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C.1 Richard Arbib

Arbib was the designer who styled the cases for the Watch of the Future. These were the world's first electric wrist watches. They were manufactured by the Hamilton Watch Company. Arbib also designed watches for Tourneau, Benrus, Sheffield and Gucci. He has been working in many production fields which, amongst others, included the styling of products for cruise-liners, aeroplanes, refrigerators, dishwashers, toys, jewellery, sunglasses, suitcases, commercial display elements, vacuum cleaners, machines and automobiles. Some of the companies which benefitted from his creative activity over the years include General Motors, American Motors, Harry Winston, White Consolidated Industries, Eureka Company, Swank and De Schelde in The Netherlands. He still lives in New York.

1917 Born in New York, September 1st.
Graduates at the Pratt Institute, Brooklyn New York.
Works at the styling division of General Motors together with Harry Earl and Bill Mitchell until 1941.
1941-1944 Makes designs for B-1 combat aircraft.
1949 Establishes his own design studio.
1955-1960 Nearly every month he receives US $ 1.500 for 36 sketches of watch cases for the Hamilton Watch Co. Only a few of each series come into production.

At the Hamilton Watch Corporation, a stylist by the name of Bettye Miller adapts Arbib's designs in order for them to become suitable for manufacturing. Bettye Miller remained in contact with many of the other watch case manufacturers. Arbib's first designs were produced by Schwab & Wuischpard Watch Case Company, USA. All designs contain a Hamilton 500, 502, 505 or a mechanical movement. A nearly complete survey of his designs is published by RenÄ Rondeau in his book: 'The Watch of the Future, The Story of the Hamilton Electric Watch'.

Arbib's most interesting designs are:

1 1957 The 'Ventura' (April 1957 until 1963). The first series of Venturas are fitted with a two-tone strap with a stripe of 24 K plated gold. The later watches had a black leather strap. Four different cases were manufactured, one 14 K yellow gold case, and three much rarer: a 14 K white gold version, an 18 K yellow gold one for the European Market and an 18 K rose gold version for South America. Four dials were produced: a black one, a silver one and the same ones with diamonds. The first dials are marked with the jagged electric resistance symbol between the words 'Hamilton' and 'electric'. The dials which were produced later have a styled H and the words Hamilton and electric on the dial. In 1988 a new Hamilton produced by SMH of Biel, Switzerland, is introduced as a gold plated reproduction of the 'Ventura' with a quartz movement.
2 1957 The 'Van Horn' (April 1957 until 1961). The Van Horn was sold with four different cases: 14 and 18 K yellow gold and 18 K rose gold, black or silver dial, with or without diamonds and a leather strap.
3 1957 The 'Victor' is released in May 1957 as a cheap watch. The Victor has a 10K gold-filled case, a white (rare) or a black dial and a leather strap or a metal band.
4 1957 The 'Spectra' is the third electric model made of gold and released in July 1957. It was available in 14 K and 18 K gold, with a black or a silver dial. In 1960, the 'Spectra' is reissued as the 'Saturn' with the same model goldfilled case as the 'Spectra', but with a restyled dial.
5 1957 The 'Pacer' (November 1957-1969) becomes the most popular watch in the Hamilton Electric series. There are two different standard dials, black and silver, many slightly different dials and some dials with a commercial logo. The two-tone case is 10 K gold-filled and has a leather or a two colour metal bracelet. Some Pacers are sold with a Swiss made automatic movement: the Pacer A or the Pacermatic.
6 1958 The 'Everest', released in February 1958, is a very attractive watch with an optical effect.
7 1959 The 'Titan', which has the same case as the 'Van Horn', is only produced in a less expensive goldfilled version. Released in December 1959.
8 1960 The 'Meteor' is released in June 1960 and only available for sale for two years. The most common version has a two tone gold and black dial.
9 1961 The 'Vega' (June 1961). A beautifully styled, original watch with a gold filled metal band.
10 1961 The 'Altair' (December 1961), is a watch with a 10 K goldfilled case. It is a beautiful and unusual watch designed in the style of the nineteen fifties.
11 1961 The 'Victor II' (December 1961). An elegant, asymmetrical model with a 10 K gold-filled case.
12 1968 The 'Flight I', made of 14 K gold, and the goldfilled version the 'Flight II', both released around 1968 and both fitted with a mechanical movement. A very scarce and attractive watch.
13 The 'Vesta', a small watch in the fifties' style of the 'Altair'. An extremely rare gold-filled ladies' watch. Date of release unknown.
14 1960 The 'Saturn' (June 1960).
15 1961 The 'Aquatel' (June 1961).

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