Hamilton, already known as the watch of Hollywood, has more recently become synonymous with high-value, manual-wind, vintage-inspired watches. There’s, of course, the well-covered and much-loved Khaki Field Mechanical, and the more niche (but no less cool) Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical. But both of those watches are time-only, i.e. complication-free.
Today, that changes, as Hamilton introduces a new watch into the manual-wind fold: The new Intra-Matic Chronograph H. This is a vintage-inspired mechanical chronograph that expands the brand’s mechanical offering and does so with some ’60s panache.
Where the Khaki line of watches captures the essence of military field watch design, the Intra-Matic line is decidedly more mid-century, fit for Don Draper’s Manhattan bachelor pad (you know – the one with the sunken living room). So it made sense to learn that the new Intra-Matic Chronograph H is based on some historical Hamilton models: The Chronographs A and B from 1968.
A manual-wind sports chronograph is, in many ways, the quintessential watch, and there’s a lot to love about this new model. For one, it features a contrasting dial (“panda” in white, and “reverse panda” in black) which helps with legibility. In both colors, the dial is matte which works nicely against the concentric-circle-patterned subsidiary dials. And all of this is packed inside a welcome 40mm case.
Say what you will about the use of faux-patina (making lumed portions of a watch look aged when they aren’t), but I think Hamilton has developed enough of a precedent in this department that it doesn’t warrant any hate. The tan-colored lume looks good here. It’s reminiscent of old radium-dial watches, and it saves you from having to wait a couple of decades to get the look. From a straight aesthetic standpoint, it adds nice warmth to both dial variants. Another little vintage-effect nod, which really shows well in the metal, is the boxed sapphire crystal. It provides a distorting effect to the internal tachymeter scale on the edge of the dial.
Like all the models in the Intra-Matic line, this model features the Hamilton logo, as well as the throwback Hamilton wordmark in italics. The watch comes fitted either to a strap or a mesh bracelet in either dial variant.
Let’s talk about the case thickness. The Intra-Matic collection is known for featuring relatively slim mid-century styled watches, save for the chronograph models. This watch, similarly, isn’t slim at 14.35mm in height – especially when you factor in the boxed sapphire. The thickness is most pronounced when holding the watch in profile, where it resembles a stout flying saucer. On the wrist, this is far less noticeable, likely due to the downward angle of those lugs. I think that this watch would be an absolute home-run somewhere in the 12mm thickness range. Luckily, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and we still get a solid ground-rule double.
The watch utilizes what Hamilton is calling the H-51 movement (base: ETA-7753). The time-only mechanical watches use the Hamilton H-50 movement. This is – you guessed it – a mechanical, hand-winding movement. It features 60 hours of power reserve, beats at 4Hz, and is housed behind a solid, polished caseback with the same retro-style Hamilton logo and wordmark engraved.
Now, I understand why Hamilton went with a fully polished case, because it’s consistent with the entire Intra-Matic line. And while I am normally a proponent of brushing, I think the mirror polish works well here and is balanced by the flat matte dial options.
Overall this is a watch lover’s watch. It hits so many vintage design cues and scratches that mechanical itch. It’s a really handsome watch that wears well on the wrist – despite the case height – due to its sweet-spot 40mm sizing. If you’re in the market for a manual-wind chronograph but aren’t ready to stretch your budget to the Speedmaster level, Hamilton has delivered a terrific alternative.
Model: Intra-Matic Chronograph H
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Dial Color: Black or White
Water Resistance: 100m
Strap/Bracelet: Leather strap or mesh bracelet
Caliber: H-51 mechanical movement (base: ETA-7753)
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
Power Reserve: 60 hours
Winding: Manual wind
Chronometer Certified: No
Pricing & Availability
Price: $ 2,045 (leather) and $ 2,095 (strap)
Limited Edition: No
For more, click here.
Photos: Kasia Milton