Did you know that the first wristwatch ever made dates back to Hungary in 1868?
Though they didn’t become popular until World War I, wristwatches have a long and robust history in the Western world. Having had their start before the 20th century, Hamilton watches are no exception.
While not the most premium brand among watch collectors, the Hamilton watch company still produces quality watches that are worth considering. When you’re looking for an affordable and well-made timepiece, a Hamilton watch might be exactly what you need.
Whether you’re a watch collector or just looking for something new, read this before making your judgment on Hamilton watches.
The History of Hamilton Watches
The history of Hamilton watches begins in Lancaster, PA in 1892 when Hamilton bought out the Keystone Standard Watch Company. By 1893, they’d produced their first pocket watch.
While the railroad industry boomed in the US, so too did the popularity of Hamilton watches. Hamilton watch company became synonymous with highly accurate and precise watches. Those qualities are what made their pocket watches so popular among railroad workers.
Following World War I, wristwatches became more popular than pocket watches. As a result, Hamilton moved away from wristwatches and toward the smaller timepieces. By 1919, Hamilton began making pilot’s watches that were just as well known for their accuracy as the railroad pieces.
Come World War II, the Hamilton watch company had stopped producing wristwatches for public sale. Instead, they switched all of their production to servicing the US military. By the time the War ended, Hamilton had all but faded into obscurity as far as the general public was concerned.
Hamilton Watches Today
The Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère (SSIH) bought out the Hamilton watch company in 1971. When SSIH and Allgemeine Gesellschaft der Schweizerischen Uhrenindustrie (ASUAG) merged in 1984 and became the Swatch Group, Hamilton became a subsidiary.
Hamilton has been in decline since after World War II. But after becoming a subsidiary of Swatch Group, the brand was reborn. They increased their marketing and promotions to attract collectors and everyday watch-buyers alike.
Hamilton created wristwatches with designs based on vintage models. Designs based of collections from the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, were the hallmark of the hamilton dress watch brand. Some of the more famous watches from this time are the Piping Rock, Spur, Ardmore, Cabot, and Bolton styles.
Today, Hamilton is still owned by the Swatch Group. They’re a mid-range wristwatch among contemporaries such as Certin and Mido. And although they’re no longer owned and operated in the US, their designs and ethos are still distinctly American.
Hamilton watch company instills their timepieces with an American heritage through thematic collections. These include craft collection based on military, aviation, and cinematic themes.
How to Maintain Your Hamilton Watch
Although a Hamilton watch isn’t a high end or premium watch, it’s of high enough quality and value that it requires regular cleaning and maintenance. Regardless of the type of watch you’ve purchased, you should clean your watch at home regularly as well as bring it into an authorized dealer.
Like any other watch, you should clean your Hamilton at least once a week if not every day. Clean the face of the watch with a soft and dry cloth to remove any built-up dirt or smudges.
If your watch is water-resistant, you can clean it with warm, soapy water and a toothbrush. Follow the wash by rinsing with warm water. Make sure that you don’t clean your watch with any detergents or corrosive agents.
Bringing It to a Dealer
When having your watch professionally serviced, only bring it to an authorized dealer. This ensures that your watch receives the exact care that it needs from an experienced service provider.
You should bring your Hamilton watch in for maintenance whether it’s quartz or automatic. But how often you need to perform preventative care depends on your specific watch. Considerations include the model, how often you wear it, where you live, and how well you take care of the watch on your own.
Generally speaking, bringing your watch to an authorized dealer every 3 to 5 years is enough to keep it in good working order. However, if you don’t take good care fo your watch at home, you should increase the frequency. Likewise, if you live in a more extreme climate, you might consider more regular preventative maintenance.
Finally, if you own a Hamilton quartz watch, you’ll have to think about replacing the battery every 2 to 4 years. An authorized dealer can do this for you as well.
How Much Do Hamilton Watches Cost?
Although it’s made by the Swatch Group, who handle other luxury and premium bands, Hamilton is considered a mid-range brand that doesn’t offer a return on investment. You can find Hamilton watches starting as low as $395 USD. As you approach higher-end collections, that price can reach as high as $6,195.
Benefits of Hamilton Watches
As a mid-range wristwatch brand with a long history and strong American ethos, Hamilton has some benefits over other brands.
First, Hamilton watches are made with Swiss ETA automatic movements. Some of the most luxurious and premium brands use this same technology. Hamilton offers that precision at a much lower price range.
Second, Hamilton is a stylish and reputable brand that’s still accessible for most men. With a wide range of products to choose from, there really is a Hamilton to suit any budget.
But perhaps the most important benefit of a Hamilton watch is that they offer excellent materials and technology at a price and range of styles that no other competitor can match. For this, Hamilton watches are a timeless classic.
More Budget-Friendly Tips
Hamilton watches have been around since the turn of the century and they’re still making accurate watches with state-of-the-art technology.
At a cost that’s accessible to most men and a range of collections to satisfy most styles, the Hamilton watch is a classic that will earn you nods in even the snobbiest watch collecting circles.
When you’re on a budget, even buying a watch requires sound advice. For more budget-friendly advice like this, check out our blog on how to save your money.