REVIEW: The Hamilton Intra-Matic
September 24, 2013
Launched in 2012, the new Hamilton Intra-Matic is a modern remake of the Intra-Matic from the 1960s. It combines the vintage good looks of the past, with a reliable modernized movement and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
According to Hamilton, the vintage Intra-Matic was powered by a Büren caliber integrated which wound in both directions “and featured innovative mutual decoupling of the automatic and manual winding systems in an attempt to capitalize on all the winding power that could be squeezed out of its tiny rotor.” Inside the new Intra-Matic, is the well-known ETA 2892-2 movement with automatic winding. It is a highly reliable caliber, with a 42-hour power reserve and like the Büren caliber, it is very thin, allowing for a very thin case. At its thickest point (the center of the domed crystal), the watch measures 9.76 mm thick, and at the edge of the case, it measures a mere 6.48 mm. It feels so thin and comfortable on the wrist — we cannot imagine ever needing a watch thinner than this.
“It feels so thin and comfortable on the wrist — we cannot imagine ever needing a watch thinner than this.”
With a clear caseback, you can see the movement which has a signed oscillating weight and a basic finish on the rotor, bridges, and main plates. The movement finishing is not quite as high as what you get with a top or chronometer grade ETA movement, but then again neither is the price.
An uncluttered dial is exactly what you would expect from a dressier watch like this. The sapphire crystal is crystal is domed, as is the dial. Even the hands are slightly curved. As shown, the dial is silver colored; it is also available in black. Instead of the new style Hamilton ‘H’ logo the dial has the vintage ‘H’ logo printed in the center, which a very nice touch. The bezel and case are fully polished, and they contrast nicely with the dial. The hours are designated by baton markers. Hour and minute hands are baton-shaped as well. A date aperture is located at 6 o’clock.
We reviewed the 38 mm steel case on leather strap — which is arguably one of the best looking Intra-Matic variants. It’s also available in gold-plated PVD steel, and in steel with a steel bracelet. Furthermore, it comes in a 42 mm diameter case as well. Although, unless you have very large wrists (like 8” or above), the 38 mm proportions are more appealing in our opinion. Not to mention, the 38 mm version costs a hundred bucks less.
Like on the dial, the crown is signed with the vintage type ‘H’ Hamilton Hamilton logo. The non-locking crown is small and does not dig into your wrist, however, it is not so small that it is hard to set the time, at least relative to most other dress watches we have seen.
The black leather strap and fully polished steel buckle, engraved with “Hamilton,” looks great. While we chose to review the steel model, the gold-plated PVD steel on leather strap is equally appealing.
Hamilton’s Intra-Matic is a classically handsome dress watch, with 1960s styling, modern reliability and at $845 — a price that is just right. On the wrist, it wears very nice as its size and proportions are excellent, making it so you barely notice it. If you are in search of a good looking Swiss made dress watch for under a grand, then look no further. (Ref. H38455751)