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One of Our Favorite Retro-Styled Chronographs Just Wound Up Getting Better

The Hamilton Intra-Matic Chronograph H brings a hand-wound movement to a beloved watch.

watch
Hamilton

The Hamilton Intra-Matic collection has consistently excelled at capturing the handsome vibes of the 1960s. The three-hand model is one of the best examples of a retro-styled dress watch we can recommend, while the automatic chronograph has stood out with its striking "panda dial" and historical references. Now, a new version of that chronograph offers the same charm, but with a more mature style — and an interesting twist: it's manually wound, just like the Sixties original.

Based on models from 1968 called the Chronograph A and B, the new Hamilton Intra-Matic Chronograph H is 40mm wide. The movement in question here is notable: called the H-51, it offers 60 hours of power reserve and was developed especially and exclusively for Hamilton by its sister company ETA.

A hand-wound movement technically represents a reduction in the number of features compared to its automatic variation, as it requires regular winding from the wearer to keep it ticking. However, many enjoy the interaction required of the wearer. Another benefit of manually wound movements is, often, thinner case profiles — though this model is only around 0.3mm slimmer than its predecessor at 14.35mm, including a tall box-style sapphire crystal.

You'll notice also that the date display has been jettisoned on the new watch, creating a cleaner look that's popular with collectors. Reducing features and design elements can offer a more elegant experience, and many enthusiasts might find that such a watch feels more "authentic" to its mid-century inspiration. (Another bonus of manually wound movements is that they can offer a view of the movement unobstructed by an automatic rotor, but here it's hidden behind a steel case back.)

The Intra-Matic Auto Chrono was received with enthusiasm when it debuted, in part, because there weren't as many brands making vintage styled chronographs (especially with the popular style of contrasting subdials called a "panda dial"). Now, the market is more competitive — but Hamilton has stepped up with a product that feels not only more refined, but remains at the relatively affordable price point that brand is known for.

The Hamilton Intra-Matic Chronograph H comes in two dial variations of white ("panda") and black ("reverse panda"), each available on a leather strap for $2,045 or a mesh steel bracelet for $2,095. They're available directly from the brand online now.

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