Hamilton Jazzmaster Automatic Chronograph Watch Review

Hamilton Hands on Watch Reviews

 

The dial boasts excellent symmetry and combines its lightly patterned sub dials with arrowhead markers and numeral markings for all positive numbers on the dial. The lovely dial is unfortunately somewhat tarnished by the poor date window placement, which has been squeezed into a position adjacent to the “4” marker. I cannot understand this decision. If you can’t put the date somewhere that maintains the elegance of the rest of the dial, just leave it out. The end result looks like the date feature was an after thought and not one left to those responsible for the bulk of the dial design.

The JazzMaster signature accented lugs are present and integrate beautifully with the chronograph pushers and large signed crown. Hamilton has opted for a satin brushed finish in the lugs and polished finish on the case sides, bezel and down along the edges of the lugs (see video). The finishing is very nicely done and keeps this JazzMaster from being too flashy but still capable of carrying a pleasant shine. The case back is polished and features a window in its center allowing a view of the ETA 7753 movement within.

 

The ETA 7753 allows for sub seconds on the nine o’clock dial, 30 minutes on the three o’clock dial and an hour measure on the nondescript indication at six o’clock. Chronograph seconds are on the main (large) second hand and the chronograph feature is started or paused by the top pusher and reset by the lower. This model (ref H32656853) uses a 27 jewel ETA 7753 and not the more common base 7750 arrangement (see Victorinox Infantry Mechanical review). The crown has only two positions. Pushed in allows for hand winding while pulling the crown out allows for setting the time. To advance the date one must use a small inset button located on the case side at 10 o’clock. Using a pin or pencil tip, the user can advance the date one date at a time. If you don’t keep the JazzMaster on the winder, this oddity in its design will be come rather annoying and is further evidence that Hamilton should have omitted a date from this model all together.

This Hamilton, like most, is fitted with a slightly domed sapphire crystal and thanks to its silver dial reflections are not a problem even without anti-reflective treatment on the crystal. The silver dialed Jazzmasters do suffer some legibility problems as the hands can blend into the rest of the dial but a quick turn towards any light source will remedy this small concern.

The dial detailing is excellent with a classic Hamilton font and inlaid numerals and markers adding additional depth to the design. The hands and markers as well as the bright sub dials catch environmental light nicely and contrast well with the subtle case design and satin finish on much of the lugs.

Hamilton has not made a “vintage inspired” watch with this design as much as they have made a nicely modern timepiece with many classical design elements that are so well integrated into the overall visual appeal of the watch that they do not draw any undue attention.

The soft and supple crocodile leather strap is held to your wrist by a deployment clasp that is very nice but, like all deployment clasps, a tang style buckle would have been slimmer, cheaper and look just as elegant if not more. Hamilton is selling this JazzMaster model with a list price of $1595.00 before any authorized dealer or sale pricing. As with the Victorinox, this is roughly the price range to expect as a starting point for a Swiss automatic chronograph from a well-known brand. Models with much of the same styling but in a three-hand design retail for under $1000 and would likely be our preference not only for the savings but also the thinner cases seen on the slim models or smaller cases (40 mm) seen on the more basic models. That said, if your looking for a luxurious experience from an automatic chronograph without spending a “luxury” level of money, the JazzMaster Auto Chrono is hard to beat and stands out for its wide range of versions, beautiful styling and excellent wrist presence.

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