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Hamilton X-Copter (click to enlarge!)
Hamilton X-Copter
© Hamilton

Hamilton is a Swiss (formerly American) watch manufacturer, currently part of the Swatch Group's Middle Range.

An American pioneer brand

The Hamilton Watch Company (now Hamilton International Ltd.), whose tradition is retraced to the founding year of 1892 , began in Lancaster, Pennsylvania (USA) with their watch production.

In 1966 the Hamilton Watch Company took over the Buren Watch Company. In the late 1960s both brands made ​​headlines, when, together with Breitling, Heuer-Leonidas and Dubois Dépraz, they worked at the project of the world's first self-winding chronograph movement (Chronomatic).

Meanwhile, the company, under the name Hamilton, belongs to the Swatch Group and since 16 May 1974, when it was taken over by the SSIH, can be regarded primarily as a Swiss watch manufacturer.

In the early years, Hamilton was known as a producer of the “watch of railroad accuracy”. Later the first U.S. airmail pilots navigated their flights with Hamilton watches. During World War II Hamilton became main watches supplier of the U.S. forces and manufactured almost a million watches for military use.

Modern inventions

After the war came the revival of commercial production, characterized by the spectacular launch of the world's first battery-powered watch. This model with an unusual triangular shape was brought to market under the name of Ventura in 1957, after three years of secret development, called “Project X”. The watch was known also by the fact that Elvis Presley in 1961 wore it in the movie “Blue Hawaii”.

In other films Hamilton watches also played a role. Thus, the company produced a futuristic watch for Stanley Kubrick's film classic “2001 - A Space Odyssey” in 1966. Hamilton watches were worn by movie heroes in a total of over 300 movies.

On 6 May 1970 Hamilton set new standards with the first digital time measurement, and in 1972 the first digital watch was brought to market.

Hamilton Watch

In the 1960s and 1970s, Hamilton Watch SA of Bienne served as a holding company for A. Huguenin fils SA, maker of Hamilton-brand watches, and Büren Watch Co.

In the Swatch Group

Today the brand is under the umbrella of the Swatch Group, where it is positioned as a youth fashion brand with its two main ranges of American Classic and Khaki. But mainly solid mechanical watches with automatic winding and interesting exterior are offered.


Hamilton International Ltd.
CH-2504 Biel

Tel. +41 32 343 40 04
Fax +41 32 343 40 06


hamilton.txt · Last modified: 03.07.2022 15:34 by

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