First officially revealed at Baselworld 2011, the new Hamilton Pan Europ (ref. H35716545) automatic chronograph watch 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 (can’t reproduce for copyright reasons, sorry) I can see that the new timekeeper is almost an exact copy of the 1971 watch.
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 late 1960s and is also known as 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 actually 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 of the timepiece. 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 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 really like the fact that with introduction of this watch Hamilton’s model range has got even more eclectic and the company made yet another step sideways from finding its own design language.
The watch itself is nice, though. At a price of only €1300 (and you will probably get a 20 per cent 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 unbelievably low retail price will make this watch disappear from official stores pretty soon.
See also: Hamilton Khaki SkyMaster UTC Automatic
Hamilton Pan Europ Chronograph (ref. H35716545) automatic watch 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 material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Cushion
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 45.00 mm
Lug width: No data
Case height: No data
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire