Hamilton's 1971 creation the Pan Europ watch became an iconic symbol of elegance and complication, gaining fame and a relevant place in the history of the brand. In 2011, Hamilton saw fit to release a new and more modern reissue of the watch at the Baselworld fair. Clearly the offspring of the original version, it was crafted with fewer complications and has more recently been released as a variant in the family. A new issue has captured our attention and is worthy of a closer look and deeper revelation to a new generation of enthusiasts.
The Hamilton Pan Europ
A deep appreciation for retro-styling gives the world a glimpse into the past which relieves the pressures of modern day chaos. The new Pan Europ has pulled the wonder of the late 1960s through the early '70s into a watch that keeps pace with the present in both form and function.
We begin with the 42mm stainless steel round shaped case with a thickness of 12mm. The case back is a skeleton style that reveals the inner workings of the mechanical elements of the Pan Europ. It is presented in a soft fusion shape with a brushed wall and a polished lip and detailed sloping of the lugs.
The bezel in a uni-directional rotating type featuring a chapter ring in white that angles inward toward the dial. Cutout notches provide the hour indices which are applied and lume treated. The chapter ring also bears marks to the 5th of a second and features red markers placed between 12 o'clock and 3 o'clock positions.
The crown is a pullout type with an "H" signature that supplies smooth winding and precision time setting. It winds flush with the case in the absence of a screw in feature. Adjustments for the date, day and time are accomplished easily.
The dial is an analog type that is available in Navy blue coloring. It does offer a nice sunburst texture which pulses from the center of the face. It catches light from multiple angles for a magnificent background for the display. A gray variant is also available. The hands are slimmer than the original and they're presented in a silver-tone treated with lume for legibility in low light situations. The second and minute markers are placed around the outer dial rim with lume treatment. The signature reading "Hamilton Automatic" is set at the 12 o'clock position with a "Pan-Europ" signifier at the 6 o'clock area. Day and date windows are set at 3 o' clock with some variants offering merely a small date window for symmetry at the 6.
The Pan Europ is powered with a Swiss made automatic caliber H-30 movement with a day and date complication. The movement has been refined for enhanced reliability and precision. The power reserve is approximately 80 hours. Some of the Pan Europ models feature delicate and detailed decorations on the caliber which is made visible via the skeleton case back covered with a sapphire exhibition window at the back of the watch. This allows all to see the magnificence of the internal workings and it's a wonderful aesthetic for the inquisitive who enjoy watching art in motion.
In addition to a screw down sapphire crystal back exhibition window, the dial is protected with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. It offers fair legibility in the blue dial example, but some difficulty has been experienced in reading the dial with the gray variant.
The push/pull crown is a limiting factor when it comes to deep water resistance, however; this watch is resistant to water up to 50 meters, or 165 feet.
The Pan Europ affixes to the wrist in a choice of interchangeable straps. It comes with a nylon strap with a fold over clasp style fastener made of stainless steel hardware, and it features a safety release. Other strap options include a canvas type as well as a black leather strap with a stainless steel fold-over clasp closure and red backing.
The Pan Europ is back, albeit in a more modernized version. While it bears resemblance to its ancestor, the Pan Europ has a distinct personality that successfully blends the past with the present. It gives a nod to the original from yesteryear but is not close to being a clone example.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson