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.
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.
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
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
More details at hamiltonwatch.com