For years now, there’s the trend in the watch industry to introduce watches inspired by the brand’s heritage. These watches are based on vintage watches with an updated design, technical specifications, and often have a larger size. It often results in a popular watch among collectors and enthusiasts. This has to do a lot with their looks that people often find “familiar”. Many different brands follow this trend, and in this case, we are talking about the new Hamilton (Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono).
If you are familiar with Hamilton you might remember that last year they released a strikingly similar model. The Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 was technically the same watch with a reverse panda dial. As like that timepiece, this is also based on a 1968 model from Hamilton. Obviously, the size is larger to give it a more contemporary look at 40mm. The main design features like the pump pushers, the tachymeter print on the dial or the shape of the indexes are identical though. Hamilton is known to have a great eye and pick just the right timepieces from their archives to revive. Just think of the €420 Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical. We talked about that earlier when the watch dropped. It became an overnight sensation due to its mechanical winding movement, affordable price, and true vintage look. This article, however, is about the Intra-Matic Auto Chrono.
As I already mentioned, the case went from 36mm to 40mm. It is steel with a screw-on case back. The whole case looks like something straight from the 1960’s. Simple straight lines, a nice break on the lugs, thin steel bezel, pump pushers (albeit a bit too high, I feel) and a large crown with the vintage Hamilton logo. Nothing to complain about. At 10 o’clock on the side of the case, you can find the date quick set. The crown is screw down but it does not have the date changing feature.
The simplicity that we have seen on the case goes for the case back too. The center has a large pattern filled with “H” motifs obviously for Hamilton. Around this motif, you have the water resistance in bars (10) and PSI (145). It stands for pound-force per square inch, a measurement you don’t see often on watches. “Swiss Made” and the reference number of the watch are also on the back.
The heart of the Hamilton Intra-Matic is the calibre H-31 movement. We are talking about an automatic movement with date function and 60 hours of power reserve. Clearly, this is no in-house movement, the base is ETA’s calibre 7753. The H-31 movement, however, received many updates by the watchmakers at Hamilton. The most obvious being the power reserve. While a normal ETA 7753 has around 42 hours the calibre H-31 movement can run about 18 hours more with the same fully wound mainspring. This is thanks to an improvement of the mainspring. The barrel and the escapement as well as the escapement regulator also received updates and were refined. The pushers have a nice and strong click. The watch runs quietly, while the case is a bit thick at 14.7mm it sits comfortably on the wrist. The Intra-Matic is a very pleasant watch to wear.
As I mentioned it at the beginning of the article; the Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono has a panda dial, the inverse version of the Intra-Matic 68 from 2017. The dial’s base colour is white, where the chronograph subdials at 3 and 9 are black. Also, the tachymeter ring that is painted on the edge of the dial is in a black ring. At 12 o’clock you can find the vintage Hamilton logo and at 6 the word “Automatic” referring to the movement. under this and just above the minute scale is the date window. Raised, polished metal indexes with lume on their outer sides give the dial a bit of shine. It is worth mentioning that even the numbers (10-20-30 and 20-40-60) and the fonts of the subdials are matching to the vintage version.
The dial is easy to read, even for a chronograph. To make it easy Hamilton took care of the sapphire crystal, which has a double anti-reflecting coating. Straight, nickelled hour and minute hands help the visibility with Super-Luminova coating on both of them. The chronograph hand has black lacquer cover, while the sub counter hands have white lacquer on them.
The Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono comes on a black leather strap. This is the only strap/bracelet option for the timepiece. The lug size, however, is a very convenient 20mm. You can put on whatever you fancy. I tried the Intra-Matic on a NATO and I have to say it looked just awesome. The OEM strap is tapered 20/18mm, it has a nice Hamilton buckle. Rather similar to a German brand’s which I will not name, but I’m sure you know which one I mean. The strap has a bit of padding that (with the tapering) helps to slim the overall look of the watch optically.
The Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono is a great looking timepiece with awesome wrist presence and just the necessary vintage touch. Its size is contemporary but not too bulky, The movement inside is a true workhorse with some added improvements. The dial is easy to read and that black chronograph hand is splendid. It doesn’t bother me that the pushers are a bit too long either. The retail of the Intra-Matic is €1995 (2150 CHF) a reasonable price for such a watch if you ask me. It is available from the 15th of October (pre-order) 2018. All in all, if you are on the market for an automatic chronograph that blends modern and vintage design, has a fair price and wears great the Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono is a timepiece you should definitely check out. That’s pretty much what everybody, whom I showed the watch to, told me.
If you would like to check out this or any other Hamilton model, please visit their website. Click here.