Hamilton Pulsomatic

The year 2010 marks the fortieth birthday of the world’s first digital watch, made by Hamilton. The American brand is celebrating the invention of the technology that revolutionized the watch industry with the new Hamilton Pulsomatic, a digital timepiece with futuristic design. This watch fuels the spirit of the digital age with Swiss craftsmanship in the form of an automatic movement, to appeal to wearers who love the fact that time never stands still.

The Pulsar named after puzzling astronomical bodies that emit precise radio pulses was considered as the first solid state wrist computer in the world. Today’s Hamilton Pulsomatic has a science-fiction look, combined with elegance expressed by smooth shapes and surfaces. The brushed stainless steel case resembles a Space Age television screen from the front, while a ridged effect on the sides and crown is strikingly contemporary.

A sleek black screen adds another dimension to the high-tech appearance. Wearers of the original Hamilton digital watch in the 1970s included the famous American singer and actor Sammy Davis Junior, the 38th US president Gerald Ford and the Shah of Iran – the new piece promises to attract innovative individuals with an urge to differentiate themselves from frantic fashionistas.

The liquid crystal display on the Hamilton Pulsomatic is powered by an innovative Swiss automatic movement, the H1970. Fully charged the watch has a power reserve lasting 82 days. The robustness demanded by twenty-first century lifestyles is afforded by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and water resistance to a depth of 50 meters. And the ultimate touch of today is a choice of rubber strap as an alternative to a more classical stainless steel bracelet.

Technical details

  • Size: 39 mm x 49 mm
  • Material: Stainless steel / Black PVD / 4N PVD
  • Display color: Black
  • Attachments: Rubber / Stainless steel
  • Movement: Automatic CAL.H1970
  • Power reserve: 82 days
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water resistance: 5 bars (50 m)
  • Suggested public price: 995 €, 1495 USD, 1495 CHF
  • Launch: October 2010

The world’s first digital watch started measuring time on May 6, 1970. It displayed the time in numerical digits using a light-emitting diode display (LED). A power source battery caused a quartz crystal to vibrate and an integrated circuit then turned the vibrations into the information for the display. A magnet stored in the band eliminated the need for a crown for setting the time.

Hamilton was overwhelmed by the immediate success of its new digital product when it was commercialized in 1972. Wide TV coverage, including an appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, brought the digital craze to fever pitch. Just before Christmas 1972 a customer in Tiffany’s, New York, had just bought the store’s last digital timepiece and received two purchase offers from other customers before leaving the building. Even the Swiss market went crazy for the unique American innovation that paved the way for a worldwide annual production of 350 million digital watches by the year 2000.

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