Hamilton Watch is one of the very few brands that are American founded, but of Swiss adoption. Although it has permanently entered the Swatch Group's portfolio of brands, it has nevertheless preserved its American foothold and has a strong following among watch enthusiasts. Collections like the Khaki, Ventura, Broadway, or Jazzmaster are trendy and represent the legacy of watches once designed as military equipment, for example. The brand has a keen awareness in Italy, which represents the most important market worldwide, followed by Japan, where Hamilton recently opened its first flagship boutique.
The brand's watches fostered American industrial development and appeared in many award-winning films. The brand from Lancaster boasts an unprecedented presence in movies and, more recently, in television series, too.
Founded in 1892, the Hamilton Watch Company, was a reference watchmaker both on land and air. Pocket watches and wristwatches thereafter were once timing instruments rather than luxury accessories. During the development of the American railway network, the brand's pocket watches were widely used to accurately time train schedules.
Reliability, along with precision, turned the brand into a reference on earth as well as in the air: Hamilton was chosen by the American postal service, during the early days of civil aviation, when the first aircraft took off from the East Coast to the West, and back. Today's partnership with the Red Bull Air Race is therefore rooted in the brand's history.
The Khaki collection, perhaps the best known among the many, deserves a separate chapter. Khaki Field watches were provided to several militaries, most notably the American and English forces. The Hamilton Khaki Field, in particular, the Mechanical, is among the most recognizable watches in the world. The collection has expanded with new diving watches like the Khaki Navy, either as a Scuba or a professional one, like the Frogman diving watch.
The relationship between Hollywood and Hamilton deserves a separate chapter. Hamilton first appeared on the big screen in 1932, in "Shanghai Express," starring Marlene Dietrich, then in "Frogmen" in 1951, but raised to significant success thanks to the film "Blue Hawaii," starring Elvis Presley and an unusual watch, both technically and aesthetically: the Ventura.
Launched in 1957, the Hamilton Ventura was the first-ever electric watch, followed by the Pulsar, the world's first digital LED watch. The relationship between brand and cinema has been intense, with some timepieces created exclusively for some films: from this point of view, the experience with "2001: A Space Odyssey" is unmatched. A one-off piece came out. A standard, more traditional timepiece entered production to celebrate the movie.
Forty years later, in 2006, Hamilton celebrated the original model by releasing a limited series of 2001 specimens. Instead of working solely on product placement, Hamilton watches' presence has always been distinctive; the watches play a vital role in a film's storytelling; the most striking case is no doubt the Khaki Murph in Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar."
From a product point of view, in 2019, the brand has added new limited models to its classic collections. The latest one is the Hamilton Chrono-Matic 50, a modern re-edition of a chronograph that, during the seventies, was powered by the Caliber 11. Among the non-limited series products, a special mention deserves the Field Mechanical, upgraded with a renewed movement, and a style that draws inspiration from the original.
Here is a list of the most recent hands-on review of Hamilton watches on Horbiter®: