Huzeifa Jafferjee, Author at Exquisite Timepieces - Page 2 of 2


Author: Huzeifa Jafferjee

best hamilton dive watches

Since its inception, the practice of timekeeping has vastly evolved and grown in diversity relative to our perception of how we prefer to tell time. Innovation, storytelling, and originality are facets of the watchmaking industry that have been glorified and celebrated by us watch enthusiasts as we embrace our journey of collecting the timepieces worthy of our attention.

The dive watch, for its robust characteristics, legibility, and versatility, has become the most popular segment within the watch industry. Hamilton, as a result of its long heritage, watchmaking know-how, strong expertise, and value-for-money pricing, has a formidable and novel collection to dive into.

About Hamilton Watches

Hamilton’s journey in watchmaking has seen it go from strength to strength with changing times. Its roots are of an American brand that built a reputation as a tool watchmaker, at the forefront of technology with quartz, electric, and digital watches, with its own distinctive design language and cultural influences from its long existence away from Switzerland.

Through this, the brand was able to build a strong relationship with cinema and celebrity culture during the early era of filmmaking. Now in the modern age, Hamilton comes with a Swiss label, owned by a powerhouse that is the Swatch Group, with a back catalog of ETA Calibers to support its broad collection, allowing the brand to offer a 2-year international warranty.

Its storytelling and successful branding on the silver screen are still in tradition for the watchmaker as it surpasses 90 years of participation.

The collections Hamilton has on offer today are derived from its original history and commitment to offer value for money, purpose-driven timekeeping instruments. Among its tool watch offerings is the Khaki Navy collection, making available automatic or quartz calibers and many model variations for the comprehensive needs of a professional, leisure, or desk diver.

Brief History of Hamilton

Hamilton was established in 1892 as an American watchmaking brand. It built its early reputation through its successful involvement in the booming railroad industry. In 1919 Hamilton became the trusted supplier of timekeeping instruments to the U.S Airmail Service and has since been trusted for its accuracy in flight, with a dedicated collection to suit the needs of aviators. 

Hamilton saw its involvement as a pocket watch supplier to the U.S. Military during World War I, following which it halted its commercial production to support the high volume needs of World War II. This historic venture has made Hamilton renowned for their field watches, even today.

Dive Watch History

Hamilton, as an early watchmaker before waterproofing technology was the norm, pushing the envelope with the introduction of its BUSHIPS models during World War II. These saw the use of a canteen-styled screw-down crown, an early method of water protection that the Navy saw interest in using for military application. 

In 1951, Hamilton introduced a commercial variant of this model named the Frogman that would be featured prominently in the 1951 movie ‘The Frogmen’ – a true story about the operations of U.S Navy Underwater Demolition Teams, known as Frogmen, during World War II. It was the first movie to feature the unseen challenges and novelty of scuba diving, creating a huge buzz for the underwater experience and the recreational diving trend that would follow during peaceful times.

The Best Hamilton Dive Watches

Now, let’s have a look at our list of the 15 best Hamilton dive watches.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Auto  (ref. H77825330)

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Auto  (ref. H77825330)

Proudly inspired by Hamilton’s original dive watch history, Hamilton continues its lineage with its most recent iteration of the Khaki Navy Frogman Auto 46mm. Just like the first canteen-crown models, the current model shares similar inspiration in aesthetics, form, and function with a detachable Panerai-esque crown protector for its screw-in crown, giving it a striking yet tool-like purposeful resemblance to a high-pedigree dive watch.

Its case size of 46mm accommodates the needs of a hardcore diver, adding to its legibility and functionality underwater. With a thickness of 13.58mm attached to a wave pattern tactical rubber strap, it makes for a relatively versatile watch to wear. Yet able to withstand a depth of 300m underwater comfortably on the wrist. 

Under its anti-reflective sapphire crystal, you will discover a matte sandblasted no-date black dial with lume-filled baton indexes, a lumed 12-hour numeral, and highly legible lume-filled hands with contrasting orange hints on the minute and second hands. Surrounding the dial is a steel dive bezel with a black insert, contrasting steel numerals and markings, and a lume pip at 12 o’clock. 

Equipped with an H-10 movement and 80-hour power reserve at a price of $1,195, the Khaki Navy Frogman Auto 46mm stays true to its ethos of being Hamilton’s most capable dive watch on offer, affordably priced for its wearers to put it to the ultimate test, just like in the old days.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto Blue Dial (ref. H82345141)

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto Blue Dial (ref. H82345141)

The Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto 40mm Blue dial is one of Hamilton’s more versatile offerings within its dive watch collection. It comes in a wearable 40mm case with 12.95mm in thickness, allowing it to fit under a dress cuff when necessary, and has 100m of water resistance.

With a sporty case profile (including crown guards) attached to a bracelet, it adopts the proven, loved, and most copied dive watch aesthetic made popular by models like the Submariner. This model finds a cohesive and purposeful balance in finishings, punching far above its price class.

With a full satin-brushed case, polished, signed crown, hefty satin brushed three-link bracelet with polished facets on its center links, and a satin-finished twin trigger deployant clasp with a beveled edge in high polish. It has a polished knurled edge uni-directional dive bezel that is deep, sharp, and easy to grip, with an anodized aluminum insert in blue, with white featuring for the first 15 minutes. 

Under its anti-reflective sapphire crystal, you will see a clean yet distinctive dial layout, with baton and arrow-shaped lumed indexes, lumed hands, a contrasting red lume pip on the second hand, and a 24-hour scale at the center that is a nod to its military roots.

Also featured is a date window at 4.30, adding to its versatility in daily use. Priced at $795, equipped with the 80-hour power reserve H10 movement, this watch is easily one of the best dive watch offerings under $1,000.

Hamilton Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO (ref. H78505330)

Hamilton Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO (ref. H78505330)

The original Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO was first introduced in 2008; its looks were polarizing and menacing. They were to be Hamilton’s ultimate expression of its Khaki Navy collection with 1,000 meters of water resistance. This watch would see the usage of a full titanium case in black PVD, marrying cues of Hamilton’s Art Deco historic design language with a futuristic interpretation.

For its most recent variant, the  BeLOWZERO uses the H10 Movement with an 80-hour power reserve. Its 46mm case with 15.7mm in thickness in lightweight titanium attached to a sloping rubber strap allows for the watch to fit light, snugly, and comfortably on the wrist of whoever is brave enough to rock this beast of a watch.

Its design language pushes the boundaries of a sports diver design with 4 hex screws prominently visible on the case, double stem lugs for ultimate strap protection, and unique crown guards that blend into the profile of the case, which helps balance its heft. 

Under its anti-reflective sapphire crystal is a matte black dial, with dark gray contrasting hands and indexes. Legibility here can be a challenge. However, it remains clean and balanced with no date and Breguet-style numerals, and ditching the 12 for a 0 adds to its BeLOWZERO personality.

Many know the BeLOWZERO to be the Martian watch after it was featured in the 2015 movie “The Martian” on the wrist of its main character. Through Hamilton’s long-standing relationship with the movie industry, this watch was chosen by its producers and not by Hamilton themselves. 

With the movie timeline based in 2035, this is a testament to the futuristic design language embedded in this watch. Priced at $1,845, this watch comes in at a relatively affordable price point for a high-performing dive watch with movie credibility, offering many novelties for collectors to rejoice in.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Quartz Black Dial (ref. H82201131)

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Quartz Black Dial (ref. H82201131)

The Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Quartz Black Dial (H82201131) is Hamilton’s most entry-level dive watch offering on a bracelet. Yet, this may be hailed as the most wearable and slender watch in the lineup, owing to its quartz movement with all the benefits of the larger-higher-priced automatic alternatives. Can less really be more?

As with other scuba models, it features a sporty case with crown guards and a matching three-link bracelet. The overall finishings are satin-brushed with hints of high polish, striking a good measure of durability and ruggedness for a daily wear dive watch. 

Visible through its anti-reflective sapphire crystal is a deep black dial with triangular lumed indexes at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, round lumed indexes, and lumed hands, offering great legibility. Surrounding the dial is a polished knurled edge unidirectional dive bezel with sharp teeth that make it easy to grip and an anodized insert in black with silver contrasting numbers and markings.

With a case diameter of 37mm, a thickness of only 10.77mm, and 100m of water resistance, this makes it one of the very few tool/dive watches on the market with sleek and classical proportions, much like the on-trend Tudor Black Bay 54. Priced at only $595 on a bracelet, it really does less to achieve more.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Titanium (ref. H77805335)

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Titanium (ref. H77805335)

The Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Titanium (H77805335) is another variant within the collection to evolve the concept of the original and historic BUSHIPS Frogman models. Hamilton makes its history proud by giving us a no-compromise, hardcore, and very modern Frogman, with 1000m of water resistance.

46mm in diameter, and 15.95mm in thickness, this is a watch meant to be imposing and sporty on any wrist to be a thorough diving instrument. Yet, its heft is masked by the usage of titanium (exclusive to this model) and a rubber strap, making for a lightweight and comfortable wearing experience.

Sharing its design language with the original Frogman, its case features a ratcheting crown protector, a modern reinterpretation of the canteen-style crown used in the old days. 

High legibility is also a must for the hardcore frogman, and under its anti-reflective sapphire crystal, you will discover a bare metal black sunburst dial with a mix of triangular lume indexes at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, a 12-hour lumed index, baton lumed indexes to make up the rest of the hours, and lumed hands with hints of red to match the bezel. 

Also visible is a date window at 4.30. Surrounding the dial is a dive bezel with notches for easy gripping underwater, with an anodized red bezel insert consisting of contrasting silver markings and a lume pip at zero. Equipped with the H10 movement and 80-hour power reserve, priced at $1,445, this is a true value-for-money modern hyper-diving instrument with a historic lineage.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Sub Auto (ref. H78615135)

Hamilton Khaki Navy Sub Auto (ref. H78615135)

The Hamilton Khaki Navy Sub Auto (H78615135) stands out as an integrated bracelet dive watch design that takes inspiration from one of its most iconic and historic models, the 1928 Piping Rock – a model presented to the New York Yankees in celebration of their World Series win in 1928. 

Rated with 300m water resistance, it has a 42mm diameter and 13.5mm thick tonneau-shaped case with no crown guards that integrate beautifully into an ingenious H-link bracelet. The watch is fully satin-brushed-finished, including its unidirectional dive bezel featuring black contrasts and a lume pip at zero, giving it a rugged vibe. 

Under the anti-reflective sapphire is a unique dial to discover in gloss black, with a carbon fiber weave pattern at the center, lumed Breguet numerals, lumed batons at 3 and 6 o’clock, and a lumed 0 numeral to indicate the 12th hour. 

The watch comes equipped with a caliber 2824-2 movement offering a 48-hour power reserve and a date function visible at 6 o’clock. This model is now discontinued and was originally priced at approximately $1,150. This Avantgarde dive watch proves that Hamilton can do dive watches differently and not follow the norm. 

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto Syroco Special Edition (ref. H82385340)

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto Syroco Special Edition (ref. H82385340)

The Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto Syroco Special Edition (H82385340) was created to honor Hamilton’s partnership with Syroco. The core of the Syroco project is to create a cutting-edge wind-powered speed craft intending to surpass the sailing speed record while learning about and developing a future in carbon-free maritime transportation. 

The Khaki Navy Scuba Auto stands out as the most versatile offering within Hamilton’s dive watch collection, this makes it the ideal choice to induce a funky choice of colors and design language as a highlight of the project. 

It features a 40mm fully satin-brushed case with crown guards, a polished, signed crown, and a thickness of 12.95mm (making it waterproof to 100m), attached to a bright blue rubber strap. Under its anti-reflective-sapphire-crystal is a bright blue dial with a sector-like motif to symbolize the project’s target speed of 150 km/h. 

The dial also features minute/seconds graduations and a second hand in contrasting high visibility orange, lume-filled hour indexes with triangular markers at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock, and baton-filled lume indexes for the rest of the hours to make for a legible dial configuration.

Surrounding the dial is a polished knurled edge dive bezel with an anodized blue insert to match the dial and strap, with contrasting silver markings. 

Priced at $795 (housing an H10 movement with 80-hour power reserve) with an association to speed and the choice of daring colors to suit the nautical theme, makes it one of the best summer-ready dive watches under $1,000.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Seaview Auto Chrono (ref. H37616331)

Hamilton Jazzmaster Seaview Auto Chrono (ref. H37616331)

Hamilton is able to express its modern design language with the inclusion of the Jazzmaster collection. The Jazzmaster Seaview Auto Chrono H37616331 expands on this dynamic by marrying the contemporary chronograph with the functionality of a divers watch.

As a 44mm diving chronograph on an integrated rubber strap, it is an imposing sporty yet high-end-looking watch on the wrist. It sports a unique case shape with protruding beveled lugs and teardrop-shaped chronograph pushers, handsomely combining satin-brushed finishing with polished bevels. Its knurled edge dive bezel is in full steel, with a mix of brushed and polished surfaces and compass-inspired indications. 

Under its sapphire crystal, the watch is made legible through high polish contrasting markers on its sunburst black dial. It is luxuriously detailed with the usage of a silver carbon fiber pattern on its second and minute chronograph sub-dials. At the same time, another black carbon fiber pattern is at the center of the dial to create a sector dial look. 

Under its skin is a movement based on the legendary Valjoux-7750. Currently priced at $2,045, this is a feature-packed ultra-luxury-look-sports-dive-watch with the most iconic and proven automatic chronograph movement, making it a very novel dive watch offering.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Auto Black (ref. H77845330)

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Auto Black (ref. H77845330)

Just like the other Khaki Navy Frogman Auto 46mm mentioned earlier in this article, this model is identical and shares the same inspiration from the original BUSHIPS/Frogman models, with a modern case, movement, and newer interpretation of the canteen-style crown protector.

The unique aspect of this Khaki Navy Frogman Auto (H77845330) is that it’s fully blacked out in DLC. With a case size of 46mm and a thickness of 13.58mm, attached to a wave pattern tactical rubber strap, it makes for a wearable timepiece.

Its sporty modern case, rugged dive bezel, and detachable Panerai-esque crown protector give the watch its military aesthetic. Under its anti-reflective sapphire crystal, it sports a sandblasted black dial consisting of a 12 o’clock marker and baton indexes layout familiar to most serious dive watches for ultimate legibility.

Its hands and indexes feature black lume and can create an optical illusion to the eye by looking skeletonized. The only contrasting element on this watch is the usage of orange for the minute hand and a lume triangle on the second hand.

With 300m of water resistance, equipped with the H10 movement giving it an 80-hour power reserve, Hamilton proudly dubs this their most capable dive watch. With the all-black treatment, it’s a mean-looking dive watch offering, with a credible history, that can be had at $1,295.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Sub Auto Chrono (ref. H78716333)

Hamilton Khaki Navy Sub Auto Chrono (ref. H78716333)

The Hamilton Khaki Navy Sub Auto Chrono (H78716333) is a tonneau-shaped chrono-diver inspired by the design of iconic and historic models like the 1928 Piping Rock. Its chronograph functionality is thanks to the ETA-owned, legendary Valjoux 7750 base and sports the 3-subdial layout of the 7753 with a date window at 4.30.

This is yet another imposing chronograph from the brand, with a case size of 43mm and a thickness of 16.5mm. Thanks to its tonneau-shaped case and integrated rubber strap, it is clearly a watch that stands out amongst the straight-lug sport dive watch designs common to many brands.

Its main highlight as a diving chronograph is its use of Rolex-Daytona-esque screw-in chronograph pushers, allowing for 300m of water resistance. The watch is finished entirely in satin brushing, therefore making it more impervious to scratches and giving it a tool-like aesthetic. Its dive bezel insert is also in full satin-brushed steel with contrasting black markers and a black surround with teeth for easy gripping underwater. 

Under its anti-reflective sapphire crystal is a racing-styled black dial with a carbon fiber pattern at the center. It uses lumed Breguet style numerals, with a 0 in place of a 12 index, and lumed hour, minute, and second hands.

There is a slight tinge of red used on the second chronograph hand and around the lume on the edge of its second hand, uplifting its racing-styled dial ever so slightly. This model is now discontinued and had an original retail price of approximately $2,250.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Quartz White Dial (ref. H82221110)

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Quartz White Dial (ref. H82221110)

The Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Quartz (H82221110) takes on Hamilton’s most versatile and contemporary dive watch layout and adds a bit of femininity by replacing its anodized dive bezel insert with an elegant white ceramic with a matching white dial.

At 37mm in diameter, 10.77mm in thickness, and with a water resistance of 100m, this is a true dive watch from Hamilton that would appeal to the unisex buyer. Its sports-dive case adopts the popular layout with crown guards and full satin-brushed finishing.

It is mated to a substantial, three-link, satin brushed bracelet, with polished facets on its center links, utilizing a twin trigger satin brushed deployant clasp with a polished beveled edge. Its white dial features triangular lumed markers at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock and round lumed plots for the rest of the dial.

This gives it a tool watch layout, and with no date, it appears clean and easy to read. At the center of the dial is the inclusion of a 24-hour scale, a nod to Hamilton’s military background. Priced at $675, and thanks to its quartz movement, this is an elegant and capable dive watch offering delicate dimensions best suited to delicate wrists.

Hamilton Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO Tenet Limited Edition (ref. H78505331)

The Hamilton Khaki BeLOWZERO sees subtle customization to become an official Tenet Limited Edition (H7505331), inspired by the plot of the sci-fi action film Tenet (2020), written and directed by Christopher Nolan, a leading filmmaker of the 21st century. The watch comes in two colorways, blue or red, which contain clues to the film’s narrative.

The BeLOWZERO can be described as a futuristic industrial diver. As a testament to this, it has seen itself involved in the script of two blockbuster films set in the future, also set in the harshest of environments. It has a 46mm cushion-shaped case, with hexagonal screws on all four corners of its case to give it a rugged aesthetic. 

It is 15.7mm thick but can be forgiven for its incredible 1,000m of water resistance. The heft is masked by its DLC titanium case construction, making for a wearable watch on its contouring rubber strap protected by double-stamped lugs. 

The case also features unique crown guards that blend into the case, as well as a robust dive bezel. Under its anti-reflective sapphire crystal is a matte black dial with large Breguet style numerals in black lume, with the 12 numeral replaced for a 0. 

What is unique about this Limited Edition watch is the customization of its second hand, with a tip in either blue or red. As a result, it also comes with a matching blue or red spherical crystal-like display case designed by Nathan Crowley, the production designer of Tenet. Each colorway was limited to 888 pieces at a retail price of $2,095.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Seaview Quartz Chronograph (ref. H37512131)

Hamilton Jazzmaster Seaview Quartz Chronograph (ref. H37512131)

The Hamilton Jazzmaster Seaview Quartz Chronograph (H37512131) is the dressiest model within this list of dive watches. Its 100m water resistance is masked by an elegant high polish design that is suitable for the gala and need not be taken off at the late-night pool party.

With a case size of 44mm and a thickness of 12.6mm, it marries its large size with slim proportions thanks to its quartz caliber. Its sports-inspired case is made elegant with protruding large polished beveled lugs, polished teardrop-shaped chronograph pushers, and a polished, signed crown. 

It is attached to a three-link Oyster-style bracelet, with satin brushed center links and high polished outer links. Under its sapphire crystal is a 3-register chronograph black dial with diamond-shaped indexes and a rounded date window at 4.30. Adding to its dive watch functionality, it sports full lume on its indexes and hands, with a polished coin edge black insert dive bezel. 

Adding to the charm and allure of this timepiece, in the 2020 movie Tenet, John David Washington is seen sporting the watch on his wrist throughout the film. His on-screen personality and elegant style were a great match and a testament to its versatile design. This model is now discontinued and had an original retail price of approximately $1,100, and it can be found on the secondary market at a discount, making it great value for money.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto Green Dial (ref. H82375161)

Hamilton Khaki Navy Scuba Auto Green Dial (ref. H82375161)

The Khaki Navy Scuba Auto (H82375161) once again uses Hamilton’s most versatile and popular dive watch configuration and gives it the hottest colorway of this decade, featuring a khaki green dial and dive bezel.

Equipped with a 40mm case, 12.95mm of thickness, on a solid three-link steel bracelet, this watch meets the gold standards of the modern wearable dive watch. Finished like a high-end tool watch, it has a full satin-brushed crown guard equipped case with a polished signed crown attached to a satin-brushed bracelet with polished bevels on its center links and a satin-brushed clasp with crisp polished beveling. 

Reminiscent of models in a much higher price category. It features an easy-to-grip polished knurled edge dive bezel, with a khaki green insert consisting of black for the first 15-minute indications. Under its anti-reflective sapphire crystal is a dial resembling the expected highly legible dive watch format, with large triangular markers at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock.

There’s a date window at 4.30 for added practicality. Priced at $795, with an 80-hour power reserve, this is an exquisite green diver execution from a brand with a history in tool watches.

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Auto 42mm (ref. H77605135)

Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman Auto 42mm (ref. H77605135)

For those who want more, we have a “more wearable” Frogman, the Hamilton  Khaki Navy Frogman Auto 42mm (H77605135). This watch has legitimate dive watch history, which can be seen by the ratcheting crown guard protector, an innovation of Hamilton’s original BUSHIPS Frogman models. 

This crown guard gives the wearable watch something tactical and functional under a hardcore diving situation or when diving under a desk. That being said, its wearable 42mm sports dive case attached to an Oyster-style three-link bracelet with polished center links makes it fantastically versatile for daily use.

This model comes equipped with a notched dive bezel with a black insert, contrasting numerals, and a lume pip at 12 for easy usability and readability. Under its anti-reflective sapphire crystal is a black sunburst dial with a lumed 12 index, triangular lumed indexes at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, lumed rectangular indexes for the rest of the numerals, and lumed hands with a pip of red on the second hand, making for a highly legible and recognizable dial.

For added functionality, there is a date window at 4.30. Equipped with the 80-hour power reserve H10 movement and priced at $1,095, this would make the perfect choice for a one-watch collection.


Today, Hamilton is in a great position to offer a wide selection of divers and has built a formidable dive watch collection to solidify its interest in providing the best value-for-money luxury diver watch. With reliable movement technology from ETA, being a mutual brand owned by the Swatch Group, Hamilton is a force amongst equally priced watch brands. 

It has transformed its success to push the envelope in modern innovation and continues to evolve its historic models, giving the brand a lot of attention within the dive watch space. Hamilton’s long relationship with on-screen appearances adds a depth of relatability and a premium identity to the brand in the modern age.

15 valjoux 7750 watches list

The venerable and humble Valjoux 7750 is the widespread beating heart of many self-winding-chronograph watches. As a result of groundbreaking engineering, it has proven to be an immortal movement that is easy to service, reliable, accurate, universally sized, heavily modifiable, and even cloned by movement manufacturer Sellita to make the SW-500 (to meet the demand for non-ETA exclusive watchmakers).

The 7750 is the world’s most popular self-winding-chronograph movement, still very relevant today under the arm of ETA; the Valjoux 7750 has been the horological lifeblood of many brands since before and after the Quartz crisis – thus enabling a formidable comeback from the mechanical watch industry due to its allure as an affordable well-designed platform that allowed for many complications and levels of finishing to be offered by its adopters. We are excited to discuss 15 of the best Valjoux 7750 watches that you can get your hands on today.

About The Valjoux 7750

The race from many tycoons in the watch industry to invent the first self-winding chronograph made 1969 a revolutionary year for watchmaking. The Calibre-11 was the first to achieve this status, a manifestation of a collaboration between Heuer, Breitling, Hamilton, and chronograph specialist Dépraz & Co., followed by Seiko with the 6139 and Zenith with the over-engineered and rather excellent El Primero; all simultaneous releases within the year. 

The age of the self-winding chronograph had begun, and Valjoux took notice, seeking to offer such technology in vast numbers. The manual-wind Valjoux 7733 was the foundation; a young Edmon Capt was tasked with turning it into a self-winding chronograph.

With a tight development timeline, the Valjoux 7750 would be the first movement to have its workings simulated on a computer and would go on sale in 1973 amidst the Quartz crisis. It proved popular, selling in 6-figure numbers but would soon be impacted by rapidly dying sales due to the Quartz and digital watch market craze – at its peak in 1975. 

Similar to the fate of the El Primero, Valjoux’s senior management ordered the destruction of machinery, drawings, and tooling for the 7750 – an order which Edmon Capt chose to disobey and was thereby able to find means of protecting his creation for a brighter, longer future. 

Following Valjoux’s consolidation by ETA in the 80s, mechanical watches finally saw a revival of interest. This allowed for the return of the 7750, which required little to no reworking since its inception. Affordable, serviceable, reliable, universally sized, and modifiable, it became the popular choice for many brands in recovery, dawning on a renaissance of mechanical watchmaking.  

The Valjoux 7750 movement architecture utilized levers and an oblong-shaped cam which was easier to mass-manufacture than its column wheel-operated cousins. It also used a unidirectional winding rotor that allowed for faster winding and no dead zone in rotor movement, with the winding system always engaged. 

Its notorious quirk was its rotor wobble. Here we have an industrial movement at 7.9mm thick, with a self-winding chronograph, hacking seconds, compatible with a date and day wheel, available and affordable for many watch manufacturers to adopt rather than an engineer on their own at great expense.

/ETA also offered more complicated versions of the 7750, like the 7751, which had a full calendar and moon-phase display, and a 7753 with the sub-dials positioned at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock rather than a vertical layout. 

Due to its modifying potential, some movement specialists chose to incorporate a column wheel mechanism, which proved less expensive than acquiring a movement developed to incorporate one. IWC also took a liking to the movement, and Kurt Klaus used it as a base for what would become the legendary Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in 1985. 

Its success with IWC didn’t end, as Richard Habring followed suit by creating a split-seconds chronograph out of the 7750 that would eventually be turned into the 125th anniversary Destriero Scafusia. This grand complication combined a split-seconds-chronograph, flying tourbillion, and minute repeater. 

ETA also went on to devise its own version of a column wheel controlled 7550, which was the Longines Caliber-L688, which Omega later used as its base for the Co-Axial Caliber-3300. All of this is a testament to the 7750’s wide and favored adoption to date.

The Best Valjoux 7750 Watches

Tissot PRX Chronograph (ref. T137.427.11.041.00) (Valjoux A05.H31, based on the Valjoux 7753)

Tissot PRX Chronograph (ref. T137.427.11.041.00)

Under the current premise that the watch world is notoriously hyped for integrated bracelet luxury sports watches, Tissot has been widely recognized for positioning its PRX lineup as a budget-friendly alternative. Its cohesive case and bracelet design, adding to that a lineage dating back to the original era in the 70s, has made the PRX the prime choice for watch enthusiasts wanting to enjoy high horology levels of design. 

In 2022, Tissot was able to offer the PRX Chronograph with the proven Valjoux 7753 seen through its display caseback, with a 60hr power reserve, the classic 3, 6, and 9 o’clock chronograph layout, a date between 4 and 5 o’clock, 100m water resistance and a 2-year warranty. 

Available in 3 sunburst dial variations blue, white with blue subdials, and white with black subdials and gilt indices/hands. Priced at $1,825 on a quick-release interchangeable steel bracelet.

Sized at 42mm in diameter and 14.5 millimeters thick, with an overall brushed finish and polishing on its case flanks, sloping bezel, pushers, and crown; and the availability of panda-esque Royal Oak Chronograph inspired dial configurations to make this a very stylish and wearable sports watch, in addition to its great value offering.

Omega Speedmaster Date 40 (ref. 3210.50.00) (Omega Caliber 1164, based on the Valjoux 7750)

Omega Speedmaster Date 40 (ref. 3210.50.00)

For those that desire the storied heritage of the greatest journey of mankind, and a budget-friendly smaller Moonwatch, with self-winding, a date complication, and most importantly, 100m of water resistance, look no further than this watch.

The Speedmaster Date 40 is an offering that punches hard above its weight class, housing the Chronometer Certified Caliber 1164 based on the 7750 with a 44hr power reserve. 40mm in diameter and 15.2mm thick, the Speedmaster Date 40 lends a few design elements of the Speedmaster Professional (1861).

These include an identically-finished lyre lug case profile and bracelet design, a tachymeter bezel that comes in black anodized aluminum, and a double-finished black dial with a metallic grain at the center. Alongside these are appliqué indices and the Omega logo, a vertical subdial layout as a result of its 7750 movement architecture, and a frame around the date window.

This model is now discontinued and had an original retail price of $3,500. It is half the price of the current Speedmaster Professional and, therefore, an incredible value alternative due to its 7750-based caliber, making it better sized for smaller wrists, with added functionality to boot.

Hamilton Intra-Matic Chronograph H (ref. H38429730) (Hamilton H-51 movement based on the ETA/Valjoux caliber 7753)

Hamilton Intra-Matic Chronograph H (ref. H38429730)

The Hamilton Intra-Matic Chronograph H is a modern remaster of the original 1968 model, with promising potential to retain the elegance of its predecessors and none of the drawbacks associated with wearing a vintage piece. As of 2021, the Intra-Matic Chronograph received further refinement, now offered in 40mm with a manual-wind movement allowing for a marginally slimmer case (0.3mm) than its automatic counterpart. 

By doing away with the hand-wound movement, this model offers further interaction and feeling for the vintage enthusiast it targets. This also allows it to have a flatter case back and less clearance between the dial and the domed sapphire, leaning onto a much cleaner overall aesthetic.

The Intra-Matic uses the 7753 for a simple classic dual subdial layout with no date. It comes in two vintage-inspired panda-dial variants; a plain black dial with off-white subdials or an off-white dial with black subdials and faux patina lume on its hands and indexes. 

With a two-year warranty, 100m water resistance, and a 60hr power reserve, priced at $2,045 on a leather ($2,095 on a Milanese bracelet), this is a truly authentic vintage chronograph experience to be enjoyed at an affordable price point, with modern-day conveniences.

Breitling Navitimer (ref. A2332212/C586) (Breitling B23 movement, based on the Valjoux 7753)

Breitling Navitimer (ref. A2332212/C586)

Following the post-war commercial aviation boom, the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association pressured Brietling to create the Navitimer in 1952, now a monumental model in its lineup. With the help of the then-revolutionary slide rule bezel, the Navitimer became the first flight calculator, calibrated for all necessary flight calculations, such as ground speed, airspeed, drift, rate of climb, and fuel consumption. Not limited to the sky, it could also convert miles to kilometers, Fahrenheit to Celsius, or dollars to euros.

The Navitimer (ref. A2332212/C586) produced between 2003-2011, with a practical 41.8mm diameter and 14.6mm case, used the 7753 as a base for its 42hr COSC-Certified Movement. This model was offered in a deep navy blue, as well as black or white dial variations with the typical 3 subdial layout thanks to the architecture of the 7753, and a date complication between 4 and 5 o’clock. 

It was originally priced at $9,000 on a bracelet and is currently up to $6,000 on the secondary market. Its availability is a true testament to the vast takeover of the 7750/7753 base. As the Navitimer in 1969 was one of the first watches to house an automatic chronograph caliber, it needed to come full circle to adopt the Valjoux for the sake of its own survival.

Tissot Heritage 1973 (ref. T124.427.16.051.00) (A05.H31 movement based on the Valjoux 7753)

Tissot Heritage 1973 (ref. T124.427.16.051.00)

During the 70s, Tissot featured as a sponsor in F1, with Swiss ambassador and Brabham driver Lorris Kessel. Back then, he wore the Navigator 1973, a watch designed during the golden age of motorsport, when racing drivers needed timing instruments on their wrists. 

In 2019, Tissot celebrated its racing history with the revival of the Navigator, releasing the Heritage 1973, a modern interpretation of the original, limited to 1,973 pieces. Following this, they released a second iteration in 2021 as a mainstay in the collection, offered in 3 color variants, those being white, blue, or black.

Aesthetically belonging to the exclusive club of the 70s-inspired vintage racing chronographs, it sports a modern-sized 43mm cushion-shaped case with satin-brushed surfaces and polished bevels, mushroom-style pushers, and a perforated leather strap (invented by Tissot in 1975). 

The dial is also changed from the original, now with the sub-dials positioned at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock rather than a vertical layout, and a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock, thanks to the layout of the 7753 (visible through a transparent caseback) with a 60hr power reserve.

Carried forward from the original is the panda color dial configuration, with pops of 70s orange, and exclusive to the newest model, a minor touch of bright blue on the 30-minute elapsed counter between 0 and 5. It has a domed sapphire crystal, unlike the acrylic of the original. Priced at $2,175, with a two-year warranty and 100m water resistance, the Heritage-1973 has all the hallmarks of a great vintage racing watch revival.

IWC Pilot Top Gun (ref. IW3891-01) (IWC Caliber 69380, based on The Valjoux 7750)

IWC Pilot Top Gun (ref. IW3891-01)

IWC was an early pioneer in developing timekeeping instruments that catered to the needs of aviators. Its first Pilots Chronographs, often referred to as the ‘Flieger Chronographs’ were launched in 1988, including a self-winding model that housed a caliber based on the 7750. Decades later, still proving to be up to the task.

The Top Gun collection has been an integral part of IWC’s Pilot watch lineup since 2007, flexing its usage of advanced materials and giving them a distinctive tactical look and feel. 

To celebrate its close association with naval aviation, in 2019, we saw the release of the IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun IW3891-01, still using a heavily modified column wheel chronograph movement based on the 7750 and still adopting the 3 vertical subdial layouts and a day/date window at 3 o’clock, that the model is famous for.

This model features a 44.5mm diameter black ceramic case on a black textile strap, a matching matte black dial with concentric grooves visible on the subdials, a matte black hour and minute hands, and a black day & date window. It has contrasting white Arabic indices, markings, lume, and chronograph seconds hand, with a pop of red on the running second’s hand. 

Attached to the case are brushed steel pushers and a screw-in-crown allowing for 60m of water resistance. Priced at $8,950, this watch is a proven icon with looks ready for any dogfight.

TAG Heuer Carrera (ref. CBK2110.BA0715) (Caliber 16, based on the Valjoux 7750)

TAG Heuer Carrera (ref. CBK2110.BA0715)

The Carrera is easily one of the most iconic racing chronographs to date, with a rich and storied history dating back to the 60s and 70s when Heuer was at the helm of racing timekeeping instruments. Post Quartz crisis, the Carrera was brought back by Tag Heuer in 1996, a mainstay in their collection since 2006, and it adopted the Caliber 16 (42hr power reserve) based on the 7750. 

Unlike the original Carrera that featured the first self-winding chronograph movement (Calibre 11), it would now adopt 3 vertical subdials with a date window at 3 o’clock as a result of its movement based on the 7750 (visible through a transparent caseback), with a 42-hour power reserve.

The CBK2110.BA0715 features a matte black dial with polished hands, indexes, a frame around the date window, and an applied Tag Heuer logo. This particular reference had its own time in the spotlight, worn by Kevin Bacon in the movie ‘You Should Have Left (2020)’.

Not owing too much to its racing history, it leans more towards elegance than sportiness, striking a good balance for daily wear with its high finish (41mm) case and bracelet and 100m water resistance. This model is currently discontinued and had an original retail price of $4,600. Secondary market prices can be found up to approximately $4000, depending on the condition.

Longines Master Collection Complete Calendar Chronograph (ref. L2.773.4.78.5) (Caliber L687.2 based on the Valjoux 7751)

Longines Master Collection Complete Calendar Chronograph (ref. L2.773.4.78.5)

The Master Collection, launched in 2005, pays tribute to Longines’ rich heritage in traditional and classical watchmaking. The halo model of the collection, the Complete Calendar Chronograph Moonphase, offers high complication at a value focussed price point. 

This is done with the help of a movement based on the 7751(visible through its transparent caseback, with a 48hr power reserve), a multifunctional caliber based on the 7750. Adding complications such as a full moon phase indicator at 6 o’clock, a central pointer date hand pointing at the date on the outer periphery of the dial, day of the week and month windows at 12 o’clock, and a 24-hour hand at 9 o’clock.

It features a classic high-polish 40mm case with a rounded bezel and soft lines, overall contributing to a dressier feel and doing well to mask its high complication caliber. It has ‘old world’ looking pushers and a stamped crown. The dial is clean and uncluttered in silver barleycorn, with a stamped Clous de Paris style guilloché on the main level and concentric grooves on the subdials.

It has blued legible hands and vintage-style Arabic numerals printed well enough to look applied. Priced at $3,550 on a brown alligator strap with a luxurious twin trigger deployant clasp. For those seeking a complication dress watch on a budget, Longines is well-calibrated to deliver high sophistication and refinement.

Hublot Big Bang (ref. 301.SX.130.RX) (Caliber HUB4100, based on the Valjoux 7753)

Hublot Big Bang (ref. 301.SX.130.RX)

The launch of the Big Bang in 2005 marked the rebirth of Hublot under Jean-Claude Bivers’ leadership. With the 7753-based 42hr power reserve workhorse movement (visible through its transparent caseback), and quite a bit of hype (or incredible marketing), it could compete with the greats from which it took inspiration. 

Given the high horology inspiration, and Art of Fusion Concept, the Big Bang appears to have all the necessary hallmarks of a niche high-end timepiece while having a strikingly modern, sporty, and racy design language.

The 301.SX.130.RX has a 44mm case with contrasting satin-brushed and polished surfaces. It sports a sandwich construction with composite inserts at the sides to give an architectural look. Polished finishing continues on the crown and pushers with rubber outboard.

Rubber is also used for the strap, Hublot being the early pioneer of using the sporty material on a luxury sports watch. Its bezel, inspired by the porthole of a submarine, is satin and highly polished with distinctive Hublot H-sectioned screws.

To complete its look, we have a matte black dial with polished appliqué indices and hands (lumed) and a contrasting red chronograph seconds hand, minute/seconds track, and subdial track for the minutes and hours. It retains the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock layout of the 7753 with a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock.

Priced at $12,900 retail, and approximately $8,500 pre-owned, it is a 100m waterproof luxury sports watch that still compares well against its highly-praised cousins who might not share the same specifications, price point, or sporty design.

Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope (ref. 27/4008.02) (J880.2 movement based on the Valjoux 7750)

Junghans Max Bill Chronoscope (ref. 27/4008.02)

The German watchmaker, Junghans, is popularly known for its commitment and genuine history with the Bauhaus design language. An artistic ideology that form follows function. Max Bill, a Swiss artist and former student of Bauhaus in Dessau 1927-1929, was tasked by Junghans to create a collection of watches in 1961 of Bauhaus influence, following the great success of its Max Bill kitchen clock.

The Design of the Max Bill Chronoscope carries forward its design language from the 60s as a modern offering, housing a movement based on the 7750 with a 42hr power reserve. Its 40mm almost pebble-shaped steel case is coated in matte anthracite PVD, has short lugs (which makes it very wearable), uses piston-style pushers, and has a thin bezel offering a generous view of its matte white dial.

It ditches the running seconds for just two vertically aligned subdials for symmetry. Grey is used for the minute/seconds track and subdials markings, with black environmentally friendly lumed Arabic numerals that match the font of Max Bill’s original kitchen clock. We also have matte black hands, with the hours and minutes being curved and lumed.

At 3 o’clock are two beveled apertures for the day and date, and for symmetry at 9 o’clock, its name is inscribed on the dial. Another compliment to its dial and case design is the usage of a domed sapphire. Priced at $2095, unhindered by any ornamentation, it is a minimalist, functional, and legible chronograph that stands on its own in the market.

Sinn 103 St Sa (ref. 103.061) (Valjoux 7750)

Sinn 103 St Sa (ref. 103.061)

German tool-watchmaker Sinn is a fan favorite for its profound dedication to making pilots watches. Founder Helmut Sinn himself was a former World War II pilot and used his experience in aviation to manufacture clocks and pilot’s chronographs.

The Sinn 103 Pilots Chronograph carries its design from the golden age of pilot watches in the 60s when the original 103 saw its release. With the dawn of the Quartz Crisis, this humble period would induce harmony among watchmakers, who would share or purchase components from each other.

Hence, this is why the original 103 shares the same case and many components with the original LeCoultre, Brequet, Mathey-Tissot, and Breguet models from the era. The Sinn 103 as we know it today was remastered in 1993, with an automatic chronograph caliber based on the robust 7750 (48 hours power reserve).

The Sinn 103 St Sa has a high polish 41mm case with a thickness of 17.2mm. It does well to mask its thickness with its sloping lugs and rounded display case back. Using the 7750 vertical 3 subdial layout and a day/date window at 3 o’clock, it has a lumed dial in solid black with contrasting white Arabic numerals, markings, and hands (syringe style for the minutes and hours).

Complementing the dial is a domed ‘sapphire crystal’ (unlike on standard 103 models). It has attractive screw-in pushers like those found on a Daytona and a ratcheting anodized black unidirectional diving bezel with a triangular loom pip at 0.

One of the most notable features of this model as a chronograph is its impeccable water resistance of 200m. Priced at approximately $2,700 on a solid end-link bracelet, this is a proven feature-packed, legible, and timeless design built like a tank for the cockpit.

Damasko DC56 Black (Valjoux 7750 Elaboré)

Damasko DC56 Black

Damasko, formed in 1994, is a relatively young German tool-watch manufacturer with a history of developing high-performance materials and technology for the aviation industry and hardened watchcases for Sinn until 2002. 

Catered to innovating in-house with new materials and processes, its main focus is to be affordable while engineering the toughest tool-watches on the market. A testament to its capabilities, its DC56 would go on to being the official watch of German Eurofighter Pilots since 2007.

The DC56 Black is simply put, a blacked out version of the standard model. It has a Black Damest-Coated, Ice-hardened steel case, 40mm in diameter, with a thickness of only 13.8mm; such tight tolerances are difficult to find from a brawn tool-watch housing the tall 7750 caliber (48hr-power-reserve). 

Attached to its muscular profiled case are matching black pushers with a crown guard perfectly integrating to SR71Blackits sharp lugs. It has a 7750 layout matte black dial with contrasting white hands, Arabic numerals, date/date display, and generous usage of lume on the hands and numerals, making for impeccable legibility.

To match perfectly with its case and dial, it comes on a tumbled calfskin leather strap with contrasting white stitching. Priced at $2,100, this is a refreshingly new take on a tool watch without history to hold Damasko back from creating this monster of a watch.

Tissot Telemeter 1938 (ref. T142.462.16.032.00) (A05.231 movement based on the Valjoux 7753)

Tissot Telemeter 1938 (ref. T142.462.16.032.00)

In 2022 Tissot added to its trending heritage collection with the launch of the ‘Telemeter 1938’, a watch that takes inspiration deep from its archives in the late 1930s. It would feature a chronograph complication, with a telemeter scale that can be used to calculate distance based on time, using a movement based on the 7753 (visible through a transparent caseback), giving it a bicompax layout, and a 68hr power reserve.

As an attribute to the large but proven movement, it has a case diameter of 42mm and a thickness of 14mm, making it a wearable yet sporty classic dress watch on an embossed tapering leather strap with a deployment clasp. Its case design features fully polished surfaces, curved lugs, nearly vertical case flanks,  a sloping bezel, a signed crown (allowing for 30m water resistance), and oval pushers, enabling easy functionality. 

The best aspect of this model is its remastered telemeter dial, offered in two variants; a gloss black with gilt indices/markings/hands or a more legible silver dial with blue, red, and black printed markings/indices and contrasting blued hands. Priced at $1,950, this is a fine novelty from Tissot that combines old-world looks with modern-day functionality.

Oris Artelier Chronograph (ref. 01 676 7603 4054-07 5 22 71FC) (Oris Caliber 676, based on the 7753)

Oris Artelier Chronograph (ref. 01 676 7603 4054-07 5 22 71FC)

The Artelier collection is where Oris continues to push contemporary design while leaning towards a dressier aesthetic from the brand. The Oris Artelier Chronograph does just that by encompassing daring and elegant design traits while relying on the capable 7753 (visible through a transparent caseback, with a 44hr power reserve) to offer us an affordable yet high-finish complication dress watch.

Among many others that use the Valjoux base, this is also a complicated dress watch with sportier dimensions. It features a 43.5mm high polish case with long lugs and a rounded bezel. Attached to its case are unique mushroom pushers and a large knurled crown (offering 30m water resistance). 

Continuing the polished aesthetic is a predominantly shiny guilloche grey dial and subdials (3, 6, and 9 o ‘clock layout), with  black contrasts for legibility, a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock, and polished, sharp-looking indices/hands.

Optional is a multilink bracelet (as opposed to calfskin leather), which cohesively compliments the sporty yet elegant design of the watch. This model is now discontinued and was priced at under $3,000 retail.

Hamilton Pan Europ Auto Chrono (ref. H35756755) (Caliber H31, based on the 7753)

Hamilton Pan Europ Auto Chrono (ref. H35756755)

The Hamilton Pan Europ has a significant history with relevance to the self-winding chronograph movement. The original housed the iconic first self-winding movement, the Caliber 11, only to follow up nearly half a century later with its re-release, made possible with the usage of a caliber based on the 7753 (with 60 hr power reserve).

As with many heritage remakes using a modern caliber, the Pan Europ Chrono now features a modern-sized case measuring 45mm, with a thickness of 15mm (with 100m water resistance). Maintained is the original aesthetic in the form of its design; its case features a cushion shape in a satin finish with polished bevels accentuating its curves. 

Attached to the case are polished pump pushers and a polished, signed crown at 3 o’clock rather than 9. Feature-packed for its time, it features a handy unidirectional turning bezel finished in anodized black. The dial layout is also faithful to the original, with a bicompax layout, and a date window at 6 o’clock to make for good symmetry and legibility. 

Available in a choice of black or silver dials, it adopts a high-contrast look, with red subdial and chronograph hands adding a pop of color and a sense of speed. This model is now discontinued, with an original retail price of approximately $1,950. It is a sensibly designed modern throwback with specifications to rival watches nearly twice its price point.


As the movement that democratized the self-winding chronograph for everyday people to afford, the modern watch industry would look very different without the Valjoux 7750 caliber. It has had a significant impact on the appreciation and widespread adoption of mechanical complications through the most difficult times into the current era, which appreciates this pursuit as an art form. 

Today the Valjoux 7750 is referred to as the ETA 7750 and has become increasingly exclusive to brands under the Swatch Group umbrella. While it still offers great value and is an important part of the lineage of many iconic models, its dependability has forced other manufacturers to clone the complication for its continued usage. Half a century since its inception, it is still considered an engineering marvel of significant importance to the watch industry.

do hamilton watches hold their value

During the last decade, the watch market has seen a meteoric rise. The sudden increase in value, demand, and hype comes as a result of watch lovers’ and speculators’ better awareness about the rarity, heritage, design, quality, and enjoyment of vintage, unique, low production, and haute horlogerie watches (that were once undervalued) now have to offer the world.

All this is thanks to the greater access to watch media (social media) – an industry still in its infancy. How would this impact Hamilton watches? When an industry is flourishing, as it has recently been in the case of the watch industry, it enables many more potential customers to find the confidence to invest in a watch, with an expectation of retaining or growing their investment over time. 

As an entry-level mechanical tool watch brand, a Hamilton watch is an option that has crossed many enthusiasts’ minds due to its competitive price point ($500-$3,000), timeless designs, reliable movements, and meaningful history dating back to the era of American industrialization.

About Hamilton Watches

Oris vs Hamilton

Hamilton, originally an American brand established in 1892, spent its first 111 years as an American timekeeping instrument manufacturer taking on the Swiss. As the local Railroad industry was booming in the late 19th century, accurate timekeeping devices were needed to synchronize timing on the rails and therefore help prevent accidents.

Hamilton was fit to supply pocket watches that were up to the task and built a reputation for their successful involvement. Hamilton was dedicated to bringing accurate and reliable timekeeping devices to the developing aviation industry. In 1918, Hamilton became a supplier to the U.S. Airmail Service. They still have a strong and dedicated collection for the needs of Aviation.

Hamilton was the sanctioned pocket watch supplier to the U.S. Military during World War I. Decades later, they halted production of their commercial collection to once again support the high supply needs of the U.S. Military during World War II.

Their involvement during the early era of mechanical tool watchmaking for military purposes has made them famous for their field watches even today. In 1957, Hamilton proved it could do a daring design with modern-day innovation and functionality with the Ventura, the world’s first electrical watch.

Another icon would follow in 1970 with the Pulsar, the world’s first LED digital watch. Since 1974 Hamilton has been part of the Swatch Group and, in 2003, moved its HQ to Biel, Switzerland. To many customers, the Swiss-Made label does make a difference to the value offered, as Switzerland is the heart of fine watchmaking. 

Swatch Group, the watchmaking powerhouse, has enabled Hamilton to access its back catalog of proven and robust movement technology in the form of ETA-Calibres. Hamilton has successfully conveyed the storytelling of their watches on the silver screen for nearly 90 years.

Featuring in Shanghai Express 1932, Frogmen 1951, and Blue Hawaii 1961 – an Elvis Presley musical comedy featuring the then revolutionary Ventura on his wrist, making it an American watch icon. Hamilton has starred in over 500 major feature films to date. Its recent features in notable box office hits were Interstellar and the Martian.

Noteworthy Movie Watches From Hamilton

  • Khaki Navy: The Frogmen 1951
  • Ventura: Blue Hawaii 1961, Men in Black 1997
  • Pulsar: Live and Let Die 1973 (James Bond)
  • Khaki Field Mechanical: Pearl Harbor 2001
  • Khaki Field Murph Auto & Khaki Pilot Day Date: Interstellar 2014
  • Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO: The Martian 2015

What Makes a Watch Hold Its Value

For a product to hold its value immediately after being purchased or over time is generally a rare anomaly that collectors have become used to due to the recent watch market boom. Watchmaking today can be defined as the fine art of workmanship, innovation, and centuries-old storytelling in the pursuit of precision and accuracy. 

The growth of watch media has been a massive platform for recognizing the value of vintage and modern watches. With this information available to us in abundance, a few crucial characteristics define a watch’s resale value over time.

1. Brand Recognition

Through its lifetime spanning centuries, the watchmaking industry has seen some of the most recognizable and powerful industries come to fruition. Today a favored brand would possess a strong collection, a storied heritage, and a reputation for delivering excellence in the form of robust durability or high watchmaking.

Recognition can also be achieved in a short period, even with a limited heritage. This happens when a watchmaker is able to deliver a revolutionary concept or offer high-pedigree watchmaking. Independent brands such as MB&F, F.P. Journe, and Richard Mille are great examples of young watch brands with high watchmaking skills that have built a very strong reputation within the watch market.

2. Product Placement

Product placement plays a huge role in developing an image of a brand or a product. We are familiar with brands exercising this practice through advertising, partnerships/collaborations, and movie features. These are great tools for a brand to attract the right target audience, control its storytelling language, and create exclusivity. 

Think Richard Mille, strapping their watches on the wrists of the highest profile athletes, James Bond fashionably sporting an Omega Seamaster on his wrist, or even Patek Philippe telling you that their timepieces are meant to be passed down generations.

Hamiltons’ 90-year-long partnership with the movie industry has seen a convergence of passion, action, culture, futurism, and storytelling injected into their lineup. Because of its American and military roots, it has successfully paired its brand image with the broad spectrum of characters that feature them. Thereby creating a cult following and a larger degree of relatability for the brand in the past and in the future.

3. Supply Characteristics

There are many facets to the subject of supply in the watch market. We have large or independent manufacturers with entry-level to super-high-end watch offerings and supply numbers based on a particular brand’s vision, objectives, or capabilities.

A watch can be high production, low production, or even a limited edition. Brands like Rolex and Patek Phillippe in recent years have been unable to keep up their production output to meet market demand, thereby allowing demand to trickle down to other brands or the secondary market.

What if every millionaire desired to purchase a Rolex in 2023? A quick search will reveal that there are an estimated 56 million people whose assets exceed one million dollars; it is also a known fact that Rolex produces approximately 1 million watches a year. 

This would leave a watch allocation only for 1 of 56 millionaires if Rolex were to dedicate its entire year’s production allocation to them. Allocation ratios are worse in the real world, and chances of getting a hyped watch at retail have become extremely limited, allowing for immediate value retention and gains.

4. Trends

Ten years ago, from personal experience, I can vouch that far fewer people ever cared to know what a sports model Rolex was “besides wanting a flashy combi-Datejust” that Rolex was famous for. Go back another 10 years, and integrated-bracelet luxury sports watches from AP and Patek Philippe were considered overpriced at retail.

The consensus is the opposite today, as these have been the most significant trends of the modern watch era. We have even seen trends shape prices in the affordable price segments, like the Moonswatch that became the biggest hype watch release of 2022, being listed online for multiples over its list price due to the worldwide recognition and demand that followed its release.

A trend can effectively impact a brand’s value retention, even one such as Hamilton. Keep an eye out in the future for budget-mechanical-versatile field watches becoming the new norm.

Do Hamilton Watches Hold Their Value?

Hamilton is not geared to cater to hype or exclusivity; instead, it is an everyday affordable tool-watch brand. When considering its supply targets, it is priced to cater to a mass audience; therefore, mass production will be the brand’s priority.

The development of Hamilton’s identity through its military background and movie presence over its lifetime has proven it is a brand for the ordinary enthusiast to enjoy and collect. In today’s watch landscape, Hamilton stands as a brand with low barriers to entry.

Due to their broad availability, Hamilton watches generally don’t offer an immediate resale value of 100% of the amount spent on them. However, due to its brand recognition, storied heritage, great value-for-money offerings, and robust, reliable watchmaking, they will return decent resale value, especially if purchased pre-owned or on a minor sales discount.

It is also important to consider inflation over a long time that will affect watch pricing. Due to this, some models might fetch 100 percent of the value paid for them.

Do Hamilton Watches Appreciate In Value?

There have certainly been Hamilton watches that have appreciated in value, like the Count-Down Chrono-Matic GMT Caliber 14, with a claimed original retail price of $250 back in 1971. If you were to put these figures into an inflation calculator, $250 in 1971 would be $1,596 today. Its current price online of $7,400 has beaten 52 years of inflation by a large margin. 

If you were, or are, considering placing Hamilton into an asset class, undervalued vintage pieces possess the right potential for growth in value as more people discover and learn about the brand over time. This also depends on the model, history, age, and condition.

As for the current collection, Hamilton’s language of marketing, branding, and distribution has nothing to do with limiting supply or hyping a watch to the point that it would fetch a premium. However, its close association with blockbuster movie scripts will, in time, see a cult-like following grow for some of its featured (special) models and will have future potential to turn a profit if they end up being limited or discontinued from production.


Over the last decade, we have all become aware that watches from some brands have outperformed the stock market. This unusual occurrence has clearly brought with it a change in mindset over the primary use of watches. In some cases, it has developed mixed opinions of whether they should be worn or treated as an asset class. 

What should be considered when analyzing the watch market is that these watches that have been driven to exponential values were once severely undervalued. They were undervalued because decades to centuries of watchmaking excellence needed a worthy medium of converging with the larger audience of potential buyers and collectors.

This medium now exists in watch media, largely responsible for the watch industry’s hype and growth over the last decade. As a result, the next decade might not yield the same profitable results as the last. Today, not many people will buy a Hamilton watch for its investment potential. It will instead be bought as a value brand meant to be loved, worn, and collected for its unique ethos within the watch world.

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