Last week, we published an in-depth technical article on the ETA C07.811 movement, also known as the Powermatic. This time, we’ll show how versatile this movement and its evolutions really are. In this guide, we’ll take a look at three watches from Hamilton, Tissot and Certina with totally different concepts – dressy, diver or military – all equipped with slightly different calibres based on this Powermatic concept. And remember, don’t be fooled by their prices… this is good watchmaking.
Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 Silicium – The classic one-watch-collection
Tissot has been around since 1853, and it hasn’t survived all this time by messing about. Tissot is a watch brand that everyone knows, but no-one really has an opinion about. Yes, it makes accurate and reliable watches and, yes, the designs are nice, and yes, the quality is excellent for the price… but that’s as far as it goes. This is kind of a middle-of-the-road brand. That entry-level approach might seem a bit dull, but we mean it in the best possible way. A Tissot could be your first watch, and your last watch because, well, you don’t really need any other.
This Tissot Gentleman Powermatic 80 is the perfect example of what Tissot stands for. The size is good (40mm), the design is timeless and modern at the same time, it is masculine, but not excessive. The watch even has a solid rose gold bezel and applied indices – but full stainless steel models also exist.
For this watch, the Swiss watchmaker has chosen to equip the Powermatic movement with a silicon balance spring, which is lighter, anti-magnetic and more durable than traditional alloys. The price is really good as well, which makes this watch a solid entry-level piece for a gentleman who is just starting his collection. A great watch for the week and the office.
Quick Facts – 40mm diameter – stainless steel with steel or rose gold bezel – see-through caseback – 100m water-resistant – leather strap or steel bracelet – calibre ETA C07.811 automatic, silicon balance wheel, 80h power reserve, accuracy within +3/-5 seconds a day – price starts at EUR 750
Certina DS Action Diver Powermatic 80 – The classic dive watch
Certina has a long history of very respectable, even iconic dive watches. This article is not the right place to dig too deeply into that history, but one thing you should know is that the Double Security (DS) system is celebrating its 50th birthday this year marking the long heritage this brand has when it comes to Certus – or security.
This DS-Action is a direct, modern descendant to that heritage. And it is, in fact, one of the most complete and best dive watches on the market at this moment. After wearing it for a week, I could find no drawbacks.
The Certina DS Action Diver has the presence, the accuracy, the water-resistance, the legibility and the robustness of a real dive watch. ISO 6425 standard, 300m water-resistant, 316L stainless steel, turning bezel, protected crown, perfect length of the hands, applied indices, a shiny black dial: everything is just good. It even has a quick adjustable bracelet. And it’s still stylish. Big, yet well done.
This Certina DS Action Diver Powermatic 80 shows once again the accuracy and versatility of the Powermatic movement: 80 hours of power reserve, a very decent if not superior accuracy, reliability and all of that for a very honest price. For a tool watch, that’s a pretty complete package.
Quick Facts – 43mm diameter – stainless steel – 300m water-resistance – ISO 6425 standard – stainless steel bracelet and deploying clasp with 2 push-buttons and diver extension – calibre Powermatic 80, automatic, date, 80h power reserve – CHF 795
Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical – The classic military watch
What was sturdy and reliable enough for thousands of men who crossed hostile seas in the early 1940s, should be sturdy and reliable enough for you. Yes, Hamilton was one of the watchmakers who supplied the allied forces with watches fit for World War II battlefields. That is an undeniable piece of its heritage. Some brands would have exploited this fact to ridiculous proportions, but not Hamilton. This Swiss-American brand still makes watches in the spirit of those from the 1940s. Humble watches, sober and perfectly equipped for doing their job, and nothing more: showing time in a reliable way. And as our tastes have grown into that direction, the watch could be called cool, yes, even stylish.
Over the years, Hamilton has expanded its military-inspired line, but in my opinion, no watch can beat that original: the Khaki Field Mechanical. This version comes with a very well-executed NATO strap (comfortable and with a leather inlay). The case is matte stainless steel and the size is actually quite good as well: 38mm diameter. The dial is also simply great, with the right markings, hands, colours and contrast. But the real stunner is the price: CHF 475.
That shows, once again, what a miracle of a movement this Powermatic is: it really brings power to the people. In this case, the movement has no date, which I think is the only way you should want the Khaki Field Mechanical. But there’s more, as this Hamilton is equipped with a hand-wound version of the Powermatic, the H-50 calibre, based this time on the ETA 2801-2. Still, the recipe is the same as above: 3Hz frequency instead of 4Hz, improved barrel and gear train and 80 hours of power reserve.
The Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is a great watch… The kind of watch you could give as a present to your kids, that you can wear on the weekends, to go to war (or not). Basically, you can do whatever you want with it – this watch is the perfect companion.
Quick Facts – 38mm diameter – matte stainless steel case – 50m water-resistance – green canvas strap with leather inlay – calibre Hamilton H-50, hand-wound Powermatic, 80h power reserve, no date – CHF 475