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Hamilton Watches

This Swiss manufacture actually has American roots. It was first incorporated in 1892 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and produced its first watches in 1893. Hamilton went from building pocket watches to wristwatches and was famously in many a big-screen movie throughout the 1950s and ‘60s. Today, owned by the Swatch Group, it continues to be actively involved in the world of film (and even sponsors the Behind the Camera awards), aviation, and more. Its best-known lines include the iconic Ventura, the Jazzmaster, and the Khaki.

History of Hamilton

The Hamilton Watch Company was founded in 1892 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA. At first, Hamilton only produced pocket watches. It was not until WWI, when Hamilton became one of the official suppliers to the U.S. Armed Forces, that a shift in production to the more convenient wristwatch occurred.

They made a name for themselves in the early days of the American railroads, when accidents were frequent as no reliable timing method existed. Hamilton was already well known for its quality and accuracy. This precision helped solve the railroad’s problem and earned them the title: The Watch of Railroad Accuracy.

Hamilton has a rich aviation history – A Hamilton aeronautical watch was on the wrist of the pilots who flew the first U.S. Airmail service between Washington D.C. and New York City in 1918. Hamilton was in Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s pocket when he became the first pilot to reach the North Pole in 1926.

Hamilton’s contribution to aviation history continued, and their technical advancements helped early aviators make critical calculations of time, distance, and direction. By the 1930s, they were the official watch of the four major American airlines. Today, they are the Red Bull Air Race World Championship and the Swiss Aerobatic Association’s official timekeeper.