This 1970s Hamilton Electronic Mechanical Quartz watch represents one of watch histories back waters. They’re like mechanical watches but, instead of being powered by a spring, the balance wheel is driven by an electromagnet powered by a battery.
As Vinyl Records and Cassette Tapes pre-dated CD’s; “Electronic” watches pre-dated quartz technology. They were produced for a relatively short period between the late 50’s and mid 70’s. Traditional, mechanical watches were declining in popularity and consumers were captivated by progress and modernity, this was the space age after all!
The Hamilton Electric was an instant hit, but it was a short-lived affair, as it was soon superseded by the mass adoption of “Solid-State” quartz technology by the mid-70s. Today therefore, Electric watches are a rare breed. They were born at the dawn of “throw away” consumerism and as such very few exist today. Even rarer, is finding one that still functions properly; and that is what we have here.
Our Hamilton Electronic is in great condition both mechanically and physically. The face and hands are nice and crisp, with just a small amount of fading to the red Seconds hand. The lume too has given up the ghost, and shows foxing on the hands, but that must be expected. The date wheel is still a bright white and the five-minute markers are only lightly tarnished.
The cushion case shows little signs of wear and has obviously been cared for. There are minor scratches and swirl marks to the whole of the body and two slightly deeper dents to the lower right lug. In the photographs, these look “significant”, but remember you are looking at them super-sized. In reality you don’t even notice them when wearing the watch.
What we really do like is the slightly more polished left-side to the watch where is has been rubbed, by numerous sleeves and cuffs, over many many years. Just lovely.
The crown is original and has the Hamilton “H” as it should. It’s also nicely proportioned to the watch case, giving it an overall and suitable heft.
The screw down case back is more robust than many watches, but this is probably to counter the fact that it would be opened more often, in order to change the battery. There are major scratches around, or should I say, from the caseback tool indents, where various people have slipped when trying to open the back. However, these too have become polished over time and almost look like age wrinkles which only enhance this watch’s “un-restored” credentials.
Inside is a Cal.683 electronic movement; this being a rebadged ESA Dynotron 9154 movement. This ESA movement was introduced in 1970, so our watch must post date this. It beats at 28800 BPH and it is this that creates the fast and unmistakable “Tica-Tica-Tica” sound that is synonymous to these timepieces. Fabulous!
It is finished with an in-period textured leather strap which is in perfect keeping with the watch.
So there you have it, a lovely working Hamilton electronic, which is ready to be enjoyed again!