Hamilton’s 2023 Novelties

Hamilton updates many of their most popular models

“This is the part of city life they don’t talk about,” said another writer as he sat alone in the venue’s lobby while everyone else contended with one of the worst traffic days this year in Toronto.

Even though my vehicle had moved a total of 300 meters in about an hour, I was not dispirited in the slightest. It had been four years since I had attended an event showcasing Hamilton’s novelties. The positive memories of that event kept me warm as I turned off the engine and cracked a window as I succumbed to the unseasonably warm air to enter the cabin.

A couple of hours and 800 meters later, we emerged from the elevator and were not disappointed. Not only did we get the chance to explore Hamilton’s offerings for this year fully, but we got to catch up with everyone on the team that had worked so incredibly hard to make the night happen. Since there was a lot on display, we will first focus our attention on the star of the show. We will then pay a visit to the strongest model line for 2023. Lastly, we will cover one aspect of the brand’s underreported strengths that deserve more attention.


The Undisputed Star of the Show

For weeks leading up to the event, Hamilton’s limited edition Jazzmaster Face 2 Face III had excited horology enthusiasts. When seeing the watch in person, one notes that they should have been more excited and perhaps pre-ordered the watch. The fact that the dial details are stunning in person will not surprise anyone, but how well the watch wears should. On paper, the 44.25mm case and its 17.25mm thickness would imply that this watch would wear like a Humvee on the wrist. In reality, the knowledge that the watch has two dials that flip to reveal its wonderful complication makes this watch’s size not only warranted but appreciated. The chronograph movement features a rear dial central chronograph hand that runs counter to the front side’s seconds hand. If one is viewing the rear dial, they are treated to a dedicated pulsometer and tachymeter scale. Watches such as the Face 2 Face celebrate what makes mechanical watches special. Sure, plenty of chronographs simply have those scales printed on the front dial and do not require a funky dial-flipping mechanism. This is an explicitly fun watch that goes out of its way to be stunning, and its size should not deter you from getting your hands on one if you can.


The Year of the Jazzmaster Performer

On the day of the Jazzmaster Performer Chronograph’s release, in chat rooms on every platform far and wide, one low-hanging fruit was read aloud with their lips moving as people typed out these words, “hey look, Hamilton made a Daytona.” While taking photographs of other Jazzmaster models, another writer and I overheard a guest announce this observation in their loudest voice, and we rolled our eyes. Why did we have this reaction? First, the Jazzmaster Performer looks more like a TAG Heuer Carrera with its subdials positioned at the 3-6-9 positions. The tachymeter scale, indices, date window positioning, lack of crown guards, lack of screw-down crowns, and case shape all point to this watch being its unique chronograph design.


The Carrera’s sharp lugs, case shape, and round chronograph pushers are also absent here. The Jazzmaster Performer is a watch entirely on its own. Its brushed and muted case shape leads into the seemingly sharp pushers, and the elegant tachymeter scale smoothens the entire wearing experience. This is arguably a more refined and formal timepiece than the two other watches mentioned above, for it is more versatile and does not draw as much attention to itself. I found the blue dial with the stainless steel bezel the most beautiful variant. The beautiful blue dial is accented with blue laser-etched printing on the tachymeter scale. This is truly a breathtaking design that takes pride in its reserved nature. Not many chronographs have a racing aesthetic that does subtle well, and as a long-time owner of an annoyingly attention-grabbing Carrera, I appreciated the blue colorway. However, the black variant got the most attention for a good reason. This watch is possibly one of the most photogenic watches I have encountered.


The non-chronograph Jazzmaster Performers were equally strong at the show as well. The 38mm variants were beautiful, and their bezels with minute markings further cemented the Performer design. The rose gold, mother-of-pearl dialed 34mm watch took my breath away. As seen here on the wrist of one of the best folks working in the industry, you can see how Hamilton has nailed the “elegant yet sporty” look with this series of watches. One influencer was overheard saying that the smaller Jazzmaster Performers would look great with her tennis outfits. When asked how long she played tennis, she giggled as her champagne flute twirled with glee, “I’ve never touched a tennis racquet in my life.”


My Personal Favorites

The table that drew my attention throughout the night was at the center of the venue. As one entered, they were greeted with a giant beautiful flower arrangement that overlooked a series of women’s watches that were my favorite on display. Both watches belong to the American Classic line. The second most impressive watch was the Admore Quartz watches. The case design’s overhanging lugs added a great deal of presence, and the two different levels of the cases played with the light beautifully. The small seconds register is perfectly balanced with the rest of the dial, and the roman numeral indices at 12-2-4-8-10 are elegantly broken up with straight indices. The Hamilton Admore has been around since 1937, and its’ design is timeless and distinctive when viewed against the rest of the marketplace.


However, the small necklace American Classic Lady Hamilton Vintage Quartz watches were my favorite. Their gothic font is spellbinding, and their diminutive size makes it a personal time-telling experience for its wearer. Every outfit this timepiece accompanies is elevated in a manner that those who try to wear a pocket watch could only dream of today. When seeing this watch worn around a lady’s neck, nothing was forced, and the timepiece simply looked natural.


Closing Thoughts

After taking photographs of the watches, I put on a portrait lens, walked around the event, and observed others as they reacted to the watches. As I made small talk and made a few new friends, one quiet thought kept whispering in the back of my head. When Apple released its Apple Watch a few years ago, many writers outside the watch industry claimed this would be the end of mechanical watches as we knew them. This created a lot of anxiety within the industry, as companies weighed their sales with that of the Apple Watch as they stalked their numbers every quarter. Insecure enthusiasts of mechanical watches started to despise smartwatches and ridiculed those who wore them, and it was all for nothing. The price bracket that brands such as Hamilton and others with offerings within the $500-$2000 was prophesized to be destroyed by quality smart watches. A few years later, this could not be further from the truth. Every brand I have had the pleasure of seeing their novelties over the last five years has shown me one thing – humans love mechanical watches, and a disposable device with a blazingly bright screen will never replace traditional watches for everyone. This is coming from someone who wears his 52mm Garmin Descent Mark 2 to any and every event, no matter how formal.


All brands, whether large such as Hamilton, or small such as the many wonderful microbrands out there, should be commended for the work that they have done in recent years. They did not give up, ramped up their efforts, and released new designs and refined older ones. They kept up with the hasty pace of the tech sector with grace. As a result, it is hard to think of another time when consumers have had so many wonderful choices when it comes to traditional watches.


As I viewed others make small talk and enjoy their flutes of champagne, I did notice a few people lose themselves in a watch as they held it. Their eyes focused on the timepiece as their ears floated away from the group’s discussion, and they would then go ahead and place their glass on the table before grasping the watch with both hands longingly. This delighted the writer and enthusiast in me; everyone at Hamilton should be vaunted for their work.


More Images from the show

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