Hamilton has introduced a bronze case variant in their Khaki model range. The watch retails at £795 and has that classic WW2 military look, with a touch of dive watch bronze patina going on.
Paired with a rugged black color dial, ultra-legible luminescent 24-hour markings, bronze-tone hands and a high-grade leather strap, the case metal’s deep, sunset tones give our practical field watch a dash of serendipitous charm – says Hamilton.
Slim and lightweight thanks to the lack of a winding rotor, our exclusive, hand-wound H-50 movement powers the 38mm field watch with military precision behind a titanium case back.
Like all bronze watches this one will age nicely over time.
Hamilton has a limited edition Khaki model out now, here’s the press info;
Our high-performance Khaki Aviation Converter Automatic Chronograph is now available in a thrilling new look that celebrates the continuation of our partnership with Air Zermatt. Limited to 988 pieces – one for every mission to the Matterhorn from 1968 – the special edition features glacier-blue sub dials and accent markings and a bright red seconds hand, a nod to the colors of the rescue team’s well-recognized helicopters.
Air Zermatt’s distinct logo is printed on the timepiece’s open case back that offers a peek at our exclusive H-21-Si chronograph movement developed with a superior anti-magnetic silicon balance spring to ensure accuracy in the most perilous environments.
An exhilarating watch for pilots, adventurers, aviation enthusiasts and fans of mountain life, the Khaki Aviation Converter Automatic Chronograph Air Zermatt Edition has stellar form and function. Designed for both the thrill and skill of flying, it features a logarithmic ‘slide-rule’ bezel that enables pilots to perform crucial calculations for critical factors like airspeed, distance and fuel consumption, during flight.
Price-walking is that thing insurers do at renewal time. You get an email, forget it ane they auto renew; same product but £55 more this year.
So adding an olive green dial version to the Intra-Matic and raising the RRP to over two grand seems kinda the same deal. The old blue or white dial models looked great. In fact I prefer the blue dial Intra’s vibrant punch, it really lifts off the wrist.
But why is the same watch now another £300 to buy? We found a blue dial model on CW Sellors at £1930 with a 10% off pop-up window on the website. That makes it about £1740 retail.
It won’t work Hamilton. Even if you did see off Lewis and his trademark case, don’t get cheeky.
Hamilton has a problem within watch retail. It’s seen as a budget brand, with nice models, but a lack of true collector appeal and you could say, a lack of defining, unique models within the brand line-up.
The quirky Ventura IS different, but it needs a modern brand ambassador – you can’t sell watches using Elvis now, he’s been dead for four decades.
The Khaki struggles to win cult admirers in the same way a Seiko Alpinist does. The Intra-Matic is very cool chronograph but it shares its movement with budget Hamilton models and retails at nearly two grand. Really, the Intra-Matic should have something like a micro-rotor movement with a see-thru caseback to set it apart in terms of tech.
Just ideas, we all have them. But Hamilton have decided to capitalise on the craze for online gaming with a Far Cry model.
Here”s the video trailer;
So what’s the deal here? Well the Khaki watch will feature gameplay benefits and functions. Hamilton say that the Khaki Field Titanium Automatic is gifted to game players following the completion of a dangerous mission.
That is you win a virtual watch, not a real one. You have to buy that.
But will gamers decide that the Khaki is cool enough to wear, or just collect, in the real world? It’s a difficult question and Hamilton faces tricky decisions in the future if it is to save itself from oblivion. Fact is, Swiss watches under £1000 struggle to sell because buyers see them as low status, not impressive enough to command bragging rights down at the gym, classic car meet etc.
We are seeing the collapse of the middle market in watches, cars, clothing and so much more. People want an impressive brand name, or something cheap n cheerful that ticks the right boxes at Aldi or Lidl. That’s why Debenhams is dead. That’s why M&S is heading the same way.
Hamilton’s Ventura watch was cool enough for Elvis, so do we need to say more? Yes. There’s a skeleton version of the famed triangular case watch now available from the Swatch Group. Hamilton also has a long heritage in electronic watches, so this latest version of the Ventura has a little electric pulse going on too. Here’s the press info;
Go bold and bright with a red electric pulse that lights up the center of a black PVD-coated case and skeleton dial; or, choose to shine a little brighter with a rose gold PVD-coated case, black skeleton dial and matching rose gold electric pulse. A black rubber strap finishes off both models, ensuring a comfortable and secure fit all day – and all night – long.
Available in two impressive versions, the Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton’s precisely cutout dial offers a striking view of finely engineered movement mechanics. With its Côtes de Geneve decoration clearly visible, our H-10-S movement with an extended 80-hour power reserve beats tirelessly beneath its skeleton dial.
It’s (still) electric
An automatic movement might power the Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton, but a stylized pulse of electricity zig-zagging across its open structure is a dramatic reference and tribute to the Ventura’s origins. The Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton is an ultra-modern tribute to the world’s first electric watch. A piece of history, a story of invention and a futuristic legacy, it’s an unforgettable representation of those who influence the world by daring to be different.
It retails for 1795 Swiss Francs, which is approximately £1620, we spottted on the CW Sellors website.
Some vintage style recreation watches look perfect, some less so, but the Hamilton Intra-Matic is one that we put in the first category. It has a 1960s vibe that pleases the eye, especially for petrolheads as this chrono looks pure motorsports. No date window, no gadgets, just a pure stopwatch lap-timer for the wrist. We like that purity, not gonna lie.
Ideal for a weekend at Goodwood’s Revival we think, or maybe a dream trip to Bonneville for Speed Week – if Covid rules and the Climate Agenda zealots ever let us mere mortals travel again of course.
With a 40mm case size this is arguably a watch that will suit most blokey wrists, not too big but big enough to catch the eye. Another detail we love are the vintage chrono pushers. Big n meaty, like a pitlane stopwatch from Le Mans. The cream dial option, with reversed out black sub-dials also looks the business, although the black dial is our top choice, even though it’s a little bit extra. Ah yeah, price. At £1870 or so this is a not-too-expensive Swiss watch, especially when you conside it has the H51 movement inside the case. It is based on the old Valjoux 7753 engine, with the auto function removed so the Hamilton needs to be wound up.
It has a sort of yellowed, or faded lume on the markers and hands, which is a nice vintage touch. Best UK price deal on the new Mechanical variant of the Intra-Matic was £1870 at CW Sellors, here by the way. Many other big name jewellers were asking just under 2K sterling, which is unfair given that the Swiss price is CHF1995. No wonder Swatch sales were down by about 30% last year.
You can find a 7753 movement inside a Tissot Heritage 1973, a Sinn, or a Longines Master series chrono or even more left field chpices like the Dutch Van Der Gang Chronograf, which is a hefty 8600 euros. You do get some bespoke features on the Van Der Gang, so think of it as the AMG Merc variant of the ETA 7753 if you like.
So the Hamilton is actually decent value if you compare it to other ETA/Valjoux equipped 7753 watches. Now that we like. The downside with any Hamilton is that they seen very much as a starter brand in the Swatch family, along with Tissot and Longines. That has an effect on future values for sure, but if you love motorsport chronographs then we think your alternatives are the Sinn 144, Tissot 1973, or maybe a Yema Andretti Chronograph, which is currently on some end-of-line deals at the French brand’s website.
Old school hand-winding? Hamilton can help you out there buddy, with their new Intra-Matic chronograph, which features no automatic rotor. The new H series edition retails at just under CHF2000, which is about £1500, making this an expensive retro styled watch. Not as expensive as the automatic version though, so that’s a bonus. You get much the same American Classic styling; we love the vintage pushers and the big winding crown, and the dial choices of black or white really offer a homage to the 60s/70s.
But there are plenty of other Valjoux 7750 or ETA powered retro chrono models out there below a grand. Fact is, the Hamilton name does not add a great deal in terms of resale value – just wander into any UK pawnbroker with a Khaki and see what you get offered for it. Shocking. So you could buy this watch and lose half the retail value the moment you walk out of the door – the same cannot be said about a Rolex Oyster, Breitling Superocean or Tudor Black Bay in all fairness. But they all cost serious cash…
This latest Hamilton has an impressive 60 hour power reserve, a nice Milanese bracelet option rather than a leather strap and it’s Swiss made, which counts for something in terms of prestige. But the H31 movement inside is based on the Valjoux 7753, which is an old design. Nothing wrong with that of course, but for two grand maybe a pre-owned Tudor, Omega or Breitling is a better bet in the long run when it comes to retained value? Just saying.
God knows how much his vanity trademark case cost in hourly bills, expenses and phone calls, but the defeat for Lewis Hamilton vs Swatch Group, owners of the Hamilton brand, is a sweet victory for common sense. The famous woke F1 driver thought he would try to contest the registration of the Hamilton trademark by the watch company. Some media have reported that Lewis wanted to start selling his own brand accessories and watches, so that’s why there was an argument over the use of the name.
But you cannot trademark your surname, even if you are wealthy, and his lawyers should have explained this fact to him. For example Elvis Presley is a registered trademark, but a test case over twenty years ago by Elvisly Yours established that you cannot stop anyone using a name. Images from movies, clips from songs, photos etc yes, because someone created all that content, but a person’s actual name is not copyright – nobody can make a name, especially a very humble, very working class and common surname, off limits to everyone else for commercial purposes.
Perhaps the lawyers acting for Hamilton the Woke just thought of their fees, which must have been huge over the length of this three year battle. Yes, THREE YEARS. As regards damages Lewis only had to pay 890 quid in costs to Hamilton International. So as ever, the real winners were the law firms.
Hamilton has been making watches since 1892, and its most famous examples include the railroad spec pocket watches, the Intramatic, Ventura triangular model and in the modern era the Jazzmaster, Aviation and Khaki.
Anyway next stop, Hamilton The Musical. That surely must annoy the hell out of Lewis? Then there’s that TV show called Lewis – are they are having a laugh? We expect to see the following update on Instagram;
`Mugged off I tell ya, me n Roscoe totally in the speedboat now heading for the lawyers yacht. Yeah.’
I’m in two minds about skeleton watches. On the upside, it is great to see inside any watch movement because there is always a fascination with the intricate workings of any calibre. On the downside, you lose the impact of a beautiful dial.
Hamilton released the skeletonised Jazzmasters in April 2020, and since we missed a load of stuff during lockdown, it was time to catch up.
The H-10 movement is inside the 40mm case, which is derived from the ETA 2824 base, although it has had some work done by Swatch Group. It provides the entry level power unit for the Tissot Powermatic 80 as well. Now 80 hours reserve is impressive, but you have to say, this isn’t the greatest looking movement to put on display.
The big problem I have with Hamilton is that the resale values are incredibly poor on them. I’ve seen pawnbrokers offer under £200 for a minter, with box and papers, because you cannot sell the thing in the window for much more than £450-£550, depending on the model and colour etc.
Nobody wants them, and they don’t see them as being `Swiss’ watches, even though they are because the same company that owns Breguet are manufacturing Hamilton.
In short, the Hamilton brand lacks prestige and although the Jazzmaster is a well made watch, it isn’t worth over £1100 and never will be. Not when the same company is selling a Tissot Powermatic 80 for £403 via its dealer network.
Gardiner Houlgate have another watch auction coming up this week. Lots include the ever popular Omega Seamaster and Constellation models, Rolex Oyster, Breitling Navitimer models, plus a pair of JLC bumper automatics, one of which has an 18ct gold case. We love the steel case example with the red power reserve indicator though – more wearable watch some might say.
We spotted a very nice example of the Panerai Luminor with PVD coated case, estimate about 4K on that one. If you like military watches the Navy issue Lemania, with stopwatch button/flyback on the case at the 2pm position is an interesting watch, that looks very genuine with patina, and fading on the original radiactive lume too. Estimate is about 1500-1800 on that one.
There’s an RAF Hamilton watch as well, classic looks, very clean movement inside the signed case and you probably won’t lose money if you can buy that one for £700 or so.
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