Ho, ho, ho, what a year it’s been for Hamilton! Overall, the Swatch Group has had a surprisingly impressive 2020. Despite challenges that no one saw coming and several circumstances beyond anyone’s control, SG brands have been turning out the goods on a regular basis. Hamilton has had a particularly strong 12 months, as you can see from the festive selection below…

Fratello is a broad church. We like all kinds of watches. We enjoy covering extremely high-end horology just as much as we love covering new and exciting microbrands. But above all, we like well-made, reasonably priced steel sports watches. There is room for an all-gold piece in anyone’s collection, of course, but, if you’re anything like the Fratelli, the majority of your treasure trove will comprise hardy steel pieces that aren’t afraid to face down lives rigors by your side.

As such, we have a lot of time for Hamilton. It is a brand with a long and fascinating history that has, thanks to its acquisition by the Swatch Group, now got a huge support network feeding into its R&D department as well as its worldwide distribution network. That makes for a really powerful marque, and one I’m impressed to see still has the vim and vigor to evolve. Here are some of the top pieces of 2020.

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Hamilton Intra-Matic Automatic Chronograph

I was lucky enough to get this piece on my wrist at our HQ in The Hague, earlier this year. Reference H38416111 is an amazing looking timepiece that clearly has one foot in the past and one in the present. The build quality and execution of the dial printing is as smartly done as you would expect from a Swatch Group brand. The heritage vibes are clear but not over-powering; this still looks like a modern watch on the wrist.

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Hamilton Intra-Matic

But if a chronograph isn’t your thing, fear not. Hamilton has a time and date version of the Intra-Matic also in its catalog. This model is powered by the ubiquitous (but very impressive) H-10 automatic movement, which has an 80-hour power reserve and a balance spring made from NivachronTM. The model pictured here is reference H38425540.

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Hamilton Jazzmaster Open Heart H32705141 and Jazzmaster Skeleton H42535610

While the Hamilton brand is majorly associated with its impressive array of field and aviation watches, sports watches, and chronographs, so too does the brand have a more elegant, refined side. The Jazzmaster collection is a massive catalog of more traditionally-styled watches that places the emphasis more on the fine aesthetics of yesteryear, often embellishing otherwise muted dials with visions of the mechanics within.

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Depending on how much this peep-show tickles your fancy, you can choose between an open heart model (like reference H32705141), which reveals the fluttering balance wheel through an aperture on the dial, or go the whole hog and pick-up reference H42535610, which has a more skeletonized dial.

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Hamilton PSR

Reference H52414130 has made a lot of friends at the Fratello HQ this year. We all love a reissue but only when it’s done well. This is just about as perfect as you can get in that regard, and seeing the Hamilton wordmark replace the original Pulsar markings on the case is a real treat (especially for lucky owners of the 1970 original). It’s so cool James Bond picked it. Need I say more?

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Hamilton Khaki Field King

Khaki Field models are really an entry-level luxury benchmark for the industry. If you want clean and clear dials, expert machining, and a better-than-expected movement in a package that retails for a few hundred euros, you came to the right place. This stealthy all-black version really hit it off with Jorg in his recent review. My preference is for the blasted steel cases in this line, but the black-coated version has a really distinct character that will make it a fan-favorite, I’m sure.

Hamilton Ventura Quartz Reference H24411732

I had a Ventura quart when I was a young watchmaker and I loved it. During my studies, I had to sell it along with pretty much everything else I had to stay afloat, and I still miss that watch to this day. It has an unmistakable character and looks like nothing else. It instantly transports me back to the era of its creation. In my mind it conjures images of Elvis, of T-Birds, of greasers and teddy boys. It’s simply cool. It looks ace with a white, cap-sleeve t-shirt and some brutally stonewashed jeans. It would make an awesome present for the man or woman in your life and it never gets old.

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Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter

We covered the Converter collection extensively on Fratello for one simple reason: we loved it. In fact, we were more surprised by it than anything. The slide rule function really got under our skin and compelled us to explore its everyday usage more and more. I for one became a fan of this complication having always before turned my nose up at it. I had no idea the kind of fun I was missing out on and each of the slide rule Converter models is the perfect medium through which to experience that fun. Learn more about Hamilton’s other models here.

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