First officially revealed at Baselworld 2011, the new Hamilton Pan Europ (ref. H35716545) chronograph is a tribute to the 1971 model that was issued under the same name. No wonder why its total production run is limited to only 1971 pieces. Comparing photos of the re-issue (below) and the original from the 1970s (can’t reproduce for copyright reasons, sorry, but you can easily google one) I can see that the new timekeeper is an almost exact reproduction of the 1971 model.
Of course, given how much time passed since the original model was discontinued, the historic Chrono-matic movement (it was co-developed by Hamilton together with Hauer in the late 1960s and is also known as the Caliber 11) was replaced with Caliber H31 self-winding movement that is based on the good old ETA 7750 blank movement redecorated to Hamilton’s standards and, for obvious reasons, the setting crown was transferred from its original place at 9 o’clock to a more customary position at 3 o’clock. It is that rare instance where I welcome the change: for me, ergonomics is more important than “authenticity.”
The dial, too, is different. The small date aperture at 6 o’clock is now not round, but rectangular, going slightly out of key with the overall appearance.
Perhaps, it has something to do with the choice of the movement: the aforementioned ETA 7750 is equipped with a calendar wheel that is visibly wider than that of the vintage Chrono-matic caliber with larger and taller numerals. If Hamilton decided to keep the date aperture circular, they’d probably have to order a new calendar wheel and that would make the watch more expensive to manufacture: a move they were not ready to make considering how affordable the watch is.
However, the oval stainless steel case, the overall dial layout, and even the shape of chronograph push-pieces seem to faithfully reproduce those of the original.
The new Hamilton Pan Europ limited edition follows the new trend of reinterpreting the classic models from the 1960s-1970s and that’s a good thing: I guess we are all somewhat tired of high-tech design during the last couple of years.
However, I do not like the fact that with the introduction of this watch Hamilton’s model range has got even more eclectic and the company made yet another step sideways from finding its design language.
The watch itself is nice, though. At a price of only €1300 (and you will probably get a 20 percent discount,) it may be a nice acquisition. With the whole “re-issue” being limited to 1971 pieces the watch won’t become a true rarity any time soon, but I am sure that the combination of a limited run with an unbelievably low retail price will make this H35716545 disappear from official stores pretty soon.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Hamilton Pan Europ Chronograph H35716545 specification
Price: €1300 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber H31 (base ETA Valjoux 7750), Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Engraved, branded oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Power reserve: 60 hours
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel shape: Round
Size: 45.00 mm
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective