Hamilton is known for delivering luxury quality Swiss watches at affordable prices, and its new 2020 collection reminds us that great design – including archival designs – is also part of the package.
—By Carol besler
Its major launch for 2020 is a re-launch of the 1970 Hamilton Pulsar, now called Hamilton PSR, the first digital watch ever made. The watch oozes retro cool. Elvis Presley famously wore one. So did Keith Richards and Elton John. The new PSR is true to the original Pulsar series, with its digital time readout, cherry red digi-dot font and TV-screen-shaped case with generous proportions of 40.08mm x 34.7mm x 13.3mm thick. The PSR has a hybrid display, combining an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) visible in daylight, and an OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) that lights up at the press of a button. Holding the button down reveals the passing seconds. Hamilton says combining both technologies ensures very low energy consumption. There are two versions of the PSR to choose from: one in stainless steel priced at $970, and a version in stainless steel coated with yellow gold PVD that’s limited to 1,970 models and priced at $1,300.
The Hamilton PSR, Stainless Steel model
The Khaki Field Titanium is also a nod to Hamilton’s heritage – the company supplied watches to the U.S. military during the Second World War. The case on the new model is made of titanium, the wonder material that is harder than steel yet 45% lighter, which makes it ideal for large sports watches. One of Hamilton’s strengths is its movements, an advantage it has thanks to being a part of the Swatch Group, one of the world’s largest movement manufacturers– its brands include Breguet, Omega and Longines, so its expertise at the high end is solid, as is its R& department. The Khaki Field Titanium contains the caliber H10 automatic, with an exceptional 80-hour power reserve, made in-house for Hamilton watches. This, along with a sapphire crystal and Super-LumiNova on the hands and markers, takes it to the quality level of a luxury watch at a value price point of $1,240.
The Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium
The Jazzmaster Skeleton uses the same movement, and the open-worked dial shows it off. Not everyone likes to see the inside workings of a watch movement, but this is artfully done, with a striped pattern engraved onto the cut-out dial plate and view of the mainspring between 5 and 6 o’clock and the balance wheel at 12 o’clock. The hands and indexes are coated with glow-in-the-dark Super-LumiNova, so as not to be obscured by the show in the background. If you look closely, you’ll see that the structure of the cutouts forms the letter H.
The Hamilton Jazzmaster Skeleton
The ladies Jazzmaster Open Heart presents a similar view of the movement, this time revealing a plate decorated in perlage, or circular graining. You can also see the rubies holding the gears in placing, including the one securing the balance bridge at the 11 o’clock position. You can also see the hairspring, which is made from Nivachron, a proprietary alloy that is anti-magnetic and therefore highly accurate. The mother-of-pearl dial and easily changed straps (options include, black, white, beige or a steel bracelet) make it a fashion statement as well as a technical one. It is priced at $1,170.
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