Founded in 1870, the Illinois Watch Company was primarily known for its pocket watches favored by American railroad workers. The Hamilton Watch Company arrived on the scene almost a quarter century later, but by 1900, more than half of all U.S. railroad conductors, engineers, and workers made sure their trains ran on time with the help of a Hamilton. In 1928, Illinois was purchased by Hamilton.
During the 1920s, most men’s Illinois wristwatches were sold to jewelers, who would put their own cases on them. Of the Illinois watches that were cased at the factory, models included the Square, Canby, Cushion, Champion, Special, and Atlantic.
The late 1920s were Illinois’s prime period. Instead of plain and generic names, these new models were called the Picadilly, Marquis, Ritz, New Yorker, Beau Royale, and the top-of-the-line 14-karat gold Consul, which some collectors consider the finest American wristwatch ever made. These were designed in high Art Deco, with silver pinstripe dials, tiny second hands, and cases of two-tone gold.
After the sale to Hamilton, Illinois watches from the 1930s embraced the Streamline Moderne design. Their names leaned to the preppy (Chesterfield, Wentworth, Andover, Rockliffe) and were almost identical to Hamilton watches of this era, which were named after famous explorers (Stanley, Livingstone, Byrd). These antique Hamiltons are quite collectible today precisely because their movements were made by Illinois.
Of course Hamilton has its own history of wristwatch making. It got into the field because of World War I, when it produced wristwatches for servicemen entering the military. In the 1920s it launched a line of modest, Art Deco masterpieces, with names that evoked the Americas—Piping Rock, Langley, Coronado, Spur. Many of these watches feature white-gold cases with enamel inlays.
In the 1936, Hamilton offered the twin-dial Seckron and in 1938, it introduced its own version of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, which Hamilton called the Otis. Other collectible antique Hamiltons from the 1930s include the Mount Vernon, Andres, and Oakmont...
The 1940s were largely devoted to making wristwatches for the U.S. military—one rectangular, twin-dial steel watch from this period was even known as the Bomb Timer. Then, in the 1950s, Hamilton proceeded to make a slew of conservatively styled watches named, seemingly, after archetypal American dads—Ryan, Craig, Grover, Brent, Carlton, and Alan, to name but a few.
For Hamilton, the 1950s were only in part about tradition. In 1957, it introduced the world’s first electric watches. Designed by Richard Arbib, whose previous credits had included the fins of both World War II bombs and 1950s automobiles, these new late 1950s-1960s watches had space-age, asymmetrical shapes, with equally space-age names like Ventura, Spectra, Altair, Polaris, and Gemini.
By 1971, Hamilton had embraced the electric revolution so completely that its Pulsar would have no moving parts at all, but that would be the last gasp for the once-proud American watch maker, which was sold that year to the company that is today known as the Swatch Group.
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Flashback LancasterLancasterOnline, August 18th
100 Years Ago: Robert E. Miller of the Hamilton Watch Co., related his harrowing trip home from war-torn Europe aboard the British-owned ship Minnetonka as it traversed a sea filled with lurking German warships, the Aug. 17, 1914 Daily New Era reported...Read more
Watch party Sunday for Jackie Robinson West gameBloomington Pantagraph, August 16th
CHICAGO (AP) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Park District are teaming up to host a second watch party for a city team that's in the Little League World Series. Jackie Robinson West will play at 1 p.m. Sunday in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. They...Read more
Watch times changeOCRegister, August 4th
“Watches always have a high value with collectors because of the history,” said SCP Auctions Vice President Dan Imler. “But the Gehrig watch is special because it's the holy grail, given the artistry of this particular Hamilton watch, and it has its...Read more
Weather Window | Jacob Teeter level-headed lawmanTahoe Daily Tribune, July 30th
In 1868 Charles Hamilton was found dead on the road leading to the Truckee Cemetery, Teeter arrested a Chinese railroad employee after finding him in possession of Hamilton's watch. Chinese were regularly persecuted at the time, but the level-headed ...Read more
NCAA settles concussion cases, provides $70 million monitoring fundCBSSports.com, July 29th
return-to-play guidelines, educational programs, research and plaintiffs' attorney fees. Bodily injury claims are not part of this settlement." The settlement addresses approximately 10 cases consolidated in the Northern District Court of Illinois...Read more
Abercrombie & Fitch: Zweites Outlets für die Dünnen und SchönenFashionUnited, July 24th
Neben Abercrombie & Fitch darf das Outlet in Wolfsburg seit dem Frühjahr auch Michael Kors, United Colors of Benetton, Hannah White, Claire`s, Melvin & Hamilton, Watch Station und Salamander zu seinen Mietern zählen. Wolfsburg bietet nun nach ...Read more
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???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ???????????????????1975??????Hamilton Watch???...Read more
Ten top watches for under $2000Sydney Morning Herald, July 20th
Inspired by a Hamilton watch of the same name introduced in 1971, the Hamilton Pan Europ is an automatic chronograph that takes a nostalgic look back at history's timepieces. Today's Pan Europ is powered by the calibre H31 with 60 hours' power reserve...Read more