Hamilton: The Once American Watch Company

Hamilton: The Once American Watch Company

The Hamilton Watch Company was founded in 1892, to build only watches of the highest quality. Their pocket watches became known across America for reliability, but it was the 1917 introduction of a military wristwatch that truly established them. Those early wristwatches used tiny 0-sized 17-jewel movements originally designed for women’s pendent watches.

The company went on to produce the world’s first electric watch in 1957, but they faced increasing competition from Japanese watchmakers. In an attempt to compete, they teamed up with Ricoh to produce electric mechanisms in their Lancaster, Pennsylvania factory which were then sent to Japan for final assembly. The venture failed, and Hamilton acquired Swiss watchmaker Bueren in an attempt to fight the Japanese onslaught with quality. It didn’t work, forcing the American factory to close in 1969 — via Retro Thing

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