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This is the big news of this new year for hamilton. With an all-new design taking the form of a full range of eleven models, the Jazzmaster Performer opens a new chapter for the Swiss-naturalized American brand. We told you about it when it came out, today we take them in hand to give you our opinion.
Performer: a sporty vision of the Jazzmaster
Of the modern and functional watches with a touch of sportiness. This is probably what best defines these new Jazzmaster Performers. We were skeptical about their presence in the Jazzmaster collection, but on closer examination, we quickly realized that this collection was much larger than we imagined, nearly 200 models with styles equally varied ranging from classic-retro tourban-modern. And from Hamilton’s point of view, you might as well lean on a name that is already echoing to be more impactful. Either way, it’s a most logical addition that fills a gap in its catalog while looking to the future. At a time when all watch brands are playing the “revival” card, it is very interesting to see an established brand, in addition to the Swatch Group, indulge in a more perilous exercise.
The strong points
Let’s start with the cases that share an interesting build. A plunging curved profile towards the bottom of the box, in a convex way, to create a illusion of ultra-thinness once on the wrist, especially on the 3-hand models which are 11mm thick (against 15mm for the chronographs). We also appreciate the vertical brushing, of remarkable finesse with a satin bevel covering the whole and ending at the bottom of the horn. From all sides, the finishes alternate judiciously, from the base of the polished bezels to the circular brushing on the latter, or even on the central links of the steel bracelets. Hamilton put a lot of care into it, and it shows. We also note the10 ATM water resistance, which is almost a novelty within the Jazzmaster collection and which gives all their meaning to these new watches. The way the brand has applied photoluminescence is also interesting, with fine lines that give them a touch of elegance at night while creating a certain link with the Jazzmaster name. Finally, and this is one of the major arguments, their automatic movements, calibers H-10 with 80 hours of power reserve for the 3 needles and H-31 with 60 hours for the chronographs which, coupled with their Nivachron hairspring to confer non-magnetic properties, allow them to stand out from many competitors.
What we regret
Our greatest pleasure would be to see the fixed black bezel evolve on the 3-hand models. This desire for development, certainly very subjective insofar as it is a matter of taste, is motivated by the very thickness of the bezel: something seems to be out of step, perhaps because of its thinness which contrasts with what we usually come across. We could mention thechronograph thickness, but it is a chronograph. The world also often tends to forget that the 12mm of a Cosmograph Daytona, the benchmark of its kind, is far from normal. Then, while the chronograph pushers show off some great lines, they’re quite hard to trigger, which can make their use more restrictive. Also, even if some like the principle, the fact that the date of the chronograph needs to be adjusted on the other side of the box, via a small inlaid button, requires more dexterity in use because it is impossible by hand. You must use a pencil or other small tip (ideally non-metallic to achieve this). Finally, let’s discuss the price issue. Because even if they are rather well placed on the market, i.e. 1125-1270€ for the 34 and 38mm, then 2395-2545€ for the chronographs, certain equally established brands – from the same group – offer similar technical sheets at prices more attractive.
Our opinion on these Hamilton watches
We repeat ourselves, but Hamilton made a good choice. Strategically, it’s smart. The watches are well thought out and well done. On the design side, it’s more subjective, so the discussion remains very open depending on everyone’s tastes. We love the chronograph with sunray blue background which makes no false note, from the indexes to the buckle, and which would also deserve a steel bracelet. Same thing for the version with a light blue dial in 34mm which contrasts with what we usually see on the market and which constitutes a very interesting proposal for ladies (and not only for that matter). If their charm works, which we hope, our best recommendation is always the same: go try them on your your AD!
Available on the official Hamilton website.