REVIEW: Hamilton Jazzmaster Auto Chrono

Posted on 24 October 2012 by Patrick Kansa

 

Given the fact that I’ve been a big fan of various Hamilton models since I came aboard here at WWR, it’s a little surprising (at least, it was to me) that we’ve never actually done a hands-on review of one of their watches.  That changes today.

Today, we’ll be looking at their newest model, the Jazzmaster Auto Chrono (ref. H32596751); if you recall, I did an overview post on this particular model about a month ago (more on that here).  This presents (to my eye) as a dressier option.  Perhaps not a fully formal watch with the chronograph feature, but it works well with a suit or in the office.

Of course, with the 42mm case being much thicker than you have in the other Jazzmaster models, this also reinforces that this could be considered a more casual take on a dress watch.  Or, look at it this way – if you really like the size of your diver, but need something dressier, this is where you need to look.

The case is that size, not just to be big, but to house the movement.  As we noted in the overview last month, this is housing a modified version of the Valjoux 7750; those modifications include:

  • The spiral has been glittered to increase accuracy and stability
  • The mainspring is longer to increase power reserve up to 60 hours.
  • The automatic device bridge has been personalized with a unique H pattern.

This is what gets the movement denoted as the cal. H21, and of course provides the chronograph functionality, as well as the three-hander and date readouts.  From my limited time with the piece, both the time and chronograph worked superbly.  I should also note, this is one of, if not the, most freely spinning rotor I’ve experienced in an automatic.  This is a good thing, as it means the smallest motions can wind the watch, and it takes special care in the assembly (and components) to allow this free movement.

In terms of presence on the wrist, it’s a chameleon of sorts.  On one hand, with the almost monochromatic color pallete, this watch can blend in and manage to not draw attention to itself.  On the flip side of that coin, when the light catches the dial in the right way, it really brings out the texture, as well as the polished indices.

Combined with the middle-of-the-road diameter (not too big, not too small), this is a watch that will work for just about any situation.  Might want to swap out that 22mm croc pattern strap for more casual settings, but that’s a minor thing to handle.  That said, with pricing right around $2,000, you’ll definitely want to have this be as flexible as possible.

Yes, that is not what most of us consider affordable, or an impulse buy.  If you can save up for it, though. you’re getting an excellent movement housed in a watch that follows the design aesthetic mirrored in the rest of the Jazzmaster collection, all in a watch created specifically to commemorate Hamilton’s 120th anniversary.

For me, I like the watch and what it represents, even with it being outside of my personal watch budget.  If you’re like me, you’ll probably want to check out the rest of the Jazzmaster line, as there are a lot of pieces that have similar design cues at some more affordable price points.

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  • Treatz

    Awesome review,
    any change you can get the Officer Auto Chrono for a review, or better yet, Giveaway :D

    http://www.hamiltonwatch.com/en/gents/khaki/aviation/officer-auto-chrono/H71716133

    • Patrick Kansa

      We’re definitely working on doing some more hands-on reviews of Hamilton’s watches.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mark.L.Carson Mark Carson

    I know the Valjoux 7750 is a thick movement, but those on the wrist shots look like this is one tall watch which sits quite high off your wrist.

    I think Hamilton is a good value for a Swiss watch, but it still bugs me a bit that they keep advertising “Hamilton, the American Brand since 1892″ while they are now Swiss owned and the watches are designed in Switzerland, etc. Seems like the name is the only American part left.

    I think they should either move their brand HQ back the States or at least design their watches here or stop using that tag line. I have no problem with Hamilton being 100% Swiss. So they can just stop acting like they are somehow still American.

  • Pingback: REVIEW: Hamilton Jazzmaster Auto Chrono « Matts' Minutes

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  • http://chandlerthomas.wordpress.com Chandler Thomas LLC

    I got the Black Dial version as my first real watch. Many of clients – who are watch fanatics and have much, much more expensive watches, often complement me on it. I’ve found it’s really been worth the money – it goes with everything quite – especially when wearing a suite, but It also can be wore with a t-shirt and jeans.

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