Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Hamilton Timeline:

The Hamilton Watch Company divide their watches up into characteristics that define each decade. How great to see how far we've come!

Pocket Watch ~1904

1890s – ACCURACY
Hamilton's first series of pocket watches, Broadway Limited, became known as the “Watch of Railroad Accuracy”. The unrivalled precision and reliability of the Hamilton railroad watches put a stop to an epidemic of serious accidents and marked the beginning of a long and continuing journey of successful timekeeping.

Hamilton gained the prestigious rank of supplier to the US Armed Forces. The first of the wristwatches provided was used by General “Black Jack” Pershing and his troops who were fighting in the European trenches.
Piping Rock

1920s – STYLE
The winning formula of accuracy and durability gained an extra dimension. The introduction of the Piping Rock and Yankee watch in 1928 confirmed the Hamilton leadership in American style.

During World War II, Hamilton stopped production of watches for consumers to concentrate on the huge task of providing the forces with a total of one million timepieces. The Hamilton marine chrono-meter was the first to be produced by modern manufacturing methods and around 10,000 Hamilton marine chronometers experienced World War II action first hand.

1950s & 1960s – INNOVATION
The secret assignment, “Project X”, lasted three years and in 1957 resulted in the introduction of the Ventura, the world’s first electric (battery-powered) watch. In 1961 Elvis Presley wore his Ventura in the film “Blue Hawaii”.

At 12:01 New York Time, on May 6, 1970, the world’s first digital watch started measuring time – made by Hamilton.

A revival in the 80s saw the reintroduction of classic Hamilton designs from the 1920s through to the 1960s. Old favourites like the Boulton, Ardmore and Ventura fuelled and led an industry-wide trend of classic watches.

Hamilton in Men In Black (1997)
The special Hamilton/Hollywood relationship continued with roles in such films as "Men in Black," "Lethal Weapon 4," "Fight Club," "Independence Day," "The Talented Mr. Ripley," and "You’ve Got Mail." Costume designers and stylists remained drawn to the eye-catching shapes and styles of the Hamilton timepieces for bringing a huge spectrum of characters to life.

Hamilton is established as one of the leading watchmakers in the world with a proven reputation for creating elegant and reliable timepieces. The watches combine a strong American spirit with the unrivalled precision of the latest Swiss movements and technology.

A Little Hamilton History:

The Hamilton Watch Company was established in 1892 when the Keystone Standard Watch Company was forced into bankruptcy and sold at a sheriff's sale to a group of Lancaster businessmen whose objective was to, "build only watches of the highest quality." A merger was effected, the same year, with the Aurora Watch Company of Illinois and the new company was renamed after James Hamilton, owner of a large tract of land, which includes what is now the city of Lancaster.
The Hamilton Watch Factory at Lancaster, Pennsylvania

The Hamilton Watch Company was housed on a thirteen-acre campus and Aurora's machinery was shipped to the plant at Lancaster shortly after the merger. With quality being Hamilton's primary goal, the company set out to manufacture "America’s Finest Watch,” and indeed they did. In 1893 Hamilton produced its very first timepiece: an 18-size 17-jewel pocket watch.

For a more comprehensive Hamilton Watch history, check out: