The Calibre 11 , or Chrono-Matic (contingent upon the brand utilizing it) needs no presentation any longer. It is, with its two competitors, the Seiko 6139 and Zenith El Primero , among the main developments at any point made. Why? Since it was essential for the most punctual automatic chronograph developments dispatched in 1969 and commending its 50th-commemoration a year ago. Shockingly, individuals frequently consider Heuer when discussing the Caliber 11, and here and there Breitling. Less routinely however, the name Hamilton is referenced. What’s more, today, we’ll take a gander at how the Caliber 11/Chrono-Matic affected a progression of cool chronograph watches at Hamilton.
The Hamilton Watch Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania was America’s biggest pocket watch maker at the turn of the 20th century. In reality, near portion of America’s train motor drivers and railroad laborers – who relied upon high
Hamilton wristwatches staggered the world during the 1920s & 1930s with their Art Deco style, models like the ‘Funneling Rock’ with explained drags and plated bezel, or the ‘Explorer’ with its twin-development to show travel and home time. During WWII, Hamilton changed to military creation just and provided the US ARMY from 1943 with the troop-gave ‘hacking’ field watch. Continually hoping to modernize creation, after the war, Hamilton planned the main Electric development (in association with General Electric) making a line of Hamilton Electric watches with the most celebrated being the Vega, the Pacer and the Ventura, the last worn by in all honesty the King himself, Elvis Presley.
In 1966, Hamilton obtained the Buren Watch Company, a development producer in Biel, Switzerland. From 1966 to 1969, US-based Hamilton Lancaster and Buren Switzerland were together worked. By 1969, the Hamilton Watch Company ended American assembling tasks and shut its manufacturing plant in Lancaster. From 1969 to 1972, all new Hamilton watches were delivered in Switzerland by Buren, which later got back to Swiss possession. By 1972, the organization between these two brands was broken down. In May 1974, the Hamilton brand was procured by SSIH, or what might later become the Swatch Group – Hamilton’s present proprietor. Be that as it may, Buren’s possession end up being significant for Hamilton, yet additionally for a gathering of the company, to make the 1969 Caliber 11/Chrono-Matic movement.
Hamilton got back to mechanical advancement in organization with a few different companies in 1966, with the purported Project 99. That was the code name given to the advancement of an automatic chronograph development, a joint venture including Heuer, Buren, Breitling, Hamilton and Dubois-Depraz (Hamilton got included after their securing of Buren). As ahead of schedule as 1959, Heuer was at that point taking a gander at a few development makers to locate a reasonable automatic base development on which a chronograph module could be fitted. It was not until Buren dispatched their slight miniature rotor automatic type 1280 that the venture appeared feasible.
This Buren type was adequately slender to become the timekeeping base, yet the joint endeavor needed to locate the correct provider to fabricate a chronograph module to sit on top and be sufficiently little to hold the development back from being excessively thick. This was the hour of the Madmen-referenced thin watches, the Thino-Matic, the Electric Ventura and the Future-Matic watches. The assignment was given to Dubois-Depraz, a company spent significant time in transforming base developments into complications, including chronographs. The improvement of this chronograph is a long and complex story… and we will visit it again in the Vintage Corner.
Today, I might want to take a gander at a couple of watches that aren’t regularly referenced. Albeit the thought with Project 99 was to make a slight development, the joint endeavor didn’t exactly accomplish its objective – particularly compared to the competition, Zenith and Seiko.
In return, what the bigger development generated were some exceptionally fascinating and inventive case plans, the two early Hamiltons here show the two finishes of the miniature rotor plan range. They are both furnished with early Caliber 11, which was the primary assignment for these miniature rotor chronographs and they are both marked ‘chrono-matic’ on the dials – the name given by Hamilton to these developments.
The first of these two watches is the Pan-Europ, whose case configuration inclines to the more abundant side of the miniature rotor watches. To camouflage the stature of the development, the case has been etched from a wide pad formed base. It depends on a spiral brushed completion to trick the eye and to permit the focal piece of the case (bezel and dial) to be the fundamental core interest. This is a strategy utilized by various Heuer models, to by one way or another conceal the genuine tallness of the watch into a ‘two-level’ visual piece of enchantment. For the wearer who peers down on the highest point of the watch, the hugeness of the case falls away like a ski incline leaving simply the dial and bezel to consider.
The dial plays deceives again with raised twirly doo markers, recessed chronograph counters, two interior rings – one for focal seconds and the other is a tachymetre – combined with mathematical implement hands – all things considered a banquet for the technical eye. The bezel is exceptionally thick, with wide scores for grasp yet in addition to separate the proceeding with lines. The bezel is incompletely recessed into the case, which additionally shrouds a portion of the profundity and thickness with the thick acrylic gem balancing the top. This has a slight arch to it, which proceeds with this topic of changing visual viewpoints and by and large gives the psyche a ton to consider, drawing the eye away from the way that this watch is a major piece of steel and at the time more likely than not been twofold the stature of a standard automatic wristwatch.
Conversely, with the second Hamilton Chrono-Matic, the architects went for a completely extraordinary methodology, which shows up genuinely ordinary from the outset. One of the issues that the planners needed to manage was the odd situation of the crown on the contrary side to the pushers. The greater part of the hand-wound chronographs included the crown and pushers on a similar side of the case.
This watch, the Hamilton Chrono-Matic ref. 11002, highlights a strong matte blue dial, limited markers, smooth sub-dials while proceeding with this subject with the dainty stick hands and a splendid internal rib with tachymeter scale, making this watch something contrary to the substantially more complex Pan-Europ model.
With this less energetic yet at the same time tasteful looking manifestation, the creators tried to lose the tallness by sloping the case edge on the top half and having the gem stand up from the case with a strong bended edge, prompting a more slender arch across the face. The carries are very thick and are calculated at 45 degrees, so outwardly, from over the case takes after that of the standard hand-wound Hamilton chronograph previously created. Dissimilar to the Pan-Europ, the secret to outwardly shroud some the thickness of the development is done through the caseback – indeed, to a greater extent a cap, at about 5mm profound, with its edges slanted or adjusted. All things considered, this rendition of the Hamilton Chrono-Matic stays a weighty watch with a ton of steel noticeable on the caseband.
Both of these plans are astute in disguising the genuine stature of the Caliber 11 development. I needed to honor the planners associated with Project 99 who concocted the plans that made these watches so notable. At the point when you take a gander at numerous watches from the mid 1970s, you can see signs from the plans picked by Heuer, Breitling and Hamilton to accommodate their ‘new world development’ and incredible credit should go to the undertaking chiefs from these brands who gave the fashioners such scope and opportunity to go ‘their way’, to make some uncommon watches. Hamilton has since reissued both of these watches, which are very devoted re-versions of the first models… Apart from the way that the chronograph pushers and crown are on a similar side of the case. Really awful…