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Hamilton Jazzmaster Regulator Auto Review

By Cameron Martel


Updated on

About Hamilton

Hamilton was founded in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1892. Now headquartered in Switzerland, Hamilton is well-respected in the watchmaking industry for making reliable and stylish timepieces. Hamilton watches tend to be priced in the $750 – $2,000 range.

I own several Hamiltons and generally have had good experiences with their watches.


Our reviews are based on our first-hand experience with the watch. All photos and media are created by us (unless otherwise credited). Learn more about how we review watches.

Review Summary

The Jazzmaster Regulator is definitely one of the most unique watches you can get for its $1,275 MSRP. Powered by Hamilton’s own H-12 automatic movement, the Regulator comes with the specs you can expect from a four-figure Hamilton: sapphire front/rear crystals, stainless steel all around, an excellent leather strap, and a deployment clasp. I think it’s a great looking watch, too. If you want something mechanical and decidedly different from what most will have in their collection, the Regulator Automatic is worth your consideration.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Regulator Automatic

Hamilton Regulator Automatic Technical Specifications

  • Model Number: H42615553
  • MSRP: $1,275
  • Case Diameter: 42mm
  • Alternate Models: Alternate color combinations on Amazon
  • Movement: H-12 automatic
  • Complications: None
  • Power Reserve: Approximately 40 hours
  • Water Resistance: 50m/164ft
  • Crystal Material: Sapphire

Hamilton Jazzmaster Regulator Automatic

Operating the Watch

The Hamilton Jazzmaster Regulator has no complications and is straightforward to set. It is recommended to turn the crown 10 to 15 times before setting the time, as this charges the mainspring so that timekeeping begins as soon as you are finished setting the watch.

Watch the complete user manual here.

How To set the time:

  • Pull crown to the furthest position (position 2). Turn the crown clockwise to set the time.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Regulator Automatic

Hamilton Jazzmaster Regulator Aesthetics & Design

There are a few color combinations available, with the cream/rose gold being what is represented here.

Hamilton has chosen an asymmetrical layout for the Regulator. It’s a handsome watch that tends to get attention due to its unique layout. Not a lot of people have seen a watch with a face like this one, and the color combination also commands a glance or two. The overall package captures attention without looking for it- in my opinion, this is the sign of a well-designed watch.

Hamilton has paid attention to the details. The hour dial is brushed, whereas the seconds dial is finely grooved for a nice contrasting texture. The dueling-finishes continues on the exterior, with a polished steel case that features brushed lugs and a brushed Hamilton-engraved deployment clasp.

The movement is sparsely decorated save for a brushed and engraved rotor. The H-12 movement fills the exhibition window nicely

Paired with a luxurious crocodile-grain leather strap, the Jazzmaster Regulator is no doubt a handsome watch. It looks prominent but not overbearing on the wrist. Unfortunately, these same things also make it difficult for the Regulator to be worn down- this watch definitely makes more sense when there’s a cuff nearby.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Regulator Automatic

Hamilton Jazzmaster Regulator Build Quality

Hamilton’s playground is in the $500 to $1,500 market, and they are definitely here to stay. Like the excellent Jazzmaster Day/Date and Jazzmaster Auto Chrono, the Jazzmaster Regulator sports build quality and a level of finish that sets Hamilton apart from other manufacturers.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Regulator Automatic

Crystal, Case, and Dial

Both the front crystal and exhibition window are done in sapphire, and of course during the time I’ve owned the watch (several months now) there has been no visible wear to either surface. Both the front and rear crystals appear brand new.

The case has also proved to be resilient, showing only minor signs of use after several months of wear. The polished stainless steel surfaces are still gleaming nicely, and the brushed surfaces have not lost their soft mat finish.

I feel very confident in the aesthetic longevity of the Jazzmaster Regulator.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Regulator Automatic

Strap and Clasp

The strap is very much like the one on the Auto Chrono. It’s thin but not dainty, feeling light but not delicate. This gives the Regulator a feeling of lightness on the wrist, despite packing an automatic movement inside a stainless steel case.

The deployment clasp also feels strong and secure, refusing to release when tugged with moderate force. It clicks into place snugly, with minimal play in the mechanism. It has yet to “accidentally” release, giving me confidence to wear it all day without worry.

Hamilton JazzmasteHamilton Jazzmaster Regulator Automatic Movementr Regulator Automatic

More About the Hamilton Jazzmaster Regulator


Inside the Regulator is the Hamilton-exclusive H-12 automatic movement. Developed with ETA, and currently used exclusively by Hamilton, the H-12 automatic is a very cool movement indeed: it separates the minutes, hours, and seconds onto separate dials. The minutes are represented by the large full-face dial, and the hours and seconds on the off-axis subdials.

It has a 40 hour power reserve despite being only 6.6mm tall. It is a hacking movement and is quite accurate, deviating by just 3 seconds when I tested it (by no means is that test to be considered definitive, by the way).

ETA is the industry standard for reliable and versatile Swiss automatic movements. I am confident that the H-12 will hold up well over time.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Regulator

Value for Money

It’s tough sometimes to look at a watch in this price range and compare its value. The reason for this is because value can be subjective, especially if you’re the kind of person to place a lot of value in the hidden qualities of a watch. Namely, the movement.

If you find value in bespoke movements, the H-12 inside the Jazzmaster Regulator is as safe of an investment as I think you can make for around $1,000. For $1,000 (or a little less on Amazon) you’ll be the only person on your block to wear a Swiss watch with a genuinely bespoke automatic movement.

Hamilton Jazzmaster Regulator

Sure, you could get a Raymond Weil or Baume and Mercier for around the same price, but those won’t come with an in-house movement. If cool movements are what tickles your fancy, the H-12 inside the Regulator is a pretty good one.

Taking into consideration the sapphire crystals, excellent quality of build and finishes, and the premium leather strap and deployment clasp, the Regulator really does show its value. This is a watch that will cost somewhere around $1,000 to put on your wrist, and once it’s there, it’ll stay there for several decades (or more) with proper care.

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About Cameron Martel

If it ticks or tocks, I want it on my wrist. I'm a fan of all things that keep good time, and I can't resist a great looking watch. WYCA is my way of appreciating the engineering and artistry that goes into affordable watches. My favorite watch is my Jazzmaster Auto Chrono, and the watch I wear the most is my Weekender Chronograph. I currently have 33 watches in my collection. Learn more about WYCA's Editorial Process.

16 thoughts on “Hamilton Jazzmaster Regulator Auto Review”

  1. I was more familiar with Hamilton’s “sporty” watches (with the iconic Khaki Field), but I have to say I’m impressed with this one, it really looks classy. Plus it’s really original to have 3 separate dials.

  2. This is the first time i’ve seen a regulator watch and it’s very interesting. I googled others to see their layouts. The face layout of each hand on this watch is nicely placed and almost aligned like most watch at the center. This is a classic Hamilton design and color scheme however the regulator movement sets this one apart.

  3. Like Melmyster I am new to regulator watches. Do you think they are making a resurgence in popularity? Or is this just the first time I’ve started to pay attention.

    I have a VERY modest watch collection, and am hopeful that this site will help me make intelligent choices while I try to add to it. So far this watch is at the very top of my “must have” list though the price is a little high to make an impulse buy.

    • Regulators have been around for 100 years. In terms of popularity, I don’t think they are any more or less popular today than they were 15 or 20 years ago, but that’s also not really the point. A regulator is a watch focused entirely on accurate timekeeping. The movement, layout of the dial, and the format in which it displays time… all designed to improve timekeeping ability.

      I’ve got 22 watches in my collection and this one is one of my favs :). If you like it absolutely I’d pick one up!

      • Have had my eyes set on it for a while now, as it was simply “love at first sight” when I found it while randomly browsing. My favorite version is the white dial with rose gold hands/numbers, as it it looks really classy, but not arrogant. When I looked it up further, it turned out to also belong to the Swatch family, as I happen to be a collector of Longines and Tissot time pieces.


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