Are Hamilton Turning It Around At Last?

NWC mag only asks the question because a few years ago it looked like Hamilton was coasting frankly. The Ventura, like the Omega Moonwatch, had become a predictable homage to past glories. The Khaki Navy I had in the shop gathered dust for 18 months, unwanted even at £475, mint with a box. Some buyers think Hamilton watches are made in the USA even today, not Switzerland. So yeah, Hamilton had an image problem even before Lewis tried to have the name legally removed from the Swatch roster.

But in the last few years Hamilton have revamped the Ventura range, with a variety of quartz and auto designs. The Intra-Matic remains an interesting alternative to a Breitling Top Time, or Tudor Heritage, for less money too. Then there are models like the PSR digital revival, the Murph or the X-Wind to consider. In short, Swatch has made Hamilton credible again, not an old man’s choice. Just like Tissot, it’s become an altogetehr cooler proposition in the watch market.

So this new Jazzmaster Performer chronograph is another class act. The bezel has that Tudor Black Bay Pro functional look, the black and blue dial variants really do capture the tool watch look perfectly. The gold tone model adds that dress watch option as well.

Inside the H31 movement now has a healthy 60 hours of reserve, which is impressive for something based on the old ETA 7753 workhorse. At 42mm across it’s arguably just the right size for all seasons wear too. Admittedly the 100m depth rating is nothing special and neither is the 2 year warranty, surely Swiss watches can match a Kia’s 7 years?

But this is a super stylish chronograph, which you wouldn’t be ashamed to reveal to your watch buddies at the monthly classic car meet. In short, it looks the part, with chamfered bumper style pushers and a classic chunky leather strap. It’s expensive at over £2200 and we say try and push the store for a discount because resale values are always gonna be weaker than say Omega or Tudor choices at 2500 or so. Even a TAG Carrera will find buyers faster than a Hamilton five years down the line. So aim for £1800 new and enjoy it.

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