It’s curious that I am Holding the excellent Hamilton Pan-Europ despite a resolution to myself that I wouldn’t purchase another Hamilton or Tissot for a while. I’ve been wanting to branch out and get into some new movements and brands.
I knew that resolution was going to flop when I first encountered the blue-dialed Pan Europ. More than any other piece I’ve seen in the $1,000 price range, the Pan-Europ connects with so many of the things I value; I appreciate a timepiece with personality, and the Pan-Europ has that in spades.
I knew when I saw it that I had to have it.
The Pan Europ is beautiful in form and function, showcasing a gorgeous tiered dial and Hamilton’s H-30 movement with day/date complications.
The Pan-Europ Goes Way Back
About a year ago I read an excellent piece about the Pan-Europ on by Blake Buettner from Hodinkee, and when I saw the modern Pan-Europ in the flesh I thought back to Blake’s excellent breakdown of the Pan-Europ’s history. Its origins go as far back as the early ’60’s, while the example I’m wearing today made its debut in 2011.
Back in the day, the Pan-Europ had the venerable Caliber 11 inside. Today, it is run by the awesome H-30 automatic, an ETA-derived movement with a massive 80 hour power reserve.
1971 Hamilton Pan-Europ
- Size: 42mm
- Movement: Caliber 11 automatic
2011 Hamilton Pan Europ
- Size: 42mm
- Movement: Hamilton H-30 Automatic
The H-30 Automatic Movement is Inside
I have enjoyed plenty of experience with Hamilton’s H-30 movement, which boasts an impressive 80 hours of power reserve. According to Toolwatch.io, the H-30 inside the Pan-Europ Auto is accurate to within 4 seconds per day- fantastic!
Of course, it’s the immense power reserve that makes this movement really special. In a world where your auto is likely to have a power reserve of around 40 hours, to have something twice that is impressive. More impressive is that all it takes to stay charged is being worn for a few hours once every three days.
The Modern Pan-Europ is Beautiful
I’ve read reviews of the Pan Europ that disparage it for deviating too much from its inspiration piece. I don’t agree with that sentiment.
I think that it pays a beautiful homage to what debuted in 1971. The world and nature of watchmaking today has changed, and while what Hamilton has presented with the modern Pan Europ is a contemporary take on the classic, it is first and foremost something beautiful in its own right.
The red hour hand is matched by the first 15 seconds marking the outer ring, as well as accented by the underside of the leather strap or inside the striped nato alternate.
Of the two straps, the black and red leather blue and red nato is my favorite. Both straps are excellent and comfortable; the leather makes it look Formula-racer, while the nato turns it into a California-cruiser. Both are excellent.
The blue dial changes as it moves, showing a multi-faceted hue that sweeps the blue spectrum. A subtle texture – seen best under zoom – ensures the diffusion of light as it encounters the dial.
What I like most of all is how the blue changes as I twist and turn the watch. When the light strikes the face just right, it’s electric- the blue lights up brightly.
Hamilton Pan-Europ Auto Technical Specifications
- Model Number: H35405741
- MSRP: $1,195
- Case Diameter: 42mm
- Alternate Models: Alternate color and chronograph versions available
- Movement: Automatic, Hamilton H-30
- Complications: Date & date display
- Power Reserve: Approximately 80 hours
- Water Resistance: 50m/164ft
- Crystal Material: Sapphire
Hamilton Pan-Europ Auto Quality and Value
I own several Hamilton Watches now, and on all of them I’ve experienced excellent fit and finish. From the leather and deployment clasp to the tightness of operation on the rotating bezel- that same commitment to quality is well demonstrated in the Pan Europ.
That brings to its value proposition: how it fares when compared to its closest competition. The MSRP of the Pan-Europ is just over $1,000, and I think that actually well positions it within the market.
The H-30 movement alone is an impressive component of this piece. Its extreme accuracy and power reserve both separate the Pan Europ from a host of other comparables. Those things, paired with flamboyant good looks, have created a timepiece that I genuinely love to wear.