Tag Archives: hamilton

Watch Investing: Five Watch Brands Best Avoided

We all know that flipping a Rolex is a no-brainer. If you can get a new Rolex Sub, Daytona or Sea-Dweller then you can sell it a few months later and probably make between 5K and 20K profit.

That’s why some Rolex dealers have three year waiting lists, they are the world’s safest investment this side of a detached property in Surrey. Not the Milgauss or the Air-King obviously, nobody really likes those.

But some watch brands not only fail to rise in value, they can lose you a fortune too, sometimes over 50% of the retail price in under two years. Depends on the model naturally, but here are some tips on which supposed `prestige’ brands are often a poor investment.

FAVRE LEUBA

Titan/Tata the car maker thought they would revive an old Swiss brand and yes, they produced some nice watches. The Favre-Leuba Raider for example is a nice Valjoux 7753 powered chronograph. But is it worth over two grand? Not really.

Titan are scaling down Favre-Leuba watch production this year and cutting their losses. The sorry episode shows you need more than an 18th century heritage to sell watches. If you’re tempted to buy an Favre-Leuba in the closing down sale our advice is don’t, you’ll never live long enough to see a return on that investment.

ETERNA

Once the byword for Swiss movement quality, the old Eterna name morphed into ETA, which still powers many watches today – made in Singapore, Swizerland or the UK.

Now Eterna produces Sellita powered automatics which are OK, albeit slightly dated in terms of style. That wouldn’t matter if they were charging Rotary or Seiko Tuna money RRP, but at £1700 or more an Eterna is a really huge waste of money. Look hard enough online and you can find some of them at £400.

Don’t buy the Eterna Kon-Tiki at £1600 thinking you will make money. With just 200m of depth resistance and a Sellita SW200 inside it Eterna are really taking the pi** frankly. There are better watches in the Christopher Ward range for £700.

HAMILTON

Ask 100 random watch browsers in a shop where they think Hamilton watches are made and I guarantee that at least 10 of them will say the USA. Still, after decades of being part of the Swatch Group, people still believe Hamilton is a US watch brand.

Try selling a Hamilton Jazzmaster (WTH is that name all about?), Khaki or even a Ventura at a watch shop or pawnbrokers and you will be shocked at the low offer.  Typically under £200 with box n papers. The problem is that many collectors have twigged that Hamilton use the same Powermatic 80 movement as the entry level Tissot models, which is a perfectly OK movement, but still.

The Intra-Matic looks nice but inside you’ll find the ancient Valjoux 7753 engine, adapted and tweaked. For £1600 that’s not a great deal.

You can buy lots of vintage Valjoux 7753 powered watches online for £600-£900 and you might actually make some cash. Need we go on? Buy a vintage Hamilton instead.

MONTBLANC

Looks like an IWC. Just buy an IWC. Better bet.

I once had a Montblanc foutain pen, lovely thing. That’s the trouble, many collectors still think this is a pen and accessory brand, not a watch brand.

Owned by Richemont, the Montblanc factory produces some amazing limited editions but their bread n butter range is seen gathering dust in many High Street jewellers shops. Unloved and viewed with some suspicion.

BREMONT

Controversial eh? Much as I like to support watchmaking in the UK,  after working 18 months in a pawnbrokers shop I had ONE, yes one, enquiry to see and try on a Bremont watch which languished in the window. The pre-owned Breitlings, TAGs, Rolex, Omega and other fast-moving models all had collectors asking to view on a daily basis.

These are beautifully made watches, very heavy too, so you feel like you’re getting lots of watch for the money. But four grand retail for the MBII or ALT P2? You will need an ejector seat when your wife finds out you spent 4K on a watch she’s never heard of. Fact.

 

 

 

Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Camo Edition

Hamilton has added a Camo variant to its Khaki range. The 45mm watch gets a NATO strap, plus beige and green colours on the dial and inner bezel. Here’s the word from Hamilton;

Designed with pilots in mind and built for a life of adventure, the Khaki Aviation X-Wind Automatic Chronograph flies through the crosswinds in a bold new guise, with camouflage patterns and new color variants extending across the dial, strap and case. Featuring an inner rotating bezel and an anti-magnetic Silicon hairspring, this high-performance piece has combat-chic looks and assertive style.

Verdict: You could lose a grand on this one in 3 months of ownership.

This is no entry level watch, it’s a hefty CHF2095 (£1930) and although it has rugged adventure watch looks, you could probably invest in a Breitling Navitimer if you like big watches, and expect to get 60-80% of the value back one day.

The same isn’t generally true of Hamilton watches, which are still not seen as true prestige or luxury watches by many collectors and posers alike. Don’t believe me? Just take a Hamilton Khaki with box n papers etc. to a pawnbroker or jeweller and see what they offer in cash, not as a PX value.

You’ll be shocked.

Yeah, They Made the Hamilton Khaki Bigger

The Hamilton Khaki is arguably one of the most authentic modern takes on the famous Dirty Dozen watches from the WW2 movie.

For starters, it’s a Hamilton and yes, they were actually used in combat back then. Secondly, it’s  just got that military look off to a tee. Green NATO strap, aged lume that carries a bit of old school radium patina – not real radium of course. Plus a Swiss movement inside and a 24 hr dial diplay that’s just punchy, sharp and readable in any light.

Best of all, they made it a bit bigger this year, with a 42mm case size. Yep, a 38mm is more in keeping with wartime watches, which had to be small and hidden under your sleeve, because well…snipers n stuff. But we think the 42mm case will prove more popular today where dudes like to show off their watches a bit more.

All this for £470. Not too pricey considering it’s a Swiss watch. OK, Hamilton are entry level but this is a cheaper option than a Tudor Field Ranger, by about 1700 quid.

Cheaper rivals from Timex, Seiko and Luminox are more serious for Hamilton, especially the Seiko Field watch which can be found online for about £100.

Swiss Watch Brand Videos: From Woke to Wonderous

We thought it was time to check out some promo videos on You Tube, producted by various watch brands.  Along with various woke messages about diversity and saving the planet, some of them are quite entertaining.

As Swiss watch brands now showcase their models at Watches n Wonders online, rather than at Baselworld, maybe we shall see more money being put into video channels, with specific regional market content?

It’s interesting to see how Oris have used a 1970s sitcom vibe to promote its recent retro Holstein model for example;

Hamilton have gone full classic car vibe for their Intra-Matic and who can blame their agency for gathering a classic Mustang, a cine camera and a twisty mountain road together for the shoot? It looks like a Father’s Day ad and you know what, that probably works perfectly for any Hamilton watch in the USA.

Tudor have that Born To Dare slogan of course, so a partnership with a wave pool in Switzerland, built by Alaia, is ideal. Beautiful woke people, surfing in a sterile environment, where no ocean life or eco-system can be harmed. Perfect.

Some might agree with Bodhi from Point Break that `big wave surfing’ and fifty year storms is where it’s at as regards being born to dare, but yeah, health n safety, track n trace, please login using your EU Vax Pass.

Here’s a thing, I never realised that the mysterious banker from Casino Royale was based on this dude from Vacheron Constantin. Check it out. Nice gloves too.

Finally, let us tip our hats to Longines for this wonderful resto video, which captures the skill and attention to historic accuracy that should always be part of a factory refurb. Beautifully shot, it channels the spirit of The Repair Shop TV show and we love that too.

Enjoy.

Hamilton Khaki Bronze Offers Military Look

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 Khaki Aviation Ltd Edition

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.

The UK price is around £1800 by the way.

Is Hamilton Price-Walking The Intra-Matic?

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.

Can Hamilton Re-Invent Itself as a Gamer’s Watch Brand?

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 Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton

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.

 

 

Hamilton’s Intra-Matic Has a Petrolhead Edge

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.