I’m a Hamilton fan. I dig the brand. You get the cool American heritage with the Swiss quality at affordable prices – tough to go wrong. Needless to say, I was pretty jazzed (forgive the pun) to get a Hamilton Jazzmaster Power Reserve in for review.
The particular model I received for this review was the silver dial with bracelet. The watch is also available in a white dial, black dial, and champagne dial on either a leather strap or the aforementioned bracelet. My tastes over the years have fluctuated from only wearing bracelets, to wearing nothing but leather and nylon straps, and finally coming full circle back to the tried and true metal bracelet. In this case, Hamilton treats the wearer to a nice 5-link that conforms perfectly to the wrist.
The Jazzmaster Power Reserve is 42mm in diameter. I’ve got some mixed feelings about that particular number. In general, with a 7.5″ wrist I have no problem with larger watches, but in a dress watch…well…let’s just say losing a couple of millimeters wouldn’t hurt this watch in the slightest. It’s not that it’s not comfortable. I just think it’d be better in the 38-40mm range.
The silver sunburst dial with applied and lumed indices backs up blue dauphine hands, also filled with a strip of lume. The blue seconds hand stretches all the way to the very edge of the chapter ring and has a basic arrow-shaped counterweight. The final hand on the dial, also blue, indicates the remaining life in the mainspring via the power reserve subdial at 8:30. I have to dock some points for the undecorated date window and non-matching date wheel. When you start talking about four-figure watches, I’d like to see a matching color on the wheel and some thought put into finishing the opening. A polished stainless surround would do wonders to dress up this piece of the dial. Last but not least we have the Hamilton name and logo under the 12 o’clock index and “automatic” above the 6 o’clock, all resting underneath a sapphire crystal.
Moving to the bezel we find a 45 degree polished upper angle and brushed sides. The short, sloping lugs are brushed with the remainder of the case being polished. Protecting what I can only assume is a modified ETA 2824 movement is a polished screw-on case back with sapphire insert.
The movement, referred to by Hamilton as the H-13, is nicely decorated with perlage finishing on the bridges and the Hamilton name and logo on the rotor. Now, I mentioned that I was assuming this movement to be a modified ETA 2824-2 and here’s why. Hamilton is notoriously tight lipped about what base movements are used in their watches. Given that both Tissot and Hamilton are owned by the Swatch group, and we know that the Tissot Powermatic 80 uses a modified 2824 and has the exact same specs as this watch, it’s a safe bet to assume the movements are the same. Speaking of specs, the H-13 has an 80 hour power reserve as a result of a longer mainspring and a detuned 3Hz rate.
I wore the Hamilton Jazzmaster Power Reserve for a full week and had no complaints whatsoever about comfort. It’s thin enough to slip under a cuff and wear to the office, but large enough that it can easily go with a sportier look such as jeans and a nice t-shirt or polo. At $1,295, honestly this one’s a bit tough to justify. Don’t get me wrong: aside from the lazy date window, it’s a nice watch. But it doesn’t really bring anything new or significant to the table. The 80 hour power reserve is nice, but does that alone justify the price? I’ll leave that for you to decide for yourself. If you can pick one up from a Hamilton AD during a pre-Christmas sale, it may just be the perfect starter everyday automatic watch. For additional info, head over to hamiltonwatch.com.
- Brand & Model: Hamilton Jazzmaster Power Reserve
- Price: $1,295
- Who we think it might be for: Someone looking for a nice every day piece on the dressier side, but still large enough to be somewhat sporty.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen? Probably not. The date window and the price tag make this one unlikely for me, which is fine since I have another five or six Hamiltons on my wish list anyway!
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Put some thought into the date window (or just remove it altogether), decrease the case diameter by 2 or 3 millimeters, and get that MSRP under a thousand bucks.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: It’s a solid dress watch with the added benefit of the power reserve indicator.
- Material: Stainless steel
- Size: 42m x 13mm, 50mm lug-to-lug
- Crystal: Sapphire
- Case Back: Sapphire
- Water Resistance: 5 atm
- Inter-lug Width: 22mm
- MOVEMENT: H-13
- Functions: Hacking, Hand Winding, Date Power Reserve
- Beats Per Hour: 21,600
- Power Reserve: 80 Hours
- Material: Stainless Steel Five-Link
- Clasp: Double Deployant
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