Specialist Picks • 01 Dec 2018

Camouflage, Jazz and the Spirit of America: The Hamilton Collections

by Blake Reilly


Hamilton Watch Company possesses a full arsenal of capable timepieces at its disposal to defend its status as the brand that bridges bold American spirit with continental quality and Swiss precision. Its collection is broad, considered and accessible – there are very few wrists which a Hamilton could not adorn. Today we delve into a collection that never ceases to innovate, adapt and excite.

American Classic Intra-matic Auto

Automatic? Intra-matic.

Revisited, revived and ready to tick on. Hamilton first launched the Intra-matic in the late 60s to take care of formalities and act as the company’s primary dress watch. Now, five decades later, the Intra-matic has been given new life in the American Classic collection. Alongside other models in the collection like the Sprit of Liberty, the Railroad and the Valiant, the Intra-matic is a resolute statement of Hamilton’s heritage across the Atlantic. The revitalisation of the Intra-matic coincides with the global watch market’s newfound proclivity for ‘vintage-look’ watches – timepiece designs that nod to the rich history of a brand, yet feature all the benefits of present-day production. Stainless steel, sapphire glass and an automatic movement combine to keep the hands ticking across a refined, uncomplicated and elegantly simple face.

Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto Chrono

Dancing to a Jazz Tune

Much like the Intra-matic and its friends in the American Classic collection, Hamilton’s Jazzmaster collection would tuck quite nicely underneath a crisp shirt cuff and fine woollen jacket (Australian merino, of course). The distinction between the two collections is that the Jazzmaster watches exert a somewhat sportier, more youthful demeanour. The chronographs in the collection – particularly the Auto Chrono, Maestro Auto Chrono and the Lord Hamilton Auto Chrono – epitomise the brands efforts towards urbane athleticism. Chronographs aside, a few other Jazzmaster designs dance to the tune. For those wandering (and often weary!) cosmopolitans, the GMT Auto is Hamilton’s answer to calls for an effortless world timer. The Day Date Auto and its nautical counterpart, the Seaview Day Date Auto, offer an equally delightful choice for a timepiece that provides a bit of order and context to one’s day. Let the saxophone play on.

Jazzmaster Regulator Cinema

Khaki Calling

Camouflaged yes, but certainly not hidden. Hamilton’s Khaki Collection is an outstanding testament to the core of the brands identity: military watches. Hamilton may have started as the watch of the burgeoning American rail network, but it was throughout the company’s entrenched relationship with the armed forces that it rose to claim the status as the quintessential American watch brand of its time. In a commitment to the national interest that earned the Army-Navy ‘E’ Award for excellence in manufacturing during the Second World War, Hamilton for some years put civilian production on hold and rallied all efforts towards manufacturing for the US army, navy and air force.

It was Hamilton’s role to ensure that the American soldier could count on reliable time, whether on land, in the air or across the ocean. This strong historical link between the military and the subsequent timepieces which were produced, has inevitably defined Hamilton as a brand inspired by a distinguished functional form. The Khaki collections are therefore inevitably watches of military excellence, but ones which have been adapted and refined to the tastes of the consumer market.

Khaki refers to three different Hamilton collections: Khaki Aviation, Khaki Field, and Khaki Navy. Each separate collection pays homage to a different aspect of the company’s production history, and so it is the Khaki models which most aptly embody Hamilton as a brand. Stand out timepieces like the Field Mechanical, the Aviation X-Wind Day Date Auto Chrono and the Navy Scuba Auto work as more than references to a decorated past. Instead, they also firmly assert the direction of Hamilton’s future.

Moving House

In 2003, Hamilton moved their headquarters and production facilities to Biel, Switzerland. Although the brand retains an outwardly confident American character, the inner workings of each timepiece are of consistent continental quality. Attention to detail, precision and quality granted, Hamilton has ensured that its products are remarkably accessible: Swiss made watches but without the exorbitant price to follow. Hamilton offers to the market a solution to achieve affordability alongside exceptional Swiss quality. Each Hamilton watch is considered in its design, aiming to simultaneously evoke a sense of nostalgia and a sense of direction. The hallmark of a Hamilton is purpose, function and reliable quality. The American Classic, Jazzmaster and Khaki collections form a diverse range of refreshingly affordable timepieces, providing every reason to give the brand a tick


Blake Reilly

Blake majors in Politics, International Relations and Ancient History. Having inherited his great grandfather’s Omega Seamaster, Blake has since developed a keen interest in Swiss watches and the history behind them.


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