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1960S Hamilton Intra-Matic


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I've not been very active on the forum for a few months - sometimes absent, sometimes just reading, putting a couple up for sale and occasionally posting. Things are busy at the moment and there hasn't exactly been a fountain of funds for new watches of late. But I just picked up a beauty with a story behind it and I think the bug is back again. At least for long enough to write this post, anyhow...

1960s Hamilton Intra-Matic

Here's the little beauty.

10773368376_60fe6a6569.jpg

Intra-matics00small by wotsch2, on Flickr

This is a Hamilton Intra-matic from (I think - see below) the late 60s. It's in beautiful condition, hardly worn. The case is 34mm stainless steel, so it's the usual size for the time and small in comparison with today's dinner plates. It's slim, with a Hamilton Calibre 92 inside. I haven't opened it up to take a photo yet - too worried I'll cack-handedly put a scratch in it - a photo of the movement can be seen here.

10782823374_76960674ce.jpg

Intra-matics08small by wotsch2, on Flickr

The Hamilton Cal. 92 seems to be a re-branded (possibly improved) Buren 1282 movement, which was produced, according to Ranfft, from 1962 on. It's a 19800 A/h movement with a 54 hour power reserve. The Buren micro-rotor movement was originally patented by Buren in 1954 (source here). Hamilton bought Buren in 1966 (source: Wikipedia) and used the Buren movements in its own Intra-matic models. One often also sees Intra-matics sold under the Buren brand, which may pre-date the acquisition by Hamilton. As my watch is a Hamilton branded Intra-matic with a Hamilton-marked movement, this would date it to post 1966, I suppose. If anyone knows more details, please let me know.

I'd been looking a lot at vintage watches, especially from the sixties with elegant, minimal designs, but I couldn't imagine being able to wear a delicate 36mm-or-smaller watch and most of the ones I saw were gold or gold-plated, which isn't really my thing (except for on a really special occasion). Then I discovered the new Hamilton Intra-matic, which immediately caught my attention and with a 38mm version was, for my tastes, a great compromise of vintage design and modern watch. Shortly afterwards, my lovely missus got me one for my birthday.

Soon after that, somewhat speculatively, I put some posts up on this and another forum, asking if anyone had an original 60s version up for grabs. I wasn't expecting a response, to be honest, as I'd googled and googled and only found a very few references and photos of the originals so I assumed that they were not particularly common. Well, how wrong I was as, within a month, I was contacted by Foggy from this forum and very quickly we had an agreement (thanks Foggy!). The only fly in the ointment was that I live in Germany at the moment and, after some previous bad experience, Foggy preferred not to post to Germany. So the watch was sent to some contacts in England and waited until just over a week ago for me to pick it up.

With the watches side-by-side, the inspiration for the new Hamilton Intra-matics is blindingly obvious.

10773431274_75fb2c87a1.jpg

Intra-matics01small by wotsch2, on Flickr

The view from the back is different, of course, as the new version doesn't have the micro-rotor movement (it's a 2892) and does have a display back.

10773319445_c2954a6fbd.jpg

Intra-matics02small by wotsch2, on Flickr

Seen from the sides, you can see how well Hamilton have reproduced the shape, proportions and angles of the original, even down to the lugs.

10773593853_95cc145f25.jpg

Intra-matics03small by wotsch2, on Flickr

10773367606_7a299d1c17.jpg

Intra-matics04small by wotsch2, on Flickr

(continues...)

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(continued...)

Some more comparison shots.

10773367416_20a892f6d3.jpg

Intra-matics05small by wotsch2, on Flickr

10773430464_3635ed76f6.jpg

Intra-matics06small by wotsch2, on Flickr

10773367016_00d208a1bf.jpg

Intra-matics07small by wotsch2, on Flickr

I'm very please to have the original in my collection, although I doubt I'll wear it very much - it's in just too good condition to risk bumping it. I plan to send it for a service, to make sure everything is OK, clean and well-oiled. For the vintage feeling, I'm more than happy with the new model.

For anyone interested in the movement, there is a great article on timezone:

Part 1: http://people.timezone.com/msandler/Articles/DavisHamiltonBuren/HamiltonBuren1.html

Part 2: http://people.timezone.com/msandler/Articles/DavisHamiltonBuren/HamiltonBuren2.html

There you go, I hope you enjoyed the post. I've got the bug again.

-wotsch

Edited by wotsch
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