The Hamilton Jazzmaster Automatic Chronograph watch family has a new member. Available in two dial colors, these watches are handsome additions to one of Hamilton’s core styles. Initially, there appears to be quite a bit of variation among the watches grouped together under the Jazzmaster label, but look closely and you can see that all of these models are bound together by a shared lug characteristic. It isn’t immediately obvious because there are loads of case diameters and dimensions within the Jazzmaster family, with several thicker and thinner iterations of the lugs, but without fail, they all feature a distinctive “notching,” which takes the form of a shoulder where the lug “joins” the case.
Hamilton’s entire collection is broken up into seven families. The Khaki series (of which there are three) deals with tool watches, in either a military or hyper-utilitarian style. The other four families are classically styled watches imbued with American Spirit. Names like Broadway, American Classic, and Ventura — the other dress collections that sit alongside the Jazzmaster range — conjure images of early 20th century Americana. The Broadway and Ventura collections are far smaller than the other two, while the massive American Classic family doesn’t have anywhere near the identifiable consistency of the Jazzmaster range.
So what does this mean for the customer? Well, the Jazzmaster family is large, with many incrementally different models simply because it is a very digestible base design that could look at home on a number of wrists. What Hamilton has here is a Swiss-made watch that feeds off a bygone era of American cultural evolution, using classical forms with a twist of character in the lug setup.
While multiple case finishes are available throughout the Jazzmaster range, these new chronographs both come in uncoated stainless steel. A variety of external surface finishes add a luxury flourish, while the 42mm housing and 100 meters of water resistance give the watches a reassuringly robust character. Powered by an H-21 automatic chronograph movement, the Hamilton Jazzmaster Automatic Chronographs boast a 60-hour power reserve and a date function (at 4 o’clock). This movement is effectively a juiced-up ETA 7750, which Hamilton explains has been expertly engineered to raise the base power reserve of 48 hours to a comfortable 60. That’s a pretty startling 25% hike and a great selling point. While not strictly in-house (the movement is manufactured by fellow Swatch Group company ETA), the H-21 automatic chronograph movement is made under a roof owned by the same conglomerate as Hamilton.
There are two dial options available in this new Hamilton Jazzmaster release, either a white option or a blue. The blue dial employs a nickel handset for a sharp, professional look, while the white dial is married with contrasting rose gold hands that add a flourish of luxury to an otherwise clean and basic dial layout. Both handsets are finished with thin lines of Super-LumiNova so they can be easily seen in low-light conditions.
In all, this seems like a solid release for Hamilton. Both dial variants of the Hamilton Jazzmaster Automatic Chronograph are available on a stainless steel bracelet or a leather strap in a complementary color. The white dial is suggested on a camel (tan) band, while the blue dial is paired with a darker, chocolaty strap, both of which are decorated with an alligator pattern and fastened by a folding clasp. At $1,745 ($1,795 on the bracelet) this is a pretty strong value proposition.
Yes, it is technically an ETA movement, but the upgrades to its base functionality are significant (and appreciated). Regardless, for a watch that benefits from the Swatch Group’s high production volume and low manufacturing costs, you do get quite a lot for your money. Both models offer a distinct appearance and, due to relatively low-key styling, a lot of versatility. In sum, these Hamilton Jazzmaster Automatic Chronograph watches are a safe but welcome update to a classic collection.