Foundation of Hamilton in Lancaster, Pennsylvania/US
The first series of pocket watches earned the title of "The watch of Railroad accuracy". During that period accidents were all too common due to the fact that various railroads worked with over 50 different "times" – so Hamilton set out to deliver accurate watches to the railroad community.
Hamilton gained the prestigious rank of supplier to the US Armed Forces.
In 1918 a Hamilton aeronautical watch accompanies the very first American airmail postal service between Washington and New York.
The introduction of the Piping Rock and Yankee watch confirmed the Hamilton leadership in American style.
During World War II, Hamilton stopped production of watches for consumers to concentrate on the huge task of providing the forces with a total of one million timepieces.
The Hamilton marine chronometers developed in the 1940s were the first to be created by modern manufacturing. Chronometers were vital naval equipment for calculating longitude and plotting location and direction and were used by the US Navy as an alternative to radio to find position. They represented vital military equipment, since radio time signals could be intercepted and falsified by the enemy.
During the course of the war Hamilton produced 10,902 marine chronometers that met the toughest demands for accuracy and reliability, as the only company with the capability to provide this support, managing to develop and produce these in a little over a year. The company’s efforts were rewarded in 1943 with a US Army-Navy “E” Award, presented for excellence in production of military equipment.
First movie appearance in the Oscar-nominated movie “The Frogmen”.
A true story, this film portrayed heroic US naval divers during World War II as they prepared safe landings for supplies and troops on hostile shores.
Hamilton introduces the world’s first electric watch: the VENTURA, revolutionary technology in a revolutionary design.
In 1961 Elvis Presley wore his Ventura in the film “Blue Hawaii”.
Hot on Presley’s footsteps was Stanley Kubrick who approached the American brand in 1966 to make unique timepieces for his new, futuristic film, 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Hamilton design team provided him with a wristwatch and a desk clock that fit the bill perfectly.
The world’s first LED digital watch started measuring time - made by Hamilton.
Hamilton launches one of the first automatic chronographs: The PAN EUROP.
The Hamilton brand is sold to SSIH (the previous name of Swatch Group) on May 16, 1974
A revival in the 80s saw the reintroduction of classic Hamilton designs from the 1920s through to the 1960s. Old favourites like the Boulton, Ardmore, Wilshire and Ventura fuelled and led an industry-wide trend of classic watches.
The intensive Hamilton/Hollywood relationship continues with roles in movies such as Men in Black, Lethal Weapon 4, Independence Day, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Die Hard.
Transfer of the Hamilton production as well as of the headquarter from U.S. to Biel in Switzerland.
Hamilton joins leading aerobatic pilot Nicolas Ivanoff in the cockpit. Since then Hamilton is strongly involved in aerobatics and key airshows: Red Bull Air Races and Swiss Aerobatic Association. As an official Hamilton ambassador Nicolas Ivanoff is taking to the skies in a Hamilton-branded Edge 540.
Hamilton hosts the Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards in Hollywood to highlight special behind-the-scenes artists for their individual impact on the film industry. Celebrities and film stars attending the red carpet event gladly give up the spotlight to cinematographers, prop masters, costume designers and screenwriters. The recognition of the off-screen talent is underlined with the presentation of the awards by the leading stars of the movie industry.
Hamilton is the official timekeeper of EAA AirVenture. For one week each summer, more than 500,000 EAA members and aviation enthusiasts from more than 60 countries come together at this event at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Hamilton has developed a new pilot watch, the Khaki Flight Timer, in close collaboration with Air Zermatt, the prestigious transport and rescue helicopter company. The watch integrates a dedicated pilots’ logbook to record details of up to 20 flights. Its launch marks the signing of an official partnership between the two aviation pioneers.
Cooperation with various squadrons in South Africa, Canada, Korea, Spain and in Russia also contribute to securing Hamilton’s status as the favorite watch of pilots.
Expanding its close involvement with the film industry, the brand decided to launch the Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards in China, paying tribute to the Chinese off-screen talent who help make the medium so enjoyable.
Hamilton works with the production team of the movie Interstellar to design a unique watch for the character Murph (Mackenzie Foy and Jessica Chastain) and provides Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) with a Khaki Pilot Day Date.
Hamilton watches return to the big screen in Ridley Scott’s epic adventure, “The Martian”. The Khaki BeLOWZERO helps defining the strong character of Mark Watney (Matt Damon), when he is left behind on Mars.
Known for its innovative designs, Hamilton watches combine American spirit with Swiss precision. The brand’s rich heritage includes railroad, aviation and military roots, as well as strong American designs. A true pioneer, Hamilton has been a key player in the watch industry by introducing new technologies: the world’s first electric watch – the Ventura, in 1957 – and the world’s first LED digital watch – the Pulsar, in 1970. Today Hamilton owns its collection of Swiss Made personalized movements integrated in the watches.
Hamilton watches have appeared in more than 450 films, increasing the brand’s legitimacy in the movie industry. The brand also boasts a strong aviation heritage dating back to 1918 and continued today by the strong partnership as official timekeeper of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.