Best timepiece under $1,000

Hamilton Intra-Matic

A classic watch, the Hamilton Intra-Matic bears the 1960s brand’s logo

I came across an interesting timepiece worth blogging about. Many of you may know it already – the Hamilton Intra-Matic. I think I would crown this piece as The Very Best Timepiece Under $1,000.

I have been blogging about retro-style watches for months and it is no secret that I like these modern throwbacks to old classics. Well, the Intra-Matic looks like something straight out of Mad Men. There are 38mm and 42mm versions, with black dials or silver dials. My favorite model is the 42mm with a silver dial, on a really vintage-type slim black leather strap. This piece retails for $950, but you can often negotiate a 10%-20% discount. You might find one online for $650.

This piece is ultra thin, which I normally don’t like. And 42mm doesn’t sound huge. But with this bold, plain dial, 42mm looks quite large. I have been looking for a very dressy piece and tried on many pieces at 2 or 3 times the price of the Hamilton and they did nothing for me. But the Hamilton felt great on the wrist. It has an exhibition caseback, showing a nice ETA movement. The strap is slim, but thick enough to give it a good feel and I dig the classic tang buckle. I tried the metal bracelet, but to be honest, it felt cheap. It looked low end. It ruined the watch for me. But the leather is very cool and feels like nice quality. 

The dial is simple. And the silver dial has kind of a sunburst finish which gives it a great presence. With only hours and minutes, you get a refined simple look. Very cool. 

I could easily enjoy wearing this piece. Although you won’t get any snob value out of this piece, you can still impress. First of all, this piece is different. Unique. I would never wear a watch made in the 50’s or 60’s.  I would buy an Intra-Matic and have a similar style while being brand new. 

So the Hamilton allows you to have  a cool retro look with brand new mechanics under warranty. It even has the vintage Hamilton logo. If you wore this piece to the office, to a party or to happy hour, I would bet that it becomes a point of discussion.

So there you have it. Do you want a really cool mechanical piece? Would you like to spend under $1,000? Do you want something tasteful and still unusual? I recommend a Hamilton Intra-Matic.

Yours truly,


TimeCaptain is a self-confessed timepiece junkie.  He spends nearly all of his spare time buying,  selling,  trading,  researching, admiring and trying different timepieces. He's also a fanatic Formula 1 fan, having followed every single Grand Prix since 1991.  He switches to NFL football in the fall and roots for the Green Bay Packers. A child of the 1980's, TimeCaptain is mad about 80's music,  TV, cinema and pop culture.  Another interest of TimeCaptain is space exploration and the study of distant planets and galaxies. When asked about his favorite watch,  TimeCaptain remembers Enzo Ferrari's answer as to his favorite car- "the one I haven't built yet."