The Hamilton Jazzmaster Thinline watches hands-on
The last time that we wrote about a Hamilton Jazzmaster was in 2016. Back then I wrote about a very special model - the Jazzmaster Face 2 Face II Auto Chrono that is the second version of the most complicated Jazzmaster ever crafted, a flagship product with a reversible case and an elliptical shape. In short, it is not exactly what you would call 'the most familiar Jazzmaster timepiece'. The last classic Hamilton to have been reviewed on the magazine was instead the beautiful Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 Chrono.
Two months after the Red Bull Air Race in Cannes we are back with Hamilton and, for the first time, with its most-classic Jazzmaster watch; the Thinline or the 'hero' of the collection as would be a mechanical Khaki Field within the Khaki collection or a Hamilton Khaki Navy Frogman 46 among the brand's divers. It might seem like a coincidence, but the closer we get to the summer-time and the less we talk about diver's watches. We will get back to those soon enough though, but it is also true that a slim three-hands-watch with a date can boast more seasons than a diver's watch and among these seasons summer is included also.
Ultra-thin and equipped with an interchangeable strap
With its Thinline Jazzmaster, Hamilton developed a somehow neutral collection (i.e. adaptable, rather than with no personality). The Thinline is a three-hands-watch with a business-casual style; a necessary adjective, because Hamilton does not tend to linger on stretched classicism, but it carefully preserves its American roots. The Hamilton Jazzmaster Thinline is an automatic watch with a date that comes in four different dial versions and also with an intelligent device that can be used to quickly replace the strap; an option that boomed in the second half of 2017 and that Hamilton immediately capitalized on.
Two dark-colored dials - one is dark blue and the other one is slate gray - combine with two light-colored dials - a bronze dial and a champagne-color one - that can be mixed and matched with four different leather straps according to the user's taste. Hamilton's designers inserted, inside the strap and in the area where the lugs are attached, a tiny lever (you won't even notice it when you are wearing this timepiece around your wrist) that allows the user to unhook the strap from the case with the simple movement of a finger. This system is called EasyClick.
The case of the Jazzmaster timepiece sports a feature that makes it unique
It is not the size that easily identifies the case of a Thinline among the many three-hands-watches available on the market, but rather the shape of the lugs that do not form a single piece with the case, but that rather seem welded to the case itself. A small step located between the lugs and the case - in the lateral attachment area - gives exactly this feeling and is one of the distinctive elements of the Jazzmaster collection.
Even the indices on the dial sport an uncommon pattern and despite taking inspiration from the indices from the 50s, they sport a style that reminds us of Hamilton's H-shaped logo in an elongated shape. To sum it up, the Jazzmaster Thinline is a watch clearly inspired to those watches from the second half of the 20th century, but the American ones, rather than the European super classic timepieces.
That is the reason why I call the Thinline Jazzmaster a 'casual business watch' rather than a 'classic evening timepiece'. The dials are chamfered on the sides and so is the sapphire glass - a solution that gives this timepiece a sound vintage effect. A point of preference goes to the two bronze and champagne dials; they are truly exceptional from an aesthetic point of view. A minus point, however, goes to all the dials due to the presence of the date; despite being well-inserted and slightly hidden at 6 o'clock, it nevertheless clashes within such a context of classic inspiration.
Caliber, retail price and choice
The 2892-A2 is one of ETA's historical calibers - it is an unstoppable automatic movement with 42 hours of power reserve that perfectly fits the Jazzmaster Thinline. Which version should you go for? Considering that the real difference lies in the dials, since the strap is interchangeable and is not necessarily an element that determines the buyer's choice, I would opt for one of the two light-colored dials. Both the versions with the bronze dial and the version with the champagne dial are the 'brightest' of the collection.
The color tone that keeps changing depending on the light's inclination makes these two versions the most interesting (unless you are actually looking for the understatement at all costs, then you should choose one of the two dark-colored variants). What is the retail price of the Jazzmaster Thinline? The timepiece retails at € 795 and this is one of the brand's strengths that can count on Italy as it strongest market. A retail price like that offered by such a big name like Hamilton's, is simply unattainable elsewhere.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®