The Swiss-American watchmaking brand and the environmental nonprofit organization Conservation International (CI) joined their forces to create a special-edition Hamilton Conservation Auto Chronograph (ref. H604160). Presented by CI’s Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors… wait for it… Mr. Harrison Ford himself, the new timekeeper seems to be based on the recently unveiled Khaki Pioneer chronograph.
The Hamilton Conservation Auto sports a vintage-looking stainless steel case that features a special antimagnetic cage that makes the self-winding mechanism less prone to magnetic fields and therefore more accurate and reliable.
Modest (by today’s standards) 42 millimeters in diameter, it is equipped with a signature knurled (also known as “coin-edged”) fixed bezel and sports an oversized onion-shaped setting crown that provides the watch with a more classic, even vintage look.
The pair of chronograph push-pieces that are placed on their usual spots at 2 and 4 o’clock sport the same “classic” styling.
The basic layout of the dial of the Conservation Auto is also nearly identical to that of the Khaki Pioneer chronograph, save for the color: instead of charcoal grey, this job is toned in a more “historic” beige color.
Yes, the watch features a bi-compax layout, which is characteristic of vintage chronographs from the 1930s.
There is a subsidiary seconds indicator at 9 o’clock and a standard 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock.
You may have already noticed the difference between the hands on the indicators. While the small seconds sub-dial sports a simple stick-shaped hand, the chronograph counter has a more prominent arrow-shaped pointer.
However, the main thing of interest here is the ETA Caliber H31 automatic movement that powers the timekeeper.
While the overwhelming majority of European brands (even the most prominent ones) tend to simply order a base movement to be equipped with a branded rotor, this one indeed sports a number of modifications that make the personalized movement superior to its donor.
Compared to the ETA Valjoux 7753, the ETA Caliber H31 is equipped with a larger mainspring barrel that allowed for a much longer power reserve of the whole 60 hours.
The second modification that resulted in better accuracy is a reversed (also known as “glittered”) spiral.
By the way, the same movement powers the 2011 Pan Europ Chronograph as well as some other fresh offerings from the brand.
As for the price and availability, both are is still to be officially announced.
The only thing that is clear is that this one is not going to be a limited edition: they will produce as many watches as they will be able to sell.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 4.5/5
Nighttime Legibility: 1/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Hamilton Conservation Auto Chronograph specification
Movement: Automatic, ETA Caliber H31, based on ETA Valjoux 7753, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Branded rotor and chronograph bridge
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, date
Power reserve: 60 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 42.00 mm
Lug width: 21.00 mm
Hour markers: Luminous
Water resistance: 100 meters
Strap: Brown natural leather strap with rivets and contrast beige stitching