Hamilton American Classic Chrono Matic 50 Limited Edition Watch Review

Hamilton American Classic Chrono Matic 50 Limited Edition Watch Review

Collectors of vintage sports watches are about to add another timepiece to their Christmas list as Hamilton unveil their stunning new Hamilton American Classic Chrono Matic 50 Limited Edition. This remarkable timepiece of 1972 pieces celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of the industry’s most iconic automatic movements, the Calibre 11, otherwise known as the Hamilton Chrono Matic.

Developed with the help of Dubois Depraz alongside a partnership between three luxury watch manufacturers Breitling, Heuer and Buren-Hamilton, the historic Calibre 11 was credited as the world’s first automatic chronograph movement. In the late 1960’s, there was a huge demand for such a calibre and manufacturers Seiko, Zeppelin and Breitling/Heuer/Buren-Hamilton battled each other to be the first to release their own. But on March 3rd, 1969, Heuer, Breitling and Hamilton won the race and introduced their new “Chronomatic” watches at a press conference in Geneva. Then in early April, they exhibited these stunning timepieces at the Baselworld Watch Fair. The launch was central to the event and was even publicised on the cover of the Official Bulletin of the 1969 Basel Watch Fair.

Cover of the Official Bulletin of the 1969 Basel Watch Fair.
Cover of the Official Bulletin of the 1969 Basel Watch Fair.
1975 Hamilton Chrono-Matic GMT Count-Down

One of Hamilton’s most famous models to house the Calibre 11 was the Chrono-Matic GMT Count-Down, a watch which remains a highly sought after collector’s piece to this day. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the automatic chronograph movement, Hamilton have released the Hamilton American Classic Chrono Matic 50 Limited Edition watch which takes many of the design features from the Chrono-Matic GMT Count-Down to create a 1970’s sporty look along with some stunning new modern improvements.

Just like its inspiration, the Hamilton American Classic Chrono Matic 50 features a striking stainless steel cushion-shaped case with a fine brushed finish, a design typical of the early 1970’s, paired with sleek integrated lugs and a sporty black perforated calfskin leather strap. The case also measures to the same large size of 48.5mm in diameter and 51.5mm from lug to lug, so this timepiece is probably not for those of you who prefer smaller sized watches or who have slender wrists.

Both sides of the case are equipped with five pushers and crowns, the same number found on the original decorated in steel, black and red. Nevertheless, the arrangement of the pushers has been changed slightly with the original Chrono-Matic having the chronograph pushers on the left hand side of the case and the crown on the right. Instead, today’s Hamilton American Classic Chrono Matic 50 Limited Edition utilises a modern chronograph movement and so the crown and pushers are on the right hand side of the case. On the left, we have a second crown used to operate the countdown bezel and a pusher for the date.

Our favourite part to the Hamilton American Classic Chrono Matic 50 Limited Edition watch is its retro-inspired dial. The design has remained visually faithful with a gorgeous reverse-panda chronograph layout decorated with sporty red accents, a date window at 6 o clock, large luminous hour markers and sleek luminous hour and minute hands. The only changes that we can see is the addition of a tachymeter scale which replaces the old 24 hour scale used alongside the GMT function. Each of the functions displayed on the new Hamilton Chrono Matic 50 Limited Edition are powered by the contemporary H-13 automatic chronograph movement which also provides an extended power reserve of 60 hours.

Retailing at a reasonable price of £2,195, we are certain several of the 1972 pieces of the Hamilton American Classic Chrono Matic 50 Limited Edition watch will on many Christmas lists this year. If you would like to find out more information on this timepiece and order your own, head over to the Jura Watches website here. You can also find other Hamilton watch reviews on Horologii here.

Specifications: Hamilton American Classic Chrono Matic 50 Limited Edition Watch (H51616731)

  • Case Size: 48.5mm
  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Bezel: Fixed with internal tachymeter scale
  • Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment
  • Water Resistance: 100 metres
  • Movement: H-13 automatic chronograph
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, central chronograph seconds, subsidiary continuous seconds, 30 minute counter, date
  • Power Reserve: 60 hours
  • Jewels: 27
  • Frequency: 28,800vph
  • Dial: Black with silver subsidiary dials and applied indexes and hands with Super-LumiNova
  • Strap: Black calfskin leather
  • Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
  • RRP: £2,195
  • Limited Edition: 1,972 pieces

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