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 80th 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