.

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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