Hamilton, the American watch brand now under the Swatch Group umbrella, has had a strong year with well-received launches like their Intra-Matic 68 Chronograph. Recently, the brand announced the Hamilton Jazzmaster Power Reserve Watch – a contemporary, dressy offering that boasts a long power reserve and good bang for your buck. A good looking watch, it can verge on uninspiring, but let's take a look at what value is provided here.
Hamilton, has several lines of watches such as the Khaki Field, Broadway, and in this case, the Jazzmaster. Each collection is well defined – for example, the Khaki Field line consists of field watches while the Jazzmaster seems, from a quick glance at the collection, to consist of dressy watches with a slight twist to the design to make them more edgy or modern. It's quite a range, from watches like this quite conservative piece to something as wild as the Jazzmaster Face 2 Face II watch.
The Hamilton Jazzmaster Power Reserve is best described as a simple dress watch with contemporary sizing. With a 42mm case size and 50m of water resistance, this is sized and designed more like a sport watch than a dress watch but the dial elements and design are clearly dressier. With a minimal bezel, sloping tapered lugs, polished case band and simple, fluted crown, the case has a refined appearance.
There are four dial color options – white, black, gold, and silver. All dials but the black are pictured in this article. While the white dial has a matte finish, the rest come with a sunburst finish. Compared to the pop and sheen of the sunburst dials, the matte white can look a little 'flat' – however, this may appeal to collectors looking for something more inconspicuous. I personally know several people who prefer this matte look as opposed to sunburst, and it's really just a matter of taste.
The watch is fitted with luminous dauphine hands – blue in color for the silver dial, polished steel for the black and gold dials, and gold in color for the white dial. Plenty of choice to go around here. An odd choice, was to use a blue color power reserve indicator hand for all dials except the black (which has a polished steel one). I feel like the watch would be better off with a power reserve hand that was of the same color as the hour and minute hands.
The applied hour markers and the applied Hamilton logo at the top of the dial is a nice touch and gives the watch a more premium look. What isn't a nice touch however, is the date window. It's no secret that I'm not a fan of date windows, especially when they seem sloppily executed like in the case of the Hamilton Jazzmaster Power Reserve. The placement of the window on the dial betrays how small the diameter of the movement is. Additionally, the white of the date wheel contrasts in an unpleasant way with the gold and silver dials. Thankfully, the black dial comes with a black date wheel – so this is the one I would go for.
If we're being honest, the watch does not bring anything to the table design-wise that hasn't been seen before. What it does offer that makes it interesting is the movement. The Hamilton Jazzmaster Power Reserve is powered by the caliber H-13 movement with 80-hour power reserve. There is limited information online on the product page or elsewhere on the H-13. But given that Hamilton is part of the Swatch Group, we can take a leap of faith and assume that it is a similar, if not the same, movement found in the Tissot Powermatic 80. Essentially, it is a modified ETA 2824 with timekeeping rate lowered to 3Hz, a longer mainspring, and a new escapement in place.
While this isn't haute horology or particularly rare, it makes for a nice change from the plethora of ETA 2824/2892 offerings at this price point. The movement comes with some decoration – primarily on the rotor and is visible through a display back.
While it is unlikely to be heralded and celebrated like its sibling, the Intra-Matic 86 Chronograph, the Jazzmaster Power Reserve is a well put together watch for someone looking to start a collection or for a simple daily wearer for the office. The Hamilton Jazzmaster Power Reserve will be available from late November on a leather strap for a price of $1,245 or a 5-link stainless steel bracelet for $1,295. hamiltonwatch.com