Hamilton Jazzmaster Face 2 Face II Auto Chrono
A cool reversible wristwatch and perhaps a future collectible
Do you want to know what the main difference between a traditional watch and a reversible one is? At first sight you usually get the strange feeling that you have purchased a complicated watch, something more than a single timepiece. If you are into mechanics, complications and chronographs, then the Hamilton Jazzmaster Face 2 Face II is one of the most original and least known reversible chronographs issued on a limited-edition basis that you can currently find on the market. The first one, which was released in 2013, was one of the most extravagant proposals ever crafted by Hamilton, one of those typical examples of “out of the box” designing and thinking, it was as if Hamilton had suddenly decided that they didn’t necessarily want to look like a Khaki every single day of their life.
Art Nouveau and Art Deco have been really influential trends in America and, at least the first one, has probably formed the base for the development of the Face 2 Face. The elliptic shape of the case of a Hamilton Jazzmaster Face 2 Face II is purposely taken to the extreme, 53mm at its widest point and 44mm at its narrowest point, is the proof of what I am talking about. From a visual and aesthetic point of view, it is quite interesting to understand the difference between this version and the one from 2013, the first Face 2 Face that was released in 888 copies only. The double automatic movement, a chrono coupled with a three-hand caliber, has been replaced by the H-41 caliber, a caliber that guarantees up to 60 hours of power reserve and that has been perfectly placed in the middle of the main dial.
According to non-official sources, that specific version sold out in no time after its official release and it seems that those who purchased one of these timepieces are jealously stowing them away as a possible future collector’s item given that these watches are nowhere to be found in virtual stores. This collector’s value is something that we should definitely look into in the future but we are now more curious to find out whether the new version will manage to replicate the same potential success as its predecessor. Truth is that Hamilton, for the second edition of their most extreme Jazzmaster, have opted for a more traditional solution than their very first experiment. The single movement and the centered three-counter-scheme make this timepiece fit into a more traditional category, the transparent continuous seconds counter and the two discs indicating the day and the date that have been covered with smoked sapphire glass, on the other hand, ideally bring it closer to the dial of a skeletonized movement.
The counter of the central chrono seconds can be seen on both dials and it seems as if this timepiece hosted two coupled movements, despite the fact that, on the second side, you can only view the rotor of the caliber and it couldn’t be otherwise. That hand is dark in colour on the main dial side and light blue, that is the same colour as the pulsometric scale engraved on the sapphire glass, on the other side, the two additional scales being a tachometric scale and a telemetric one. I reckon that Hamilton’s idea was trying to recreate the dial of an automatic Jazzmaster chrono by using a more family-friendly feeling and a more reassuring style if compared to the first version.
If you are thinking of purchasing a Hamilton Jazzmaster Face 2 Face II, you should definitely carry out the so-called “tilting system trial” that involves placing one of the two faces in direct contact with your wrist. If you like timepieces with a double personality, eclectic items offering two different options – despite the fact that the second option is mainly a measurement system that is solely based on the chrono counter – you should try, at least once, the tilting system. It is a sturdy structure and it can be easily detached using your thumb and it perfectly locks at the end of the 180-degree-rotation, it is a great micro-mechanic and precision job that Hamilton completed in an absolutely perfect manner.
Once you have rotated the watch, however, unless you use the scales to make any measurements, it looks as if you were wearing an upside down timepiece and this makes it a bit less fascinating than the original Face 2 Face whose chrono and time-only souls make it even more interesting.
The Hamilton Jazzmaster Face 2 Face II retails at about 4,000 euro (3,895 Swiss Francs) and it is the only proposal in the entry-level market of reversible watches. It is a funny and well-built item, the construction work of the case is pretty complex and that makes this timepiece quite a fascinating one, something that I would definitely take into consideration if I were to fill my collection of reversible watches released in a limited-series or in a numbered-series, a collection that, for the time being, only includes a classic Monaco Sixty-Nine.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting by Entropik)
Gaetano C @Horbiter