Hamilton is well known for its railroad history, having manufactured pocket watches out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania that kept America’s trains running on time. The now Switzerland-based brand continues to pay homage to its American railroad origins with its Railroad line of watches, and for 2014 the brand is launching two new references. One is an update on an existing chronograph while the other is a completely new innovation.
New Hamilton Railroad Automatic Chronograph
The new automatic chronograph is an update to their existing chronograph model in several ways. First, the dial design received a facelift that brings us a red orange coiled track bearing tachymeter in the center of the dial. This pop of color is a recurring theme throughout Hamilton’s new lineup. They are taking a lot of risks with the new designs, and introducing bold colors is one of them. Furthering the railroad theme, the minutes ring resembles railroad tracks. Hamilton moved the date to the 4 o’clock position and abandoned the magnifier, which I personally like. Last but not least, there are new start/stop and reset pushers that are more rounded and have protectors on the side.
Inside the 44mm stainless steel case is a Hamilton H-21 movement, an automatic chronograph movement with 60 hours of power reserve. If you look closely in the photo below you can see the subtle “H” pattern decorating the movement. Either a steel bracelet (pictured below on the other new Railroad Small Seconds) or leather band with red orange stitching accompanies this one, matching the spiral on the dial. It’s water resistant up to 50 meters.
The new Hamilton Railroad Automatic Chronograph for 2014 is tentatively priced around $1,995 for the leather strap version and $2045 for the one on the steel bracelet.
New Hamilton Railroad Small Seconds
This is a brand new model from Hamilton and is sure to turn heads at Basel. It features a slightly smaller steel case than the chronograph, but the two watches share the same general pocket watch shape. The silver sunray patterned dial has an exquisitely placed sub-seconds hand at the 8 o’clock position, which is an asymmetric design you don’t see a lot in brands in Hamilton’s price range. Most mid-range brands stick with conventional placements for sub-seconds dials, but this year Hamilton is making a statement by introducing propriety elements to its movements. Again, the railroad theme is echoed with the blue seconds ring resembling train tracks.
Inside the 42mm stainless steel case is Hamilton’s H-22 caliber movement with a small seconds feature. Turn the watch over to see its exhibition case back that shows off a heavily decorated movement with a skeletonized rotor. This watch also shows off their new Railroad bracelets, which are as shiny in real life as they appear in photos. When I look at the bracelets, the center links remind me of both pocket watch chains and a series of railroad tracks; either way you see the bracelet, those links add a whole lot of charm to the overall look. You can also purchase this Small Seconds version on a black leather strap with a crocodile pattern and deployment buckle. The Railroad Small Seconds is water resistant up to 50 meters.
Tentative pricing for the bracelet version is $1,345 and the leather strap one is estimated to go for $1,295.