On 6 May 1970, at The Four Seasons restaurant in New York City, a timepiece would be unveiled that would change the course of horological history. Hamilton presented to the world the very first digital electronic wristwatch, the Pulsar, named after the pulsating neutron stars that emit beams of radiation at precise frequencies.
Unlike the mechanical watches that came before, this technical marvel featured no moving parts or ticking of hands. Instead, it displayed the time via a futuristic LED display; a push of the button on the side of the watch made the time flash in red on the screen, while holding the button for longer revealed the passing seconds. The Hamilton Pulsar P1 launched to market in 1972 with a fittingly space-age design, featuring a daring cushion-shaped case and bracelet in 18ct yellow gold. It also had an out-of-this-world cost to match, with its $2,100 price tag the equivalent, at the time, of a family car. Limited to just 400 models, Elvis Presley was among the first customers.
Following the next year was the stainless steel Pulsar P2, defined by its more rounded case design and improved chip model. Produced in a much larger volume, the watch was a resounding success, thanks in part to its celebrity clientele including Keith Richards, Elton John and US president Gerald Ford.
It is this iconic 1970s design that Hamilton is reviving with the new Hamilton PSR. It retains the bold retro look, with two versions to choose from – stainless steel and a model coated with yellow-gold PVD, limited to 1,970 pieces. The technology, however, has been upgraded for the modern day. It comes equipped with a hybrid display that combines reflective LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) and emissive OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) technologies, that display the time in the familiar ‘digit dot’ style while ensuring visibility in daylight conditions.
From £675; hamiltonwatch.com