Hamilton has recently been very active in the field of vintage-inspired and historical models, with multiple very attractive new models, such as the Aviation Converter collection, the Digital PSR, or the Khaki Pilot Pioneer. Yet, we shouldn’t forget another watch, launched in 2017 as a limited edition and inspired by one of Hamilton’s most handsome historic wristwatches, 1968’s Chronograph A. Known as the Intra-Matic, it has since been remodeled with a smaller case. This year, Hamilton is extending the collection with new bracelets on the Chronograph but mostly with the introduction of a new time-and-date, the Hamilton Intra-Matic Automatic 40mm.
The Hamilton Intra-Matic doesn’t come out of the blue. As said, it is a vintage-inspired collection that actually was modeled after an existing watch, the Chronograph A that was launched by the brand in 1968. Chronographs have been a great part of Hamilton’s history, especially during the 1960s and 1970s, coinciding with the Swiss era of the brand, once it acquired Büren and moved to Biel, and later becoming part of SSIH (subsequently The Swatch Group). Some of the greatest models were powered by the iconic Calibre 11, such as the Fontainebleau or these two Chrono-Matic watches. But the watch that inspired the Intra-Matic came before that.
The watch in question is known as the Chronograph A or Chronograph B, and will first be powered by hand-wound movements (Valjoux 7730). It will later be upgraded with the Calibre 11, which are recognizable with the crown on the left side of the case. This watch had a sleek, late-1960s style with sporty panda or reversed panda dials and bi-compax layout. As an homage to these models, Hamilton first launched a 42mm limited edition Intra-Matic Chronograph at Baselworld 2017, powered by a revised automatic Valjoux 7753.
A year later, following the success of this limited edition model (1,968 pieces), Hamilton decided to integrate this design into its permanent collection, with a smaller 40mm case and new options regarding the dials – white with black counters and blue with white counters. Know as the Intra-Matic Automatic Chronograph 40mm, we reviewed it here. Only available until now with a chronograph movement and leather straps, the brand is enlarging the collection, with new bracelets and the option for a time-and-date model.
The Hamilton Intra-Matic Automatic 40mm
First and foremost, let’s talk about what’s really new this year, the addition of new time-and-date models. While only available with an automatic chronograph movement until now, Hamilton adds simplified models to the collection, with its usual focus on efficient movements. Design-wise, no major evolutions are to be noted, as these Automatic models retain the same case. Angular, with sharp surfaces – note the thin straight lugs and the flat casebands – the case still measures 40mm in diameter. Being a classic automatic, the case is now thinner than the chronograph model – at about 11mm.
In the same vein, the dials have been simplified but keep the design cues of the chronograph models. Available either in off-white with contrasting black chapter ring or blue with off-white chapter ring, it also displays a date at 6 o’clock and the vintage Hamilton logo – which corresponds to what was used on the 1968 watch. The hands, luminous and with a straight design, as well as the hour markers, are nickel-plated and identical to the chronograph models. The overall design is fresh and clean, with each colour bringing its own personality.
Inside the case is a well-known movement, the automatic Calibre H-10, the brand’s version of the Powermatic that has been developed to be a competitive entry-level option, and a great alternative to ETA movements. Powerful, with a comfortable 80h power reserve, it even features an anti-magnetic hairspring made of Nivachron. The movement isn’t visible here, as hidden under a solid steel caseback. Both versions of the Hamilton Intra-Matic Automatic 40mm are worn exclusively on leather straps, whether in black for the off-white model or in light brown for the blue edition. These are closed by an 18mm pin buckle.
Without its chronograph, the Hamilton Intra-Matic becomes a nice, almost dressy vintage piece that has style and versatility. It is also, as you’d expect from Hamilton, great value for the money, with great technical content. Both versions – H38425720 in off-white, H38425540 in blue – is priced at CHF 950, EUR 945 or USD 995.
Quick facts: 40mm diameter x circa. 11mm height – stainless steel case, polished – sapphire crystal – solid steel caseback – 50m water-resistant – off-white or blue dial with applied indexes – Super-LumiNova on hands and indexes – Calibre H-10, automatic with 80-hour power reserve, date function and Nivachron balance spring – black or brown calf leather strap – H38425720 off-white, H38425540 blue – CHF 950, EUR 945 or USD 995 – available now
The Hamilton Intra-Matic Automatic Chronograph 40mm
Second are some updates on the classic chronograph version, which we’ve already reviewed here, in the summery blue version. Nevertheless, let’s have a second look at this cool watch. Housed in a sharp, reasonably-sized 40mm polished steel case, the Intra-Matic Automatic Chronograph is the direct descendant of the 1968 Chronograph A. While the limited edition version of 2017 was nicely designed, it was also quite a hefty watch. This model, now available in the permanent collection, is even more on the retro side of things. Being an automatic chronograph, the thickness can’t be forgotten, however, at 14.45mm.
Also, while the limited edition model was available with a so-called reversed-panda dial, the permanent collection added two different dials, a nice and retro panda (off-white with black counters) and a fresh, slightly more modern blue edition with white counters. This doesn’t change for this year’s collection, and the two models remain available. The dials are framed by a contrasting inner flange with tachymeter scale and applied indexes with luminescence allow for a sporty look. A date is placed at 6 o’clock, which is a reference to older Calibre 11 editions of Hamilton’s panda chronographs.
Inside the case is a well-known and reliable movement, the calibre H-31, an automatic chronograph using the Valjoux 7753 as a base. The kinetic chain and the mainspring have been upgraded though, as the watch now boasts 60 hours of power reserve. Also, the escapement regulator has been suppressed, facilitating optimal reliability and precision. It displays a central chronograph seconds, a small seconds at 9 o’clock and a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. This version is water-resistant to 100 metres.
The most notable change for this year is the addition of new bracelets. While the watch is still available on black or light brown calf leather strap, Hamilton adds the option for a Milanese stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp. This bracelet compliments the watch and adds an even more retro-charm, as well as more versatility. Note for owners of the leather strap model; the bracelet is available as an accessory and can be ordered separately (at CHF 130).
The Hamilton Intra-Matic Automatic Chronograph 40mm – H38416111 in off-white, H38416141 in blue – is now available for orders at the brand’s website, and is priced at CHF 2,230, EUR 2,095 or USD 2,245.
Quick facts: 40mm diameter x 14.45mm height – stainless steel case, polished – sapphire crystal – solid steel caseback – 100m water-resistant – off-white or blue dial with applied indexes – Super-LumiNova on hands and indexes – Calibre H-31, automatic chronograph with 60h power reserve, date function – mesh bracelet with folding clasp and safety pushers – H38416111 off-white, H38416141 blue – CHF 2,230, EUR 2,095 or USD 2,245 – available now
More details and orders, at www.hamiltonwatch.com.