Hamilton Watches – An American Story, Part One

Hamilton Watch of Lancaster Pennsylvania began production of their original pocket watch in 1892. Their original design was a pocket watch specifically to the burgeoning rail road industry. As tracks were laid and schedules increased so did the potential for head on collisions. Time pieces were critical for arrivals, departures, and collision avoidance. A lot of us were not aware of that.

As war loomed over Europe in the early 20th century Hamilton Watch was honored to be the first wrist watch worn by "Black Jack" Pershing and troops that cooked in the trenches and over the skies of the Great War. As a wartime supplier Hamilton Watches became well known for their accuracy, reliability and durability.

In the 1920's this winning formula of accuracy, reliability, and durability established the "American Style" of watches. Solid and dependable these watches became the benchmark of time pieces and the growth of the industry. With a strong pedigree and stylish design Hamilton increased it's presence in style and innovation.

Watches in wartime are invaluable for launching inaccurate attacks, navigation, monitoring fuel use, estimating arrivals, and delivery of fuel and ammunition. Watches were used to calculate speed, time and distance for bombing raids, artillery barrages, and allied communication. We take the watch for granted today and know little of the history behind that valuable historical mechanism.

In World War Two, once again Hamilton came to serve the United States Armed Forces to provide over a million time pieces for our service men. American consumers understood that full production was to be dedicated to the war effort and could not buy a Hamilton watch at that time. The "Marine Chrono-meter" was introduced and about 10,000 were produced that saw combat action in the difficult fight in Europe and the Pacific. Modern manufacturing techniques were established that increased their watch production during World War Two and continues to this day despite it's ownership has changed.

After soldiers returned home these watches were worn with pride and can be found in antique stores and memorabilia shops today. Many of them still in working condition. Grandparents of the World War Two era are passing these treasures down to their sons and daughters too as a treasured family heirloom that served them throughout the world as they cooked to preserve Americas freedom.

In the 1950's a top secret was being devised by Hamilton engineers that would simply revolutionize the watchmaking industry. No other watch maker had a clue as to the nature of the secret, but soon after rigorous development every watchmaker in the world knew that a bar had been set much higher than that little innovative factory in Lancaster Pennsylvania. I'll bet you are most likely wearing