One of the most common requests we get are for our recommendations for affordable vintage chronographs - an area of collecting rife with options, but every bit the minefield you might expect. While there are plenty of cool looking chronographs on the market across the price spectrum, balancing condition, looks, and quality is a difficult game.
That's why most of our recommendations go something like this: If you want to stay under a thousand, go Japanese. If you want Swiss, be very wary of anything under it.
Here's why: High grade Swiss chronograph movements can be expensive to repair (particularly if they've been sitting unused for decades), and regardless of the "value" of the rest of the watch, a full service on the movement will cost the same as it would any other. To put it differently, your watchmaker won't care whether or not it has a name-brand on the dial if the movements are the same - you're getting charged the same for the service. So all of a sudden that "great deal" you got on a cool no-name Swiss chronograph from the 60s isn't so much.
The bottom line is that there ARE plenty of very cool Swiss chronographs to be had for a fraction of the price of some other more well-known and sought after timepieces. Just make sure you're getting a good one, and that the movement has been properly sorted before buying. Now that we've got that out of the way, consider this:
This particular timepiece is a Hamilton chronograph from the late 60s. Inside its 38mm steel cushion cushion case is a manually-wound Valjoux 7733, one of the more robust two-register chronograph units of the time. Fully serviced last month, this Hammy is ready for years of regular wear and use.
With crisp lines and a flawless dial and handset, this is a brilliant piece with killer looks and a budget price tag.
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