This Hamilton Fontainebleau is named after the Palace of Fontainebleau near Paris, because the medieval palace of Kings features an oval courtyard that resembles the unusual case shape of the watch.
HOW DO WE DATE THIS WATCH?
By the late 1960’s Hamilton were in trouble. Having bought Buren in 1966, they then closed their factories in the USA in 1969 and had moved production to Switzerland, before they were dissolved in 1972. This watch dates from this Swiss period, and the Fontainebleau range was launched in 1969. We have found an advert from 1969 with the Chrono-Matic which we have included a picture of.
(The Chrono-Matic uses the calibre 11 movement that was jointly developed by Hamilton/Buren, Heuer and Breitling. It is the most desirable watch in the range, but a good one will cost £2,000+)
This is not the best example on the market, but it is priced accordingly. At time of writing there is one of the same model on Chrono24 in very good condition for €950 (£845) from a dealer in Zurich.
At some point this watch dial has been cleaned, and during this process the lettering for Hamilton and Automatic has been damaged, and the word fontainebleau has disappeared entirely which should be above the date window at six. The watch also has a replacement crown, which is a little too small. But on the good side the three piece stainless steel case is unpolished, even if the case and the retaining ring have a few tool marks (this retaining ring is a bayonet fitting, just requiring a 90 degree turn to release it.). This unusual shape for the case is actually quite comfortable, and has more than a little of the Omega Dynamic that was launched in the same year. The Hamilton 64A automatic movement is functioning well, including the semi quick set date that turns crisply at midnight with a satisfying click. This movement is an upgraded ETA 2452, so servicing and spares should not be an issue. The leather strap is new, and a different colour could be requested if preferred.
This watch will be supplied with our Certificate of Authenticity.
Please see the HD video for more detail.
Width with crown 41.0 mm
Width without crown 40.3 mm
Between lugs 18 mm
Lug to lug length 35.0 mm
Case Thickness 10.3 mm
Bracelet maximum length n/a
All sizes are approximate.
Included with this watch is a 1 month guarantee and free delivery to UK addresses. If you live outside the UK we can still deliver to most countries. Please see our Worldwide Shipping information, or Contact Us.
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