As a watch journalist, I am supposed to be objective and impartial, reporting on developments in the watch industry, new watches and profiles of personalities.
I have a confession to make.
I have a soft spot in my heart for Hamilton Watch. I lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of Hamilton, for more than 20 years before I moved to Switzerland, and my father-in-law, Robert V. Hartman, was a master watchmaker for Hamilton. So, I was introduced to Hamilton very early on and grew to love the brand.
Hamilton has a long, very American history and today’s Hamilton, owned by the Swiss Swatch Group, honors this heritage with its designs, its marketing and its emphasis on innovation. As a result, I have remained close to the brand and am fortunate enough to have several Hamilton watches in my collection, including the iconic Ventura and the recent Hamilton Navy Pioneer Limited Edition.
Hamilton has done a good job honoring its past while at the same time continuing to innovate with new movements, designs and initiatives. Innovation has indeed been a hallmark for Hamilton since the beginning, when the company pioneered the mass-produced low-cost watch, as well as precise railroad watches.
Later, the company earned plaudits for its efforts during World War II, and the postwar era was distinguished by ground-breaking work in automation and new materials, including breakthroughs in lubrication.
I am a big fan of skeleton watches. I love being able to see into the beating heart of the watch, which is why I was so impressed when Hamilton introduced the Jazzmaster Viewmatic Skeleton for men and women at the end of 2013. This is a watch that is not only good looking, but also ably embodies all that Hamilton has going for it. It is a skeleton, showcasing the automatic movement beating inside, while also featuring a brand-new movement, the H-20-S, and a new laser-engraving technique.
“The H-20-S is a skeleton movement exclusive to Hamilton and was developed with ETA,” says Sylvain Dolla, president of Hamilton Watch Worldwide. “Often a skeleton is designed in a traditional way. With the Jazzmaster Collection, we underline the contemporary decoration, including laser engraving and vertical brushing, as well as a 3D and see-through effect. Thanks to generously dimensioned openings and a multilevel dial, the wearer enjoys a maximal view on the movement, including components such as the hairspring and the beautiful barrel escapement.”
Hamilton has a lot to offer watch lovers, both entry level and those who are more sophisticated. The price points are reasonable and buying a Hamilton is a way to be a part of this very American brand’s continuing legacy.