Launched as part of a capsule collection with renowned American costume designer Janie Bryant, the latest version of Hamilton's Intra-Matic Auto Chrono may be its boldest (and gold-est) version yet. With its black dial and gold PVD-colored case, it's the type of watch that screams "I have arrived" but also, "I didn't take out HELOC to fund the purchase of a wristwatch." (Well, then again, there's no harm in letting people think it's made of a solid chunk of 18k gold if that's their inclination.)
"But the gold leather strap is a bit too much," you might be thinking. "Nahhhhh, that's sort of the point," we might reply. But of course you can switch that sucker out for a black one and call it a day, perhaps de-blinging the watch by at least 30-50%. (Rough estimation, there.)
The Intra-Matic is otherwise the same as the steel version, which is one of our favorite modern chronographs: It's powered by the H-31 automatic movement with 60-hour power reserve and comes housed in a well sized 40mm case. It measures 20mm at the lugs and features 100m of water resistance. (If you'd prefer a truly vintage-inspired version, there's also the hand-wound iteration.) It lists for $2,295 — not bad for an automatic, modern take on a classic Hamilton design.
Though it's not outwardly branded as such, the gold beauty above is housed within a ladies collection that Bryant designed with the brand. As a veteran costume designer responsible for the period dress on shows like Mad Men and Deadwood, Bryant is a consummate pro when it comes to understanding vintage detailing, the history of garments and the importance of the right accessories to finishing an outfit. Having grown up intrigued particularly by the 1950s, some of the watches in her capsule draw on ladies cocktail watches from that decade — but with modern twists.
The collection is divided into six watches amongst two distinct sub-collections, "Today" and "Tomorrow." Whereas the Today watches feature rose and yellow gold touches as diamond accents — probably not prime Gear Patrol material — the Tomorrow watches feature metallic leather straps and grey, black and gold tones. The American Classic Ardmore Quartz is a cool take on a classic Hamilton Art Deco design, for example, and is priced well at $495. (See below.) With its silver dial with gold accents and silver leather strap, maybe this the gateway watch for a special someone this holiday season? (May as well get the whole family addicted to watches so you can all attend Horological Rehab together.)
There's also — perhaps less relevantly for the GP dude — yet another version of the Intra-Matic Auto Chrono from the Today collection that bears mentioning: It's beige-gold and off-white and has a killer minute hand. It's clearly a ladies piece, but swap the strap and what you're left with is a pretty damn cool (off-)gold watch. (Trust me, I can confirm — I tried it on.)
Click below to see the entire Hamilton X Janie Bryant Capsule Collection.