The Hamilton Intra-Matic 68 AutoChrono vintage-inspired chronograph watch comes with a number of modern updates – yes, another one. To say that this archetype has been popular over the last few years would be an understatement. With the surge in interest in vintage watches, contemporary manufacturers realized that digging into the past might be the best way to appeal to new customers. Besides, for the most part, it’s been rather successful. Replica watches have gotten smaller and less ostentatious, and a few brands that had strayed pretty far from their roots have suddenly found them again.
Hamilton, however, has never really lost sight of its sporty American heritage. The brand has kept on making easy-to-wear replica watches like the Khaki Field, Pan Europ, and Railroad over the years. While some brands have one or two hits in the archive, Hamilton is fortunate to still have a number of perfect options from the past to draw on when designing new models and the Intra-Matic 68 AutoChrono is a typical example.
When I first saw the spec sheet on this one, I was ready to give it a hard pass on those numbers alone. Those dimensions are on the larger side, especially for something with one foot in the 1960s, and I’ve got small wrists. But that would have been a mistake. It’s crucial with watches like this to remember that this is a totally modern watch with some vintage inspiration, not a straight vintage re-issue, and for some modern consumers that size is going to be just right.
Apart from the basic measurements, the replica Hamilton did a really great job nailing the vintage details on the dial. The snailing inside the cream-colored sub-dials is very much subtle, and all the dial markings are as crisp as can be. I prefer the contrast between the tachymeter track, with its black-on-cream colors, and the minutes/seconds track, which is white on black. I thought it might end up disjointed, but it didn’t at all. What’s more, the tonal date window keeps the display at six o’clock from being distracting and the luminous squares at the hours are integrated cleanly with the applied steel markers.
I enjoyed the Intra-Matic 68 on the wrist more than expected. I wished it to be way too thick, and a little too wide for my small wrist, but it was actually rather comfortable once the strap wore in a bit. Yeah, it’s a thick fake watch – there’s no way around that – but the lugs have the right arch to them and I got used to the size quickly. It’s easy to mistake this for an actual vintage watch from a distance, with the muted dial colors and faithful styling going a long way there. The replica Rolex watch is bold and extremely legible, just as a real-deal racing chronograph should be. If you’re looking for a vintage-inspired chronograph in a modern size at a fair price, I highly recommend you take a look at this watch.