Before becoming a subsidiary of Swatch Group, Hamilton was a popular American brand with deep military roots and more than 500 cameo appearances on the silver screen. Making its debut in 1932 in the Hollywood movie Shanghai Express, Hamilton is often referred to as the Movie Brand. Dressed to the nines in sleek black PVD cases with gold accents, five models from Hamilton’s collection – two Jazzmasters, a Pan Europ and two Venturas – get a celebrity makeover for this capsule collection. Like the much-loved black & gold John Player Special livery used on F1 Lotus racers of the 1970s, the combination of black and gold is sophisticated, slick and racy.
Jazzmaster Auto Chrono
To honour the brand’s ties to movies and the off-screen talents behind the scene (screenwriters, set designers, sound engineers, etc.) Hamilton created the Behind the Camera Awards and introduced a movie-themed Jazzmaster Regulator Cinema model in 2019.
One of the more classical offerings of the brand, the latest Jazzmaster Auto Chrono is sheathed in a sleek black PVD steel case with 100m water-resistance. With its 42mm diameter and height of 15.23, the black case attenuates the dimensions of the case, and the thick black bund leather strap extends to protect the pushers. The bezel is polished, the lugs are brushed, and the ergonomic teardrop-shaped pushers for the chronograph alternate both finishings.
Arranged vertically, the three sub-dials – 30-min totaliser at noon, small seconds at 9, and 12-hour totaliser at 6 o’clock – have snailed interiors, golden frames and golden markings. According to the information supplied by the brand, the hour, minute, seconds, and counter hands are yellow gold, all treated with a strip of lume, except for the seconds hand. Continuing with the Midas touch, the peripheral track, the inscriptions on the dial and the numerals inside the date window are also golden.
The Jazzmaster Auto Chrono is equipped with the H-21, a robust automatic chronograph movement based on an ETA 7750 with a frequency of 28,800vph and a power reserve of 60 hours.
Quick facts: 42mm diameter x 15.23mm height – stainless steel with black PVD coating – 100m water-resistance – black dial with gold details, sapphire crystal with AR coating – H-21 automatic movement, 28,800vph, 60h power reserve – matte black bund leather strap – ref. H24431170 – CHF 1,825 / EUR 1,995 / USD 1,845
The second model treated to the black & gold makeover is this compact 36mm Jazzmaster Auto in a steel case with black PVD coating presented on a matte black NATO-style leather strap. A straightforward time-only model, the height of the case is 10mm, and the water-resistance is 50m. Finished with brushed and polished surfaces, the case has a slightly elliptical shape, no doubt to balance the large crown on the right.
A minimalist black dial with thin vertical lines hosts the yellow gold hour, minute (lumed) and central seconds hands, along with the Hamilton logo and inscriptions. The indices are applied to the snailed peripheral minutes track and extend into the dial but do not appear to have luminescent material.
The Jazzmaster Auto is fitted with the automatic H-10 movement (ETA C07.611 base). Beating at a slower pace of 21,600vph and equipped with a Nivachron hairspring, the power reserve is 80 hours.
Quick facts: 36mm diameter x 10mm height – stainless steel with black PVD coating – 50m water-resistance – black dial with gold details, sapphire crystal with AR coating – H-10 automatic movement, 21, 600vph, Nivachron hairspring, 80h power reserve – matte black NATO style leather strap – ref. H32255730 – CHF 875 / EUR 975 / USD 895
American Classic Pan Europ
Introduced in 1971, Hamilton’s Pan Europ was one of the first automatic chronographs and, like so many watches of this period, came in a cushion-shaped case. Revisited in a non-chronograph format in 2014, the Pan Europ returns in black & gold livery for this capsule collection. Still boasting a vintage 1970s cushion-shaped case, the diameter is 42mm, and the height is 11.55mm. The steel black PVD-coated case is finished with polished and brushed surfaces. Although it is not a chronograph, the Pan Europ time, day and date comes with a knurled black PVD rotating bezel with grey markings and a 15-minute diving scale; which is not particularly relevant given the watch’s 50m water-resistance.
A sloping golden-snailed flange hosts the rectangular indices and minutes track, and the indices and hour and minute hands are treated with luminescent material. The central area of the dial is black with gold inscriptions and the rectangular day and date window at 3 o’clock has a black background and gold markings. The central second’s hand is gold plated.
Inside the Pan Europ is another automatic Hamilton calibre – H-30 – based on the ETA C07.621. Beating at 21,600vph and fitted with a Nivachron balance spring, the power reserve is 80 hours for the hours, minutes, seconds, date and day. Unlike the other models in the capsule collection, the American Classic Pan Europ comes with two straps: a black leather strap with gold rivets and a two-tone black and gold NATO textile strap.
Quick facts: 42mm diameter x 11.55mm height – stainless steel with black PVD coating – 50m water-resistance – black dial with gold details, sapphire crystal with AR coating – H-30 automatic movement, 21, 600vph, Nivachron hairspring, 80h power reserve – black leather strap with gold rivets and additional two-tone NATO textile strap – ref. H35425730 – CHF 1,175 / EUR 1,245 / USD 1,295
Ventura Chrono Quartz
One of Hamilton’s star collections and perhaps the oddest-shaped watch in the world is the Ventura. First released in 1957 as the world’s first battery-powered watch, the Ventura was immortalised by Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii.
The quartz chronograph version of the Ventura is back in black & gold in a 32.3mm x 50.3mm stainless steel case with a black PVD coating. The black coating somewhat attenuates the distinctive contours of the shield-shaped case, but it is immediately recognisable as the Elvis watch.
The three golden counters are snailed and have black markings, while the minutes track, also golden, adapts to the unusual morphology of the case with different length hour markers accented with golden spheres (two at noon). There is even a date window squeezed in at 4 o’clock with a black background and gilt numerals. There is no trace of lume on this model, and the sword-shaped hour and minute hands, the arrow-tipped seconds hand and the three hands in the sub-dials are made of yellow gold. The Ventura Quartz Chrono comes with a black leather strap and a black PVD folding buckle.
Quick Facts: 32.3mm diameter x 50.3mm length x 10.87mm height – stainless steel with black PVD coating – 50m water-resistance – black dial with gold details, sapphire crystal – quartz powered chronograph movement – black leather strap – ref. H24402730- CHF 1,025 / EUR 1,095 / USD 1,045
Ventura S Quartz
A smaller time-only version of the iconic Ventura, this black PVD-coated model with gold accents has a 24mm diameter and a length of 37.4mm. Like the Ventura Chrono, the watch is powered by a quartz movement. The black dial features 12 gold hour markers represented by lines of different lengths crowned with a golden sphere, with double spheres at noon. A zigzagging line – an electric pulse pattern – traverses the dial from 9 to 3 o’clock.
Quick facts: 24mm diameter x 37.4mm length x 7.82mm height – stainless steel with black PVD coating – 50m water-resistance – black dial with gold details, mineral crystal – quartz movement – black leather strap – ref. H24201730 – CHF 895 / EUR 975 / USD 895
For more information, please visit hamiltonwatch.com.