Welcome to "Maestro per un giorno"
Six readers of Horbiter® visit the Customer Service Hamilton, and challenge themselves as Master Watchmakers (for a day...).
Product, Customer Service, and, finally, "Watchmaking experience." These are the bullet points on the agenda of the "Maestro per un Giorno (Master Watchmaker for a day)" project, conceived and organized in partnership with Hamilton Watch and its Customer Service.
The project took place at the Swatch Group's Italian headquarters: the Swatch Group is the leading group in the watch industry and has a comprehensive portfolio of brands ranging from mid-entry to premium luxury, virtually covering every market niche and mastering any technology.
Hamilton Watch needs no introduction: the Italian market is currently the leading one to the American founded, Swiss adopted, watch brand. The agenda of the day covered three specific areas: a journey through the history of the brand, a visit to class-leading Hamilton Customer Service and, the cherry on the cake, a hands-on experience with a mechanical movement, the so-called "watchmaking experience."
Hamilton Watch: the history, the link with the cinema, the brand's vision.
Hamilton Watch has a long and rich history: there are few American brands in the watch industry, and even fewer are those who contributed to North America's industrial development as much as Hamilton did.
Watch lovers and connoisseurs revere the brand's timepieces; they were regularly used as a reference on land, like during the deployment of the American rail network, and air, in civil and military aviation, too.
Hamilton also prides itself with the closest relationship with the world of cinema ever: a young Elvis Presley used to wear a Ventura during the filming of "Blue Hawai" whereas a particular model appeared in Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece "2001: A Space Odyssey." More recently, Hamilton has partnered with Christopher Nolan in the making of Interstellar, and the modern Ventura is standard equipment to "Men in Black"'s agents.
Lisa Parolini, the Marketing Manager, shared some inside stories about the brand, you can discover by exclusively attending such experiences; his speech followed-up the one held by Marco Milani, Customer Service Manager, who introduced us to history and achievements of the Swatch Group, that includes Hamilton Watch in its brand offering.
Hamilton Watch belongs therefore to the biggest watch group in the industry, something most people are not aware of.
Discovering the "Customer Service Hamilton."
After sharing the history and milestones of Hamilton Watch, the participants tested the new product during a "touch and feel" session.
The brand has introduced a lot of new timepieces during the year, and the Khaki collection was in focus in 2019. You can read our hands-on, detailed reviews of the Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical or the new Khaki Field Mechanical, as an example.
We then started our tour of the Customer Service Hamilton, a dedicated department that is as rarely under the spotlight as it is vital in the brand's organization, as highlighted in our video:
Those who are not familiar with a Customer Service should bear in mind that once you step out of a store, with the timepiece you have purchased, on your wrist, a brand's Customer Service looks after your watch throughout its entire life cycle.
When it comes to a wristwatch, the relevance of the Customer Service is even higher, in my opinion, in comparison to other durable goods; also, consider that a timepiece is a highly durable good unless you abide by some recommended rules regarding use and maintenance.
We're dealing here with products of the highest engineering and quality possible, products we wear daily, but we often are regardless of any care and ordinary maintenance. Nonetheless, we always require our wristwatch absolute precision and sturdiness.
The Customer Service Hamilton is made up of highly-skilled professionals able to overhaul any watch, something I experienced in the past. Their work is even more valuable considering that what we're wearing is often priceless to us, as it occurs, for example, when we have inherited that timepiece from our grandfather.
During this session, Erika Ferrigno, Customer Service Training Manager, introduced us to standard processes and technologies in place at the Customer Service. Did you know that the Customer Service Hamilton also offers a white gloves' service like collecting your watch at home or office?
From Customer Service straight to "hands-on" with the "watchmaking experience."
The tour of the Customer Service is introductory to the most engaging segment of the agenda: the "watchmaking experience." Here is where our six lucky participants challenged themselves in testing their watchmakers' attitude.
It equally requires commitment and focus, with a piece of fun. Mostly, it is an activity that confirms how challenging is the job carried out by a master watchmaker, and how big is their responsibility: they test, repair, fine-tune and polish any watch, whether it is a few years old, simple or complicated, or a vintage timepiece that requires an intense restoration process. All in all, "Maestro per un Giorno" was a remarkable experience, a new project for us, the first time we brought our readers together. And the organization set by the Hamilton Watch team was flawless.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®