Wrist shot of the Hamilton Pan Europ Auto

Wrist shot of the Hamilton Pan Europ Auto

The Pan Europ is actually a revived model from the 70’s, originally a chronograph that was brought back by Hamilton in 2011, as a highly successful limited edition model. One year later, in 2012, Hamilton released the non-limited version of this chronograph, powered by a modified Valjoux 7750, the H-31, with a power reserve of 60 hours.

At the 2014 Baselworld, Hamilton, introduced the latest version of the Pan Europ, this time, a three hands, day-date model with a brand new movement, the H-30. There are two dial versions for the 2014 Pan Europ Auto, when Hamilton asked me which one should they send me for this review, I asked for the blue dial with the NATO strap, because personally I find it to be more fun.

The Pan Europ Auto at a glance

Movement: H-30 with 80 hours of power reserve, 25 jewels, Nivachoc choc absorber
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, day and date
Size: 42 mm
Case: Stainless steel
Dial: Blue / Gray
Crystal: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating
Strap: Comes with both leather and NATO
Lug width: 22 mm
Water resistance: 5 bar (50 m)

Hamilton is offering a blue or a grey dial versions of the Pan Europe, both coming with a black leather strap with folding clasp and a NATO strap width pin buckle.

Hamilton is offering a blue or a grey dial versions of the Pan Europe, both coming with a black leather strap with folding clasp and a NATO strap width pin buckle.

As you can see from the image above, the grey dial has a more sober look; something to consider when deciding between the two models.

2014 Hamilton Pan-Europ on the wrist

Hamilton Pan Europ on the wrist

The first thing that I noticed and I liked about the Pan Europ is the combination of colours: stainless steel, dark cerulean blue, bright red and white. These are the colours that the Hamilton designers have used both for the case and the NATO strap.

Size-wise, the 42 mm diameter of the case and short lugs, make this watch really comfortable even for a person with a small wrist as I am. The height is proportional and the watch can easily slip under a shirt

The brushed stainless steel case has several polished accents, such as the bevelled edge that runs from lug to lug.

The brushed stainless steel case has several polished accents, such as the bevelled edge that runs from lug to lug.

Being water resistant to 5 bar (50 m), the Pan Europ is not exactly a watch to take diving, but true to its origins it comes with a fun, unidirectional rotating bezel, with an aluminium ring.

The white chapter ring with black and red marks, gives Pan Europ more depth.

The white chapter ring with black and red marks, gives Pan Europ more depth.

The blue dial with rectangular stainless steel hands, offers excellent readability. The SuperLuminova coating of the hour and minute hands as well as the stainless steel index inserts ensure, you’ll be able to check the time in dark places too. At three o’clock, the day and the date windows are easy to read at a glance, thanks to the large, legible fonts.

The traditional Hamilton H decorating the crown of the Pan Europ

The traditional Hamilton H decorating the crown of the Pan Europ

The size of the crown and its shape offers a good grip; winding the movement and setting the time is a smooth procedure.

The holes on the NATO strap are reinforced by a stripe of blue leather, making the strap more durable.

The holes on the NATO strap are reinforced by a stripe of blue leather, making the strap more durable.

The Pan Europ comes with a open case back protected by a sapphire crystal, but if you want to enjoy the movement more often, then I would recommend using the leather strap. The NATO strap will cover this case back and as mentioned before, the buckles are short, leaving a narrow space between the spring bars and the case. Taking off the NATO strap is not as easy as with other watches, the model I got was so tight, my only solution would have been to use a spring bar tool.

The buckle on the Pan Europ strap bears the Hamilton name engraved.

The buckle on the Pan Europ strap bears the Hamilton name engraved.

How does it feel on the wrist?

You know that a watch is special when it makes you feel in certain way. It’s like a perfume; it can make you feel successful, sophisticated, confident and strong. If you snap a watch on your wrist and you don’t feel anything, then you better leave it in your draw or sell it because your cellphone will tell the time, you don’t need a watch for that.

As soon as I put on the Hamilton Pan Europ, with its blue and red NATO strap, I felt at least ten years younger, relaxed, witty and overall happy. Is it because of the size, the proportion of the watch, its colours? I’m not sure. All I know is that the Pan Europ was not a timepiece I would forget that I’m wearing. Whenever I would check the time, or I would just explore its many details, it would make me smile.

Its 80 hours of power reserve is enough to take it off on a Friday and put it back Monday, but that would be a real shame. This is a fun piece that should be given privileged wrist-time on a weekend, or during a vacation.

The Canadian MSRP for the Pan Europ Auto is $1,245 and it will get you a kit with both the NATO and the leather strap.

More about Hamilton at www.hamiltonwatch.com.

The Pan Europ Auto with a booklet of the chronograph version in the background.

The Pan Europ Auto with a booklet of the chronograph version in the background.

The Pan Europ in his element at the Piknic Électronik, an electronic music event happening every weekend at the Jean-Drapeau park in Montreal.

The Pan Europ in his element at the Piknic Électronik, an electronic music event happening every weekend at the Jean-Drapeau park in Montreal.

Just for the fun: love at first sight, the Pan Europ hugging an Alfa Romeo.

Just for the fun: love at first sight, the Pan Europ hugging a 1976 Alfa Romeo Spider.