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S.5 Hamilton

The firm became world-famous for its railroad-accuracy pocket watches, the invention of the first commercial electric wrist watch and the marketing of the first wrist watch without any moving part, the Pulsar. Today, Hamilton USA produces only clocks. Don Sauers has published an excellent book 'Time for America' (Sutter House, Lititz Pennsylvania, 1992), which gives a complete overview of the history of the Hamilton watch Company.

1892Foundation of the Hamilton Watch Company in Lancaster Pennsylvania, USA. Henry Cain designs the first Hamilton watch.
1927Hamilton buys the Illinois Watch Co.
1957Introduction of the first electric wrist watch in the world: the 'Electric', caliber 500.
1961Release of model 505 with a totally renewed contact system.
1963Co-operation between Ricoh (Japan) and Hamilton.
1965Production of the Hamilton 'Clearview', a very rare watch with a transparent back and a white or black dial.
1966At the request of Stanley Kubric, Hamilton designs some futuristic mechanical watches and clocks for the motion picture '2001 - A Space Odyssey'.
1969In April, Hamilton and Buren (Switzerland) release the first self-winding chronograph in the world, the 'Chronomatic'.
1970The first three prototypes of the Pulsar are produced in April. On May 6th, the Pulsar is shown to the press. No commercial production yet; Hamilton looses more than US $23 million.
1971In November, the watch and clock manufactury becomes a subsidiary corporation of Hamilton named: Hamilton Watch Co.
1971Limited production of the Pulsar made of solid gold.
1972In March, the name of the old 'Hamilton Watch Co.' changes officially into 'HMW', which is not an abbreviation, but an old Hamilton logo. Mass production of Pulsar starts. The Pulsar becomes a tremendous success. Pulsar is set up as an autonomous division of HMW.
1973The world's first wrist calculator, the 'Pulsar Time Computer Calculator', made of solid gold, is launched just before Christmas priced at US $ 4000.
1974First lady's Pulsar. From 1972 until 1976 HMW industries is a profitable organisation. On May 16th, HMW sells its Hamilton Watch Company to the Swiss company Aetos Watch, a subsidary of SSIH (Omega etc.).
1976HMW shows a loss of nearly US $ 6 million.
1977HMW sells the Pulsar division to Rhapsody Inc. of Philadelphia, USA. Pulsar launches the 'Pulse Time Computer'. The pulse rate is displayed at the touch of a sensor.
1978Seiko (Japan) buys the brandname 'Pulsar' from Rapsody Inc.

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Copyright by Pieter Doensen

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