Although Hamilton is associated with rugged pilot’s watches, there is life beyond the cockpit. First introduced in 2012, Hamilton’s Intra-Matic rides on the current mania for all things vintage, and proposes a classic two-hand and date dress watch that would not look amiss on Don Draper’s wrist in Mad Men. Inspired by the pared-down elegance and functionality of watches produced in the 1960’s, the original monochromatic offer is now enhanced with trendy ‘smoked’ dials in a wider and warmer choice of colours at competitive prices.
When pilots are not on duty…
Thanks to the brand’s decisive role in America’s aviation history – both military and commercial – pilot watches have been the mainstay of the brand. In fact, 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of this ‘once American and now Swiss’ (Swatch Group) brand and aviation-themed watches like this Khaki Pilot model were released during Baselworld. Since not everybody wants a pilot watch, there’s always been a corner for dress watches, which would have to include the asymmetrical 1957 Ventura, the world’s first battery-powered watch immortalised by Elvis Presley on the silver screen. Hamilton’s current line-up of dress watches is covered by the customisable Jazzmaster Thinline and the Intra-Matic line of watches housed in the American Classic collection. Functionality and simplicity are the mantras of the Intra-Matic, an easy-to-wear line of automatic watches with a cool touch of vintage. (Check out the surprising Intra-Matic 68 Chronograph of 2017.)
A well-dosed shot of vintage
Presented in 38mm and 42mm cases in stainless steel or in stainless steel with either a rose gold or yellow gold PVD finish, the case sizes wear larger than they do on paper because of the relatively thin bezel and expansive, curved dial. The highlight of these watches is the dial presented in smoked (gradient) dials in grey, Havana brown and a warming Bourbon whiskey colour.
Obviously, the names of the colours were chosen to evoke a certain mood, perhaps as Don Draper takes out his Zippo lighter to puff on a thick Havana cigar and enjoy a Bourbon on the rocks? Advertising mood boards apart, the sunburst smoked dials are lighter in the centre and gradually get darker as the colour saturates the edges. The long baton indices, in keeping with the design ethos of 1960s watches, are printed on the dial in metallic colours to match the simple, stick-style hands and the frame of the date window positioned at 6 o’clock. Hamilton’s vintage logo is replicated just below 12 o’clock.
Below the sapphire crystal caseback is a respectable and reliable ETA 2892 automatic movement with a specific Hamilton rotor. Beating at 4Hz, the watch has a 42-hour power reserve for the hours, minutes and date and is water-resistant to depths of 50 metres.
Rounding off the package is a soft leather strap to match the dial of all three Intra-Matic newcomers in black, dark brown or tan or a practical stainless steel bracelet for the model with a grey dial. Prices start at CHF 825 for the 38mm steel on leather and reach CHF 1,025 for the 42mm steel with gold PVD on leather. More details at www.hamiltonwatch.com.