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Baselworld 2017: Hamilton honouring its past

Anna Wu-Chauvineau
Le 31 March 2017
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Once isn’t enough, a number of brands decided that at this year’s Baselworld 2017, they would breathe new life into vintage beauties. In other words, inspiring themselves with timeless designs of the past while marching forth, with the future clear in mind, and integrating the latest innovations from the watchmaking world. One can stumble upon beautiful “successful” pieces when looking through Hamilton archives, and that we sometimes find in a random drawer at our grandparents’. Hence on our wrists…  This year, Hamilton presents a new Intra-Matic 68, with incredible vintage charm, as well as a new Ventura to celebrate the 60 years of the brand’s emblematic model. Everybody, let’s rock…

Baselworld 2017: New Hamilton Intra-Matic 68

As a lover of watches, and vintage watches in particular, I’ve already had my eye on certain vintage Hamilton pieces. When I think of vintage pieces at Hamilton, I think of refined and minimalist timepieces that we called “Intra-Matic” because the only way to access the movement at the time, was by removing the glass. The rest of the case was one single block. The movement was especially beautiful, housing a micro-rotor mechanism. Small is beautiful…

Baselworld 2017 - Hamilton Intra-Matic 68

Hamilton presents a “Intra-Matic” model directly inspired by a vintage chronograph quite sought after by collectors and enthusiasts of beautiful timepieces in general. We’re talking about two chronographs, a “A” displaying a white dial and black sub-counters, and a “B” with just the opposite, black dial and white sub-counters. It’s this Panda “B” chronograph that was chosen for the new model.

Baselworld 2017 - Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 case back

The case of the chronograph has swollen up to 42mm, but the composition and design allow for easy wearability, even for baby wrists like my own. The two white sub-counters that sit side by side on the black dial: a small second at 9 o’clock and a 30-minute chronograph totaliser at 3 o’clock. The movement that animates the white hand of the chronograph is none other than the automatic chronograph caliber ensuring a 60-hour power reserve.

Okay, I’m not going to hide the fact that I don’t know the story behind Intra of the chronograph for reasons I evoked before. But what’s “strange” is why Hamilton chose to work off of the chronograph “B” model. If we take a good look at Hamilton’s past, we see that a chronograph similar to the new version existed, with date display as well. This model, however, was not equipped with a tachymetric scale.

Details aside, the model exhibits the utmost elegance and is simply clean and beautiful. We can’t help but appreciate seeing Hamilton take inspiration from its rich past, full of timeless designs, and adding a modern signature touch to it.

Price: 2,150 CHF for the Intra-Matic 68 (limited edition of 1968 pieces)

A little less conversation, a little more action please… The voice of Elvis the King of Rock’n’Roll resonates in my head as I look through the new models of the Ventura collection.

Baselworld 2017 - Hamilton Ventura Classic S&L

Lord of watches with asymmetrical cases, the Ventura made a hell of an impact at its release. All you need is to look at the caliber 500 that it had, combining mechanical movement with balance spring and balance wheel to the energy of a battery. In short, the first battery watch. Elvis wore the little gem in the movie “Blue Hawaï” in 1961.

This piece has real history behind it, a 60-year long one. To honour the anniversary, Hamilton launches a new trio of Venturas. A quartz Ventura with yellow PVD coating, a “Denim” Ventura and a more imposing mechanical Skeleton. To make reference to the glorious period of the Ventura and the King, the brown leather strap sporting a Téju lizard pattern reinforces the spirit of the times. It’s all about details…

Our take

A very nice surprise with the Intra-Matic. A new watch whose features have been directly inspired from a vintage design, but also an interesting change from what we are used to seeing from Hamilton, all the while remaining loyal to the values and the philosophy of the brand. The Ventura is a gracious nod to what made the brand successful, and Hamilton has honoured it in a beautiful way. Our respects to The King.