Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Watch

Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Watch

Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Watch Watch Releases

In the past couple of years, many brands have dug into their archives to release reissues or vintage-inspired pieces. Some have been hits, while some other have been misses. Personally, I find that the convenience of buying a new watch that looks like an old one trumps the homework – and some of the thrill, admittedly – that is required to suss out a vintage piece in good condition. With that noted, here's what should be one of the more popular vintage re-releases this year: the new Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 chronograph.

Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Watch Watch Releases

First, a little history. The new Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 is based on classic Hamilton chronograph watches from the sixties, namely the Chrono-Matic and the Chronograph B – the latter debuted in 1968, hence the name Intra-Matic 68. The Chrono-Matic and Chronograph B are highly sought-after today for their classic, dressy style, and the new Intra-Matic 68 promises to retain most all of the elegance of its predecessors.

Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Watch Watch Releases
Yes, that's pretty close to how a 36mm vintage compares to a modern 42mm – looks rather small in comparison. Lefthand image via mentawatches.com

In more recent Hamilton history, a certain two-hand dress watch called just the Intra-Matic (reviewed here) was introduced in 2012. It was as purely and overtly retro as this Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 chronograph - though in a much more Mad Men, Don Draper kind of way - and it seems that Hamilton found there was a nostalgic market for the classic looks from that era.

The Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 comes in a 42mm stainless steel case with a thin polished bezel and features prominent pump pushers to control the chronograph at the usual 2 and 4 o’clock positions. The crown also looks fairly large to maintain the original's proportions in this department – and it should also help with time- and date-setting.

Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Watch Watch Releases

All too often, watches in this style have very paltry water resistance, but I’m pleased to say that the Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 has a rated water resistance of 100 meters. This is a refreshing change from the usual 30 or 50 meters that we often get from a dressier watch, and chronographs are also notoriously harder to get water-resistant. The watch also comes with a vintage-looking perforated black calf leather strap.

Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Watch Watch Releases

At 42mm, the Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 is very much larger than the Chrono-Matic and Chronograph B watches that it was based on. And because the bezel looks so thin, I suspect the watch would look even larger on the wrist. I would certainly have preferred a smaller case size. I think 39mm or 40mm would be the sweet spot, but since there’s a preference for larger watches these days, I’m not entirely surprised at Hamilton went with 42mm in the end.

Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Watch Watch Releases

The Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 features what is commonly known as a "reverse panda dial," meaning a black dial with white sub-dials. A white, or rather off-white, tachymeter scale runs along the circumference of the dial and there are two sub-dials. At 9 o’clock you have the running seconds, and at 3 o’clock the 30-minute counter. The sub-dials feature simple straight hands in black that contrast sharply against the white background, making it easy to read the running seconds and elapsed minutes. The central chronograph seconds hand is white and stands out sharply against the black dial. The pencil-shaped hands feature Super-LumiNova as do the ends of the hour indices.

Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Watch Watch Releases
Vintage 36mm wide Hamilton chronograph, via: analogshift.com

Inside, the Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 is powered by Hamilton’s H-31 automatic chronograph movement, which is a modified version of the ever-reliable Valjoux 7753 and features a longer power reserve of 60 hours. The H-31 is also used in other Hamilton chronograph watches like the Pan Europ watch. As a thick movement, and since Hamilton has not provided the full case measurements beyond diameter, we are guessing that the Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 might be on the thick side, though we'll be sure to bring you hands-on pictures and impressions from Baselworld about that. And using this movement, 42mm wide was as small as Hamilton could have made it to keep the width-to-thickness proportions manageable.

Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Watch Watch Releases

With its panda dial, vintage-inspired design, and updated movement, the Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 will likely be one of Hamilton’s most popular new releases this year. My only gripe is the larger 42mm case size, but even so, the Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 is still dripping with lots of vintage swag. If that old-school vibe is what you're looking for, you'll probably want to note though that the Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 will be a limited edition of only 1,968 pieces. The Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 will be priced at $2,195. hamiltonwatch.com

What do you think?
  • I want it! (90)
  • I love it! (39)
  • Thumbs up (33)
  • Classy (9)
  • Interesting (8)
  • CognacSocialist

    Outstanding value, and great design. If the entire industry designed watches this good (and this cheap), the current slump would have been avoided,

  • Mark1884

    Have always been a fan of Hamilton and have a few vintage ones in my collection. This one looks great. It is crisp, clean and has the retro look.
    no complaints.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Interesting and beautifull watch. Would be nice to know, what movement powers it.

    • article states: “the Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 is powered by Hamilton’s H-31 automatic chronograph movement, which is a modified version of the ever-reliable Valjoux 7753 and features a longer power reserve of 60 hours. The H-31 is also used in other Hamilton chronograph watches like the Pan Europ watch”

      • David Bredan

        Thank you. Wonder how that bit didn’t stand out for Mr Gagoo:)

        • Beefalope

          Perhaps because he didn’t read the article?

  • Great looking watch, but the name bugs me. Intra-Matic ?
    Intra: within
    Matic: willing
    Seems like a throwback to the 50’s where in popular culture just about everything futuristic was a cliche-o-matic? But 1968, I thought that jargon died out by then. Anyway, I’ll have to swing by the Watch*A*Rama and check one out when it shows up.

  • IG

    Nice, finally a non-6-9-12 layout chrono! Should be hand-wound.

    • Beefalope

      Hamilton is a Swatch brand and uses ETA movements. What affordable manual chrono movement does ETA make?

      • IG

        I couldn’t care less what ETA makes.

        • Beefalope

          That’s right. You need to make a watch movement of your own and really show them.

    • Yeah, the 7753 is my preference because of its layout too. In this case, they just eliminated the 12 hour counter at 6 and displayed the date at 6 instead.

  • Greg Dutton

    I would also wish this were a bit smaller, but credit to Hamilton for a well executed reissue (and with no faux patina) at a great price.

  • Jakejd

    In some of these photos the subdial’s look white — almost silver, even — and in some they look cream colored. Which is “true”?

    • IG

      What is “true”?

      • Jakejd

        Seriously, you couldn’t figure out what that means?? Smh…

        “What is the true color?”

        • Raymond Wilkie

          I think he was being more philosophical.
          What is the meaning of life.

          • Jakejd

            42, everybody knows that. But what damn color are the subdials! 🙂

          • IG

            And what colour is the date wheel?!? Mysteries…

          • Jakejd

            You suck at trolling. Seriously.

          • IG

            No, I was being more “physical”. The colour of “white” depends on the colour temperature of the light shone on it, that’s why it changes on the photos.

          • Jakejd

            Well, see, now you’re just showing that your response was ill-considered, not merely smart-ass. Yes, the “color” of the white can depends on the color temperature of the light its exposed to. But it also depends upon the white balance of the exposure. You can take 2 pictures of the same watch in the same light and, with different white balance, produce photos showing a “true white” as both “white” and “off-white”. But only one of those (or neither) will look “true to life” as the photo appears to the photographer’s eye in the subject light. Ergo — which one (if either) is “true”?

            But at least you stumbled onto a helpful point eventually by pointing out the date wheels. I missed — and apparently Kenny Yeo felt it unnecessary to mention — that there are 2 version of the panda — one in white with white date wheel, and one in off-white with black date wheel.

          • IG

            You just repeated what I wrote. So who sucks at trolling?

          • Jakejd

            Wrong. First, I’m not trolling, I’m just smarter than you. Second, balance in the exposure is different from the temperature of the light in the setting. The latter had an objective temperature, the former can be manipulated to emulate different temperatures in the exposure.

            In shorter words – what I wrote was not what you wrote.

            Go away now, dullard, you bore me.

          • IG

            Wow, so white balance can be manipulated on the camera? Amazing discovery from a plonker, but it’s not about the “true” colour in the scene, it’s a correction. On the other hand, there’s no date wheel colour changer function unfortunately, huh?

          • Jakejd

            You’re like a dog with a bone. Get a life, brah.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        White. ……………………..panda eyes gives it away.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Super boring.

    *Clunk™

  • Shawn Lavigne

    winner, winner, chicken dinner! o.k., i would change the crown, but other than that – i’d wear it.

  • DanW94

    Love Hamilton. Great designs, great value. This one’s no exception. Glad to see it at 42mm.
    Any chrono smaller than that just taunts my old eyes. I’ve noticed a recent uptick in panda dial releases. I guess they’re the new trend following the blue dial/bronze case rage.

    • egznyc

      I am with you on Hamilton, but I feel like I’ve been seeing panda dials for a couple of years now. Not counting the vintage ones, naturally 😉

  • Not bad (I do love me a good bi-compax), but rather that retaining “most all of the elegance of its predecessors” it caricatures it.

  • ??????

    Vintage version is better. Lazy re-issue

    • egznyc

      Really? I won’t question your preference for the original, but why do you think its reissue is “lazy”?

      • ??????

        Copy the old model, stick a thick pedestrian caliber in it, increase the size = done. Maybe it is only me, but I’m tired of this neverending trend of re-issuing old models (with increased dimensions due to 7750, etc) without bringing any new touch.

  • Jan Nestor

    amazing

  • Other

    Love it! Aside from the size and date, they didn’t try to modernize it too much.

    The date execution is great, the colors are perfect for the style, and the price is quite good for an auto chrono .

    I’m definitely considering this one (although the new Marloe Lomond is giving it a run for it’s money)

  • Marius

    This is quite a decent watch. It has a pleasing design, a solid movement, and a reasonable price. It’s a good choice for those who can’t afford a real watch and prefer to buy fillers instead.

    • egznyc

      What’s a “real watch”? I thought if it had a dial, hands, some kind of a case, and oh why not, a mechanical movement, and kept good time, it would be a real watch?

      • Marius

        For me, a real watch should start from €7,000. If it’s cheaper than that it’s not worth buying. Of course, there are a few exceptions such as the JLC Master Control Date, and maybe the Omega Speedmaster Professional. However, in general, I would stay away from watches costing less than €7,000. I always remember what my good friend and mentor Archie Luxury told me: “The price of a real watch must hurt you! It should be like a big kick in the guts! If it doesn’t hurt you, it’s not worth having!”

        • egznyc

          Okay, you’re entitled to your opinion. I prefer to get the most watch I can with my limited budget. While 7K might be a great deal on a platinum skeletonized Breguet (as in, it’s only in my dreams), I would say it’s grossly overpaying for a typical stainless three-hander. Sure, some brands have the cache where they can get away with this, but your point about what is a “real” watch is where I disagree. As for Archie Luxury, I do not take advice from him. I don’t want my watch hobby to become a case study in masochism.

  • John William Salevurakis

    38MM would have looked better AND, with a bit of tweaking to the bezel and/or tachy scale width, kept the date window tucked right down where it needs to be rather than toward the middle of the dial. I can (reluctantly) deal with a date window but not a lazily placed one Hand wound would also have been nice for a thinner profile. JMHO.

    • Beefalope

      Which movement could Hamilton have used to achieve this?

      • John William Salevurakis

        See above. Further, this is Swatch Group…..the same company that rigged a column wheel monopusher from an existing movement for Longines at a street price of what….about 2500 bucks! Are you really trying to say that could not produce a sub 13mm thick manual wind version of this, sans display back, at 38mm or so for a fair price? Bottom line is they could have…..but simply chose not too. ?

        • Beefalope

          I did see above. That’s not a 38mm movement. The Stowa is 41mm.

          No, what I am saying — not trying to say — is that they haven’t produced a 13mm thick, 38mm diameter movement at a reasonable price.

          You know why?

          Because nobody except for a small group of watch enthusiasts wants something like that, and you can’t build a mainstream brand just by appealing to watch nerds.

          The reason that most modern chronographs are 42mm is because that’s what people want. And it’s not as through 42mm is huge. It’s a perfectly fine size. We’re not talking about Panerais or U-Boats here.

          With respect to thickness, that is a much tougher nut to crack. How many automatic chronographs are under 13mm? Zenith and IWC can see you something like that — at a $5k (or more) street price.

          • Per the ETA spec sheets for a 7750:
            Thickness = 7.90 mm
            Overall diameter = 30.40 mm

            So it would be possible (barely) to make a 36 mm case and stuff a 7750 into it. Might not look that great but it could be done.

            Regarding height, here is a typical run down on vertical elements:
            * Crystal = 1.50 mm
            * Clearance over hands = 0.30 mm
            * Hand fitting (over dial seat) = 2.39 mm
            * Movement height = 7.90 mm
            * Bottom clearance = 0.35 mm
            * Case back/exhibition crystal = 1.0 mm
            Total = 13.44 mm

            Yes, you can shave a little off the top crystal at the expense of water resistance, but still its easy to see why a 7750 based watch will be 13 mm and usually even more than that.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            What he said 🙂

          • Thanks for this information Mark. Really useful.

          • egznyc

            Thanks. Yes, it’ll cost a lot to get something that we call a chrono but that won’t look like a hockey puck.

          • There are thinner Swiss chronograph movements for sure.

          • egznyc

            And as you know, there are even a handful that use fewer (or eliminate) subdials by adding a chrono minute hand, at the very least, and distinguish it based on color, shape, etc. THAT seems pretty neat.

          • Yeah, I’m a fan of the Carl F Bucherer Manero Central Chronograph. But a 4th hand from the center pinion adds just as much height as one or more sub-dials/registers does with a 3 hand chrono. So you don’t save height, but I love it as old eyes find a full size chronograph minutes hand to be the bomb. Cheers.

          • ??????

            Excellent explanation! And how much thickness is attributed to the rotor and its clearance x2?

          • The old 7760 movement (not in production that I know of) is basically a manual wind 7750. It is 7.0 mm thick compared to 7.90 for a 7750/7753. So 0.9 mm thinner is all. Clearances should remain about the same. You might reduce the bottom clearance from 0.35 to 0.25 so you could get a full mm savings over the automatic but that’s all. The 77xx family is old and thick – but with a lot of mainspring torque to drive all of that stuff.

          • ??????

            Thanks. So ~12.3 mm would be the least thickness possible with the use of 77XX caliber…

          • If you removed the automatic winding rotor and used a 1.0 mm top crystal you might get it down to 11.94. Maybe…

  • Beefalope

    Yes. In every way, yes.

  • Beefalope

    I don’t understand the griping from some of you about the watch.

    First off, 42mm is pretty much the norm these days for chronographs. A chronograph needs to have wrist presence. It’s not a dress watch.

    Second, manual wind? Seriously? I love a good manual wind watch as much as the next guy. But there are literally two manual-wind affordable chrono movements — the ST19 and the 3133. No Swiss company relies on these movements anymore. Anything besides those two, and you’re getting into much pricier territory.

    • ??????

      Stowa has some manual wind chronos based on Valjoux without a rotor. Has perfect sense for me – at least one can make a watch thinner than usual 15+ mm for watches based on this caliber. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e8758380292b4e0387aa0df43ba656c5e27cd88791b0784fe7875b13c6fa2deb.jpg

      • Beefalope

        Yes, a 13.7mm thickness with a modified 7753 movement. Some watch enthusiasts would love it, although I wouldn’t be one of them because I’m not sure what’s gained here. The big appeal of a manual wind chronograph for me is aesthetics. But this is actually less aesthetically pleasing than an ST19 or 3133.

        • ??????

          I do like the construction of ST19 and 3133 (well, Venus), but the finish is usually underwhelming at least…

          • Beefalope

            That’s true, but that’s a different conversation entirely. Most chronographs under $10k aren’t going to have particularly well-finished movements. There are some exceptions from Omega, but even the iconic El Primero has a pretty spartan movement.

          • ??????

            True. Funny that you can get a vintage chrono based on Venus pretty below 1k and at least it won’t have trashy finish (but may have other issues..) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4f1d675a8b8b5bed6dcabdc37d96bc9034e25845a632c384a2a726a812d012ee.jpg

          • egznyc

            There are some well finished ones, but I hear you, and as for Stowa I’ve seen some nice finishing for their price.

        • David Bredan

          I agree this movement isn’t exactly a looker… The 3133 could be great with its layout but I, again, agree that it should have more solid quality of execution (although if you do get a good one it can last you a fairly long time).

    • sfbaydawg221

      The Omega Speedmaster reference 3570.50 or 311.30.42.30.01.005 (the one that comes closest to the watch worn on the moon) is a manual wind chronograph.

      • Beefalope

        We all know that, but my point was about affordable manual-wind chronographs.

        ST19 chronos can be had in the $200 range. 3133 chronos can be had in the $400 range.

        The Speedmaster is $3.5k and up. That really stretches the bounds of the term “affordable.”

  • Yan Fin

    I think it is nice, elegant, decently priced, and homage to itself is quite substantiated. Not sure about the size, would be nice to have 2 options, say 39- 40 mm in addition to 42mm. In any case white ( or off white) tachymeter scale should make it look bigger. 100 m waterproof makes it actually usable daily, and with street price hopefully around $1500 it would be a sure winner for me.

  • Katnip Everlean

    Why no bracelet option, Hamilton? Leather is for plebs

    • Peter

      nonsense

    • commentator bob

      I prefer bracelets but also think chronographs look stupid on them.

    • IG

      Real men wear NATOs.

      • commentator bob

        Actually Zulus.

        • IG

          Nope.

          • commentator bob

            I don’t think anyone actually wears NATO straps, they are uncomfortable, don’t slide under sleeves and hold the watch up too high with the doubled-up material.

            Zulus on the other hand work fairly well.

            The strap James Bond wore that everyone thinks is a NATO was actually a Zulu.
            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/63c1358608751afa27507c257fcd564fe13000d1c237051ff8b61941b799f181.jpg

          • IG

            Real men wear NATOs without any problems and the “doubled-up” material you whine about has the function of keeping the watch when a spring bar is broken. That fictional character you mention for some obscure reason wore a simple nylon strap not Zulu either.

          • the

            Zulu too do prevent the watch from falling when a springbar breaks. The reason why there is the second piece of strap under the watch on a nato is to prevent the watch to slip off the strap due to gravity when the watch is attached hanging from the buckle to a nail on the wall (anyway usually friction is plenty sufficient).
            That being said in my opinion any watch is different, usually on the smaller ones I prefer zulus because they are thinner (not being double) and because I can wear the buckle under my wrist instead than on the side, while on bigger watches natos having the buckle on one side, and the keeper on the other, fill better the empty spaces that otherwise would be under the springbars.

    • Omegaboy

      Change your last name to Everclear and you’ll have a real winner.

  • SuperStrapper

    Very cool. Did they up the PR through powermatic means, where the freq was cut down to 3hz?

  • gw01

    That original version simply oozes elegance. Not sure the super-sized reissue has same qualities; 38mm-39mm would’ve been perfect 🙂

  • Groad

    I agree with everyone on here, 39mm would have been an instant buy, the only draw back of the intramatic 38mm original is no running seconds hand, I’m likely to still pick one up anyway.

  • Ian john horwood

    If i was to get this style of watch it would be a breitling transocean .

  • Ian john horwood

    Eventually every one gets the itch to upgrade , so why not save up a bit more money on the likes of the transocean , its a bit more prestige .

  • Andrew Hughes

    This is a tasty treat. Just be glad it’s not a 45mm so it could have been worse.

  • Andrew Hughes

    Kenny, does this have a quick date change button? My Swiss Army Airboss Mach 6s have the Valjoux 7753 and the date is not changed by the crown but with a button. I was not sure if this date change button was common to all 7753’s. Do you know?

    • David Bredan

      Good point, there’s a good chance this will have a corrector pusher somewhere around the 10-11 o’clock position of the case.

      • Andrew Hughes

        Yep… that is actually a very handy feature.

  • Ulysses31

    It’s beautiful, and you don’t have to deal with ugly, crusty lume and myriad other issues preventing you from fully enjoying your purchase.

  • Larry Holmack

    My only problem with the watch is that it’s only 42 mm’s!!! Just too darn small for my wrist! It wold like a woman’s watch on me. 45 mm’s would have been much nicer!!

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  • HectorAsuipe

    Was the lug designer on loan from Nomos? Sharp, thin, pointy looking things.
    Dial layout is very nice, but the whole thing is 5% too big.
    Still, if I didn’t have a couple chronos and wanted to shun the Speedmaaster fanboys, this would be a good piece in the collection.

  • IVA the LT

    Have to see it in the flesh, but if it doesn’t wear too thick, and accepts the bracelet from my aforementioned two-hand Intra-matic, gonna be hard to keep this one out of my watch box.

  • cg

    Nice! I’d buy it.

  • Coert Welman

    Absolutely gorgeous watch ruined by an overactive pituitary gland. This watch in 39mm would have been sublime.

  • Fady337

    The size couldnt be less than 42 since it has a modified movement to house,as far as i have understood.

  • Yanko

    Gorgeous. If they only made it 2mm smaller. 40mm would’ve been perfect.

  • Travis McIndoe

    Not sure why lots of people comment about a smaller size… 42 is a nice size, small watches look feminine to me.

  • Svetoslav Popov

    so ugly sized compared to the vintage one