5 minutes on the wrist - The Hamilton Ventura Elvis80
At Baselworld 2015 Hamilton launched the new Ventura Elvis80 . One of the most original yet extravagant timepieces ever conceived, this year it ideally celebrates the 80 th anniversary of its ambassador, Elvis Presley , that wore the original version in 1961 during the filming of “ Blue Hawai ”. To talk about a mere revamp would be an oversimplification, it is more correct to talk about a deep transformation and growth from an eccentric, vaguely art-decò timepiece to a contemporary one.
Its trapezoidal case shape and the proportions between the sides have essentially not changed, while everything else has: the flat , two-dimensional , feminine and particularly elaborated (even affected at times) case has become a trapezoidal prism , with a considerable thickness that makes it resemble a classic three-hands timepiece, and a bold personality that is clearly aimed at a male clientele.
A deeply cambered glass that extends until the winding crown, and a neater and cleaner dial than in the past, contribute to the new style, that features a black base and an orange 15 minutes outer scale (one of the aspects that I did not really like about the first Ventura series was in fact the elaborate dial). The first re-edition of the Ventura was, to sum up, a clear homage to the Elvis Presley one; above all the Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 preserves the spirit of that watch.
The main novelty is the adoption of an integrated stainless steel bracelet , designed to blend into the case (the folding clasp is fully integrated). The gap between the lugs is reduced from the 23,5mm of a Ventura XXL to 22,22mm . I do not understand the choice to only adopt the quartz caliber on the stainless steel version, while the other model, the automatic Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 with rubber or leather strap and a PVD-treated steel case, is equipped with the H-80 caliber , made exclusively for Hamilton by ETA .
This is a “ love it or hate it ” timepiece, but it's nice and comfortable on the wrist, especially if you opt for the stainless steel version, far more wearable than the PVD one, and also more avant-garde. It's a pity that, as already mentioned, one has to do with just a quartz watch, the only flaw of the best Ventura ever made. The Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 is already available at your nearest dealer, at a price of 945 € for the stainless steel version and 1295 € for the automatic one.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Hamilton; Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter - Watches & Luxury