In 1957 Hamilton created the world’s first electric watch ... 50 years later two special Ventura models celebrate in style
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Half a century of the Hamilton Ventura is a reason for major celebration and two special new models will be paying a poignant tribute to the world’s first electrical, battery-powered watch. One is faithful to its roots with a battery-powered movement – the other pays tribute to the ability of this unusual watch, designed by Richard Arbib, to turn heads, proudly presenting a ‘provocative’ automatic version.
Both of the fiftieth anniversary Ventura watches successfully merge modern technology with nostalgia through maintaining the distinctive shield shape that has appealed to Hollywood stylists ever since Elvis Presley wore his in ‘Blue Hawaii ’in 1961. The quartz model has exactly the same external design as the 1957 original case, while the automatic version has openings to reveal the movement at work and a special design of crown to ensure that it always stays in position.
The 2007 Ventura models introduce a 21st century signature with a contemporary dial design and croco straps. Further expression of the cocktail of technology and heritage comes from the special anniversary packaging. This subtly picks up graphic elements from the original boxes but uses aluminium and acrylic to give the new watches a truly high-tech environment, rounded off by an embossed logo.
The golden history of the Ventura
Back in the 1950s a dedicated Hamilton team spent ten years making their dream of an electrical, battery-powered, watch come true. The launch press conference for Ventura, in New York’s Savoy Plaza Hotel on January 3, 1957, was a massive and flamboyant occasion. During the days that followed over 500 press articles flooded the US media. The groundbreaking technology and the stunning design of Richard Arbib caught the imagination of journalists and consumers alike and nearly 12,000 pieces of the original Ventura were sold. Its perfectly engineered movement could run for a minimum of one year on an Energizer the size of a tiny shirt button, using unimaginably small amounts of battery power. The world’s first electric watch also introduced a new simplicity as it contained one third fewer parts that automatic equivalents and eliminated the need for a winding mechanism or mainspring. The Ventura heralded a new era of technology and efficiency that has lived on to become a legend with a future.
Hamilton was founded in 1892 in Lancaster, PA, USA. Known for innovative design and watch technology, Hamilton is a member of the Swatch Group, the world’s largest watch producer and distributor, with 157 production sites in Switzerland. The Swatch Group is the official timekeeper and data-handling operator for the Olympic Games and other major international sporting events. Hamilton also has a strong Hollywood presence with product appearances in over 300 movies.
Ventura 50th Anniversary Specials
Movement: ETA Cal. 2824-2 25 jewels Swiss Automatic.
Material (case, hands, crown & pinbuckle)
Stainless steel Stainless steel
Dial Color Black Black
Strap Black croco butterfly
Black croco pin
Crystal Sapphire Sapphire
Water resistance 50 m
Limited edition of 1957 pieces