New Releases Watches

Introducing: Hamilton Chrono-Matic 50 Auto Chrono “Count-Down” Watch

Hamilton Chrono-Matic 50 Auto Chrono “Count-Down”1969 must have been one hell of a year as, once again, we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of a horological icon. This time it’s the turn of the Hamilton Chrono-Matic, the latest in the line of near-perfect retro releases from the American turned Swiss watchmaker. The Chrono-Matic 50 Auto Chrono is a damn fine birthday present.

Forget the small, diminutive, WWII inspired field watches Hamilton’s been killing it with recently. Modelled after the Count-down GMT Chrono-Matic from the early 70s, this watch is a beast measuring in at 48.5mm wide, 51.50mm lug to lug. That’s huge by anyone’s standards, let alone Hamilton. It is however faithful to the original piece.

Hamilton Chrono-Matic 50 Auto Chrono “Count-Down”

The helmet-shaped, stainless steel case is the same too – it’s a bit too out-there to be a contemporary design – as it the reverse panda (white subdials on black) dial. In fact, visually its incredibly faithful. The same can’t be said of what’s going on inside.

Like all of these retro re-issues, the movement has changed considerably, which makes a lot of sense. Mechanical watches have generally gotten better and more efficient which, given it’s the element you don’t see, makes sense to update. The movement in question is the H-31 which aside from modern construction techniques has one major difference from the original Chrono-Matic movement: no GMT function.

Hamilton Chrono-Matic 50 Auto Chrono “Count-Down”

Despite that, there’s still a lot of information on the dial. The twin subdials display the seconds and 30-minute counter, while the original worldtimer ring is replaced here by a tachymeter and a rotating countdown bezel, usable via the crown.

The result is a huge, sporty watch that’s both a feast for the eyes and a beast on the wrist. More importantly, we want it. Hard. And for Eur 2,295 – not far over £2,000 – we’re damn well going to have it.

Price & Specs:

Model Name: Hamilton Chrono-Matic 50 Auto Chrono
Ref: H51616731
Case/Dial: 48.5mm diameter x 51.50mm height, stainless steel, reversed-Panda dial
Water Resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Hamilton caliber H-31, automatic
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph with 30-minute chronograph, date
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 60h
Strap: Black perforated calf leather
Price: £2,195

More details at

About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.

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