Buckle in, friends – this is the first of more than a few Hamilton hands-on reviews that we’ve got in the works (and wow, do we have some pretty cool ones in the pipeline for you all). Today, however, we’ll start with something that I find classic and a solid entry point to the brand for just about anyone – the Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto.

While there are a variety of brands you could consider when you’re thinking about getting into an “entry level” Swiss watch, the Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto makes a strong case for the formerly-American brand being the one for you to consider.

For starters, let’s talk about the movement. Here, you’ve got the H-10 that brings not only a non-magnetic Nivachron spring (keeping things more accurate) you’ve got an 80-hour power reserve. That’s critical, as in this sub-$1000 bracket you’re more commonly in the 32-40 hour range. With 80 hours, you can put the watch down on Friday, and pick it up on Monday without it having missed a beat. Or needing to be reset.

Then again, maybe you don’t care about what’s tucked inside, so long as the job is getting done. If so, then it comes down to style. Which means if you want an “entry level” Swiss watch, you want something that can do multi-duty. Fit for the office, and formal affairs.

Here, the Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto – particularly in the model we reviewed – shines. It’s a clean and classic three-hander with well-polished hands and indices, as well as luminous bits on the hands and indices. The mainly cream-colored dial can be a chameleon, though the black chapter ring does skew it to the more formal, as does the calf-leather strap.

Then again, with the black-and-white color scheme, you could fit different straps on there easily enough to sort of “dress it down”. That said, I think the Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto is a solid choice for someone just starting off into their career, again as a watch that can cover a variety of scenarios. In terms of pricing, it’s solidly entry-level for Swiss, coming in at $995 in either the black/white version we reviewed or a rather sharp blue dial/white chapter ring on a brown leather strap for a more casual approach to the watch. I’d lean more towards the blue if I was buying one myself, but I don’t think you’d be going the wrong way with either one. hamiltonwatch.com

View the video version of this post here:

Tech Specs from Hamilton

  • Reference: H38425720
  • Caliber: H-10
  • Collection: American Classic
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Case size: 40mm
  • Dial color: Beige
  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Lug width: 20mm lug width
  • Power reserve: 80-hour power reserve
  • Water Resistance: 5 bar (50 m) / 73 psi (164 ft)
  • Strap
    • Strap reference: H6003841101
    • Strap type: Calf leather
    • Strap color: Black
    • Buckle type: Pin buckle
    • Buckle width: 18mm buckle width
    • Top Species: Calf