Hamilton Pan-Europ 1971 finally arrives  0 Comments


Earlier this year at a pre-Basel lunch showcasing the 2011 Hamilton models, a select group of collectors had the great fortune of inspecting and handling the new models - which turned out to be a surprise as many of the models had so much to offer to watch enthusiasts (see this report). Apart from the affordability of this brand, Hamilton has  had a long (albeit inconsistent) history. Of recent years, most of the attention was given to the Ventura range made famous by Elvis and its connection with the Men in Black movie (worn by Will Smith).

However, 2011 is to be a year where Hamilton takes stock of its historical pieces, rendering its popular pieces from the 70s in today's higher quality materials and finish. Many of the 2011 models caught my eye but none more so than the Pan-Europ 1971 (which is a limited edition model of only 1971 pieces worldwide). It has all the hallmarks of early 1970s designed case and rally style leather strap. It is a big watch with a case size of 45mm.

For some years now, I have been avoiding larger watches but I somehow was willing to make this exception due to vintage look and feel and most of all the beautiful metallic blue hue of the dial and bezel. As many have come to discover, the dividing line between the quality makes and the run of the mill - is in the details. I am especially impressed by the dial work for the design of the high contrast subdials against the blue dial.

The watch comes with a folding buckle deployant that sites the tongue on the inside of the strap while its being worn. I have not seen the quality of the fit and finish of such deployants at this price point - USD2100 or SGD 2520.

For movement fanatics, the Pan-Europ is fitted with the new Calibre H31 (H for Hamilton) which is a modified Valjoux providing a 60 hour power reserve - a reflection of how the Swatch Group is developing specific movements for the brands in its stable and how important this model is.

The watch feels balanced and substantial on the wrist. Not overly heavy nor uncomfortably big. For collectors who are not brand snobs, I would recommend this model for its historical significance and fun value of being a weekend watch. It will be quite a task to find another watch with so much going for it at this price point today. As always, click on the images to view them in higher resolution.

P.S. - my friend and fellow watch blogger Mr Su Jia Xian has also blogged about this watch at this link.

- HT



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