HANDS-ON: Go anywhere, do anything with the Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer Series HANDS-ON: Go anywhere, do anything with the Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer Series

HANDS-ON: Go anywhere, do anything with the Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer Series

D.C. Hannay
  • Hamilton’s latest additions to the Jazzmaster line present some attractive and versatile all-rounders
  • The Jazzmaster Performer Automatic Chrono brings neo-vintage styling in an appealing package
  • With two sizes offered in the Jazzmaster Performer Automatic range, it’s easy for virtually anyone to find a perfect fit



Hamilton are well known for some truly iconic models, including the Ventura, the PSR Digital Quartz, and the fan-favourite Khaki Field series, but they also have one of the broadest catalogues in the industry. This includes the Hamilton Jazzmaster line of everyday timepieces, which is absolutely massive, with over 200 models and counting. You’ll find everything from basic quartz models to automatic chronographs, and today, Hamilton is expanding their roster with three new models from the new Jazzmaster Performer series. Available in a range of sizes to fit virtually any wrist, there’s a total of 11 variants that encompass the new lineup. Let’s have a closer look at these go-anywhere, do-anything timepieces, and examine why one of them could easily become your daily driver.

Jazzmaster Performer Automatic Chronograph 42mm

If you like your timepieces big and sporty, the Jazzmaster Performer Automatic Chronograph has an awful lot going for it. Available in four versions, you’re bound to find one to fit your personal taste. We went hands-on with the blue dial/steel bezel variant.

The case

The 42mm stainless-steel case has a definite presence, with a predominantly brushed finish that evokes vintage racing and pilot’s watches, but with a clean, contemporary aesthetic. It’s got a classic profile, although it sits a bit proud with its 15.22mm case height, but overall, it remains proportional to the case diameter. The fixed tachymetre bezel is finished in brushed black on both the black and white-dialled versions, and all-steel on the blue-dialled model, a great retro touch. For those desiring a warmer look, the white-dialled variant’s case is finished in rose-gold PVD. The wedge-shaped chrono pushers are long, easy to actuate, and well integrated with the case. Features common to the entire Performer lineup are an anti-reflective sapphire crystal and screw-down crown, along with 100 metres of water resistance.

The dial

You can select from two stainless black-dialled models (bracelet or leather strap), a white-dialled model with a PVD rose-gold finish, and blue-dialled variant with the vintage-look steel bezel. The dial itself has an attractive sunray, and it features snailed subdials ringed in silver (black on the white dial), applied indices, and a colour-matched date display at 4:30. The contrasting rings offer a knowing Daytona wink, but the subtle applied nickeled indices (rose gold on the white dial) and vintage Hamilton logo convey a restrained Midcentury look. The hands are also nickel-finished (rose gold on white), and both indices and hands get an application of Super-LumiNova. Besides the hours, minutes, date, and running seconds at 9, the Performer Automatic Chronograph features a central chronograph, 30-minute counter at 3, and 12 hour counter at 6.

The movement

Timekeeping duties are handled by the in-house H-31 automatic chronograph movement, which boasts an antimagnetic Nivachron balance spring and a 60-hour power reserve. This reference has 27 jewels, Incabloc shock protection, and runs at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour. The H-31 movement is based on the Swatch Group-owned ETA/Valjoux 7753, but has been modified to increase the power reserve.

The straps

The black-dialled variants come with your choice of a bracelet or leather strap, with the bracelet version available for just a US$50 premium, which is a great value. It’s traditionally styled with three links, and predominantly brushed to coordinate with the case’s finishing. The perforated leather strap is available on the black, white, and blue models, and features a deployant clasp. The black and white/rose gold versions feature a black leather version, and the blue gets blue, naturally. The perforated leather is supple and comfortable, and offers a racy look that totally matches the vintage vibe of the watch. A 22mm lug width ensures strap options for days.

Jazzmaster Performer Automatic 38mm and 34mm

The Performer Automatics fill the space in the lineup for a versatile all-around watch, not unlike Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual or Swatch-stablemate Omega’s Aqua Terra. But as is the case with the entire Performer line, there’s a lovely retro aesthetic at work here, classic without being hamfisted.

The cases

Occupying the Baby Bear chair in the lineup, the 38mm Performer Automatic has those just-right proportions that fit a wide variety of wrists. I could happily wear this every day, as it does nearly everything I need a watch to do. The case offers much the same design language across the three models (in both stainless or rose gold PVD), and the 38 looks like it could have been unearthed in a time capsule from 1962.

I suspect the fixed 60-minute bezel plays a big part in that: it’s subtly vintage-leaning, without steering too hard into tool-watch territory. The height is nicely in line with the 38mm diameter, at 11.47mm thick, and lug width is 20mm. For those looking for a perfect fit for the smaller wrist, the Performer Automatic 34mm fills the bill nicely. Again, you get 100 metres of water resistance, a screw-down crown, and sapphire crystal, and there’s also the option of a rose-gold, PVD-finished bezel.

The dials

The sunray black-on-bracelet version is just one of those all-occasion pieces that can dress up or down with equal ease, with its timeless look, understated dial indices, and for fans of symmetry, no date window. If you prefer, you can opt for the deep blue, or the white dial that features in the rose-gold version.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer Series

Hands and indices get the Super-LumiNova treatment, and for me, there’s just something about a no-date dial that gets me and my propensity for a balanced look. The 34mm version presents an attractive bright blue, black, or dark blue sunray dial, and there’s even the option of mother-of-pearl on the rose-gold bezel model.

The movement

Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer Series

The H-10 automatic movement’s 80-hour power reserve keeps going throughout a long weekend, but given the versatility of the Performer Auto, I doubt you’ll take it off your wrist for that long. There’s a lot to be said for having a movement manufacturer as your corporate sibling, as you get the pick of the litter from a company that can leverage the economies of scale in both manufacturing and R&D. The 25-jewel H-10 is based on ETA’s C07.611, which serves as a base for a staggering number of Swatch Group models, and is essentially Hamilton’s version of the well-regarded Powermatic 80. The movement also features the titanium alloy-based Nivachron balance spring, renown for its antimagnetic qualities and durability. Both the 38mm and 34mm Jazzmaster Performer Automatic models feature the H-10 movement.

The bracelet/strap

Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer Series

On the 38mm model, the black-dialled version gets the brushed stainless three-link bracelet, and the blue and white models again wear the perforated blue or black leather mentioned above. For the 34mm, you can have the black or bright blue on the bracelet, and the blue version gets the blue leather. For a softer look, the mother-of-pearl version gets a more delicate beige satin version. These watches are absolute strap monsters (pardon the cliche) and personally, I think a deep tan leather two-stitch would look killer with the bright blue dial of the 34mm version.

The verdict

Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer Series

No matter what size your wrist, there’s something to fit virtually anyone in Hamilton’s new Jazzmaster Performer lineup. From big and technical, to small and refined, this new range offers a look that switches from boardroom to beachfront without breaking stride, and with the variety of models on offer, you’re sure to find something to fit your taste. Could one of them become a one-watch collection (perish the thought!) for you? Perhaps so, because there’s an awful lot to like, and a broad array of options, all at rather compelling prices.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer collection pricing and availability:

Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer Series

The Hamilton Jazzmaster Performer collection is available now, full pricing and specifications listed below. Time+Tide are an authorised dealer of Hamilton Watches in Australia. To purchase directly, head to our online store.

Brand Hamilton
Model Jazzmaster Performer Automatic Chronograph 42mm
Case Dimensions 42mm (D) x 15.22mm (T)
Case Material Stainless steel, rose gold PVD stainless steel (white dial)
Water Resistance 100m
Dial Blue sunray, black sunray, white
Crystal(s) Sapphire
Bracelet/Strap Stainless 3-link, blue leather, black leather
Lug Width 22mm
Movement H-31 automatic chronograph
Power Reserve 60 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, chrono, date
Availability Now
Price US$2,195 (Black or blue/strap), US$2,245 (Black/bracelet), US$2295 (Rose gold/strap)


Brand Hamilton
Model Jazzmaster Performer Automatic 38mm/34mm
Case Dimensions 38mm (D) x 11.47mm (T)

34mm (D) x 11.18mm (T)

Case Material Stainless steel, rose gold PVD stainless steel (white & mother-of-pearl dials)
Water Resistance 100m
Dial 38mm: Blue sunray, black sunray, white

34mm: bright blue sunray, blue sunray, black sunray, mother-of-pearl

Crystal(s) Sapphire
Bracelet/Strap Stainless 3-link, blue leather, black leather, beige satin
Lug Width 20mm
Movement H-10 automatic
Power Reserve 80 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds
Availability Now
Price 38mm: US$995 (Blue), US$1,045 (Black/bracelet), US$1,145 (Rose gold/strap)
34mm: US$995 (Blue), US$1,045 (Black or bright blue/bracelet), US$1,145 (Rose gold bezel/strap)