Khaki Navy: Frogman Automatic
One of Hamilton’s smaller collections is no less prominent with its nod tounderwater adventures. From classic Pioneer and Scuba models to more modernFrogman and BelowZero versions, the Khaki Navy line can range fromblisteringly active in the field to mental sweat in the office. Our favoriteis easily the new Frogman Automatic dive watch with its big unidirectionalbezel, locking screwdown crown and Swiss Automatic movement. It’s ready forthe depths (300 meters worth), even if you aren’t.$1,079.14 on Amazon.com
Hamilton Watches for Women
Top 10 American Watch Brands
In the present-day, the luxury watchmakers that survived the crisis areexperiencing an explosion in popularity. A common thread in their marketingcampaigns is often heritage and centuries-old tradition, of which there isplenty when speaking of American watchmaking.It is this fact, coupled with an ever-increasing demand for made-in-USA goods,that we believe presents fertile ground for the following American watchbrands to thrive in.
The Hamilton Story
Ask any man worth his horological salt the name of an American watch brand,and he’ll likely spout off Shinola, Weiss and perhaps RGM. Others who are lesssavvy might make the mistake of naming Hamilton, but they’d only be partiallywrong. Though Hamilton is no longer an American brand, most people stillrecognize the brand for what it was. Home-grown quality watchmaking. Thislongstanding, tried and true watch brand did actually have its origins wayback in 1892 in Lancaster, PA after Hamilton purchased the bankrupt KeystoneStandard Watch Company Hamilton grew into an American horological juggernautduring the rise of the railroad industry, crafting railroad pocket watches buteventually migrating toward wristwatches when the smaller timepieces took overin popularity after World War I. Their reputation rested on the fact thatrailroad watches needed supreme accuracy.Hamilton’s ties to aviation are one of the strongest relationships it bears,and pilot’s watches are one of its most popular and longest lasting thematicfoundations to its line. Hamilton has been making pilot’s watches since wayback in 1919, and Hamilton watches were renowned for their accuracy, so muchso that both aviators and railroad men relied unequivocally relied on them.They became the official watch of airlines like Trans World Airlines (TWA),Eastern, United and Northwest back in the 1930s.Then in World War II, Hamilton moved the entirety of their production to servethe needs of the U.S. military, and they stopped selling to the generalpublic. In 1971, Hamilton was purchased by the Omega and Tissot HoldingCompany known as Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère (SSIH). Then in1984, Hamilton became a subsidiary of the Swatch Group, a merger of SSIH andthe ASUAG (Allgemeine Gesellschaft der Schweizerischen Uhrenindustrie). TheSwatch Group owns illustrious brands such as Blancpain, Omega, Rado andGlashütte Original. Hamilton currently occupies a slot in the Swatch Group’smid-range timepieces, along with the likes of Tissot, Mido and Certina.
Why Hamilton Matters
Though the brand is now under Swiss ownership, its horological ethos remainsstrongly American. Every style produced by the Hamilton brand has strong tiesto its original American heritage, whether it’s the military-inspired KhakiField line or the Jazzmaster, Hamilton watches retain a distinctly Americanethos that’s very popular in the mid-price range of what’s considered qualitytimepieces. Hamilton focuses on various thematic worlds like aviation,military, music, technology and cinema to craft distinct collections in theworld of horology.For decades, Hamilton has also been one of the silver screen’s go-to watchbrands, showing up in Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii (1961), 2001: A SpaceOdyssey (1968), Independence Day (1996), Men In Black (1997), Ocean’s Eleven(2001) and Interstellar (2014), and 102 additional major feature films. Theirpervasiveness in cinema is arguably one of the largest, along with Rolex, IWC,Omega, Breitling, and Jaeger LeCoulture.Hamilton watches throw a wide net in terms of price, starting at $395 retailand going all the way up to $6,195. Their specialty is American heritagedesign watches that echo styles from the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s. Whereas theyonce use American in-house movements when their company was still underAmerican ownership, they now house ETA movements due to their Swatch Groupownership. Hamilton isn’t considered a luxury or premium brand but rather amiddle priced watch brand.Hamilton watches have a strong heritage, and now that the watches are backedwith hard to come by Swiss ETA automatic movements because of their SwatchGroup affiliation, they’re more than worth pursuing. Though they don’t reallyappreciate in value like more premium brands, they are high-quality timepiecesthat garner respect in watch circles. They’re often viewed as a reputablecombination of both dressy and casual mid-range watches, but their ability toprovide sporty and even futuristic timepieces speaks to their versatility.The fact that much pricier watch brands use some of the same movements andmaterials is a testament to the Hamilton brand. Their designs pay properhomage to the past while utilizing new styles that help bring the brand to themodern age. They’re taking more design risks these days, which is a nice jumpfrom their more traditional designs, and the fact that they have the power ofthe Swatch Group behind them is a very good thing, indeed.
Your Ultimate Guide To The Best Hamilton Watches Out There
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