For those who want a Swiss-made watch from one of the big, household name brands, some of the most compelling options within the industry can often come from the various companies that are part of Swatch Group. This is especially true for those that are positioned near the more attainable end of the price spectrum. Although Hamilton is hardly alone in this category, it frequently serves as a prime example of how you can often get a solid timepiece from a well-known and established brand for what can ultimately still be considered a relatively reasonable sum of money. The Jazzmaster is one of the cornerstone offerings in Hamilton’s modern catalog, and it’s often the go-to option for those who are looking for a classic and refined wristwatch with an inherently contemporary overall appearance. Joining the collection for 2023 is the Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer lineup, which is a new family of models that adds a slightly sporty twist to the typically rather refined and elevated Jazzmaster series.
At the time of launch, the Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer lineup consists of a 42mm chronograph, along with time-only models in both 38mm and 34mm cases. With that in mind, each variation is offered in multiple different colorways and configurations, and while all of the models feature cases that are crafted from stainless steel, both the chronograph and 38mm time-only version are also offered with black bezels and a rose gold PVD finish. Additionally, regardless of their differences, all of the different Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer watches feature sapphire crystals above their dials, screw-down winding crowns at the 3 o’clock location, and 100 meters of water resistance.
The Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer Automatic Chronograph 42mm is likely the model that will be the most interest to many collectors, and it offers what could almost be considered Daytona-adjacent vibes if it were not for the oblong shape of its pushers and its slightly more elevated approach to a traditional three-register chronograph dial. The 42mm case comes in at 15.22mm-thick with 22mm-wide lugs and the option of either a steel or black tachymeter bezel fitted to the top of the case, along with the option of either a black, blue, or white dial. Additionally, depending on the selected colorway, the lugs can either be fitted with a three-link stainless steel bracelet or a perforated leather strap that is fitted with a matching stainless steel folding clasp.
Meanwhile, the time-only Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer Automatic watches have cases that measure 11.47mm thick with 20mm lugs for the 38mm-wide model, and 11.18mm-thick with 18mm lugs for the 34mm-wide version. While the 38mm Jazzmaster Performer Automatic is available with the same dial colors as the chronograph version, the smaller 34mm model swaps out the white option for light blue and mother-of-pearl dials. Additionally, rather than having fixed tachymeter bezels like the 42mm chronograph models, all of the various time-only Jazzmaster Performer watches are fitted with bezels that feature Arabic numeral minute markers engraved upon them for an inherently sporty overall appearance.
Similar to the chronograph models, the time-only versions of the Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer Automatic are available with either three-link stainless steel bracelets or perforated leather straps. The 38mm version is offered with the same options as the chronograph (a bracelet or perforated leather straps in black and blue), while the 34mm model swaps out the option of a black leather strap and instead offers a beige satin strap for the mother of pearl dial model. For the most part, the color of the strap is dictated by the dial of the watch, although it is the black dial versions that typically receive the bracelet (along with the light blue 34mm model), while the white dial versions of the chronograph and 38mm time-only watch are fitted with black leather straps to match their bezels.
Powering the new Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer Automatic Chronograph 42mm is the brand’s H-31 automatic movement, while both the 38mm and 34mm version of the time-only model receive the H-10. The Hamilton H-31 is essentially the brand’s upgraded version of the ETA/Valjoux 7753, while the Hamilton H-10 is the equivalent that is based on the ubiquitous ETA 2824. Both movements feature Nivachron balance springs and increased power reserves, with the Hamilton H-31 running at a frequency of 28,800vph (4 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 60 hours, while the Hamilton H-10 runs at 21,600vph (3 Hz) with an 80-hour power reserve. At their core, these movements are both highly familiar designs, although since Swatch Group also owns ETA, Hamilton gets to benefit from upgraded versions of these popular and proven self-winding movements.
While the new Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer series is noticeably more sporty than a lot of the other options that exist within the greater Jazzmaster lineup, it is still quite a bit more refined and elevated compared to some of the highly utilitarian designs that can be found among the brand’s field watches and pilot’s models. Additionally, since Hamilton is positioned as one of the more affordable brands among the greater Swatch Group roster, prices for the new Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer watches are all fairly reasonable, with the 42mm chronograph models starting out at $2,195 USD, while both the 38mm and 34mm versions are accompanied by official retail prices that start out at $995 USD. Additionally, while certain colorways and strap/bracelet configurations cost a small premium, the total difference in price is still less than a few hundred dollars between the least expensive and most expensive versions of any one of the three models from the new Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer lineup. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.