In the last few weeks, Hamilton has been introducing a few of their new models for 2016. I was quite smitten with two of them. In this article, I shall rank them based on my favorite to the least.
My current favorite from Hamilton would have to be the Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman. This model is actually a refresh of the original Khaki Navy Frogman Hamilton of the 1940s. This watch was also the first Hamilton model to be featured in a Hollywood movie, The Frogmen in 1951.
This watch is a big watch with a width of 46 mm but made out of titanium for lightness and better saltwater resistance. Powered by the H-10 automatic Calibre with 80 hours of power reserve (based on the ETA/Tissot Powermatic 80 Calibre), it has professional diving watch capabilities. Incorporating a Helium Escape Valve (or HEV), this watch is capable of mix gas deep diving with a water rating of 1,000 meters. The bulky crown guard and bright red bezel are cool features on this watch.
If you can’t handle a 46 mm sized watch, Hamilton offers a smaller scale version at just 42 mm in both black or blue, dial and bezel combination. There are also a bracelet and strap options. These models are made from 316L stainless steel and do not have the HEV mechanism. The water rating is also limited to just 300 meters. For the colour option, I love the blue bracelet version.
This next piece I like is the Jazzmaster Open Heart Lady. I know it is defined as a ladies watch but it has a design that is more unisex in my opinion. The way the dial is cut to reveal part of the internals is unique and quite refreshing. Three of the 12 petals on the mother-of-pearl lotus flower on the silver dial have been cut through to show parts of the H-10 automatic movement. Moreover, the four compass points on the dial are indexed with silver markers which give it a real zen-like effect.
The next new model series is the Hamilton Broadway Day Date range. There are three versions of this series and my choice is the automatic day date option. All three versions come with either bracelet or leather options.
Measuring 42 mm across, and powered by the H-30 automatic calibre with 80 hours of power reserve, the day and date apertures are located at the 6 o’clock position. This kind of symmetry is what I look out for in watches.
The quartz version also has a day and date functions but located at the 3 o’clock position. It is also the smallest of the Hamilton Broadway at just 40 mm wide.
The final Hamilton Broadway is the automatic chronograph version which uses the H-21 automatic Calibre. This Calibre has a power reserve of 60 hours. This version is also the widest at 43 mm.
Out of the three Hamilton Broadway, I find the chronograph the least exciting because of the polished bezel. Based on experience, a polished bezel is a magnet for scratches and it distracts one’s focus away from the dial. A brushed bezel would be more apt for this version.
This next piece is the Hamilton Jazzmaster Thinline Gold. It is believed to be one of the few solid gold watches to be issued by Hamilton throughout the history of the brand.
A definite dress watch, it measures 40 mm across and made of 18k pink gold. It has a very clean cream dial. The indexes and hands are also gold. The placement of the date aperture at the 6 o’clock position makes it symmetrical and balanced.
As the name suggest, this is a thin watch while eliminates the use of the thicker H-10 Calibre. Instead, it is powered by the automatic ETA 2892-2.
By virtue of the gold material used, this watch would be the most expensive relative to the rest. However, from a technological point of view, it is rather basic.
For the ladies, another option to consider is the Hamilton Khaki Navy Pioneer Lady. This is a 36 mm automatic version that comes in two models, a stainless steel version and a rose gold coated version. My pick would be the stainless steel version with flame-blued hand. It contrasts remarkable well with the white dial of the watch.
Finally, the last offering is the latest version of the Hamilton RailRoad Lady. Two options are now available with champagne dial. The 32 mm version comes with automatic movement and the 28 mm version comes with quartz engine. Only the 32 mm version comes with a date window. Both have bracelet and leather strap options available. Above is a photo of the 28 mm version. I am not keen on this particular line due to size and use of precious stones on the dial.
As highlighted earlier, the 46 mm Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman is my favorite as a sports watch. For a dress watch, I prefer Jazzmaster Open Heart Lady.
Overall, a solid development program by Hamilton. Not many brands could come out with a number of different genres in one go. For more info, please visit hamiltonwatch.com
MEOR AMRI MEOR AYOB – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Meor Amri is a passionate watch collector from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Having bitten by the horology bug in 2010, he has written extensively about the watch scene and has assembled a large collection of watches (excessively!!!) on his own free time. His blogs on the same subject are: Eastern Watch & Western Watch Read his articles here