Hamilton Watch History


Keystone Standard Watch Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and Aurora Watch Company of Illinois is sold to Lancaster investors in a public auction. The stockholders name the new company Hamilton, after Andrew Hamilton, the Scottish attorney who founded Lancaster. 


Hamilton’s first series of pocket watches earns the title “the watch of railroad accuracy”


Hamilton becomes the supplier of the US Armed Forces.


The piping rock and yankee watches are introduced confirming Hamilton’s leadership in American style.


During World War 2, Hamilton stops production of watches for consumers so they can concentrate on providing the armed forces with a total of a million timepieces.Chronometers were vital naval equipment for calculating longitude and plotting direction and location and were used as an alternative to radio to find position. Over the course of the war Hamilton made 10,902 marine chronometers that met tough demands for reliability and accuracy. Being the only company with the capability to provide the support they managed to develop and produce them in a little over a year.


A true story, the film “The Frogmen” portrayed US naval divers during World War II as they prepared safe landings for supplies and troops on hostile shores.


Hamilton introduces the world’s first electric watch, the VENTURA, revolutionary technology in a revolutionary design.


Elvis Presley wears his Ventura in the film “Blue Hawaii”


Stanley Kubrick approaches Hamilton to make unique timepieces for his new film “2001: A Space Odyssey” Hamilton’s design team provided him with a wristwatch and a desk clock.


Hamilton introduces the world’s first LED digital watch


Hamilton introduces The Pan Europ, one of the first automatic chronograph.


Hamilton is sold SSIH (now known as the Swatch Group) on May 16, 1974.



Old favorites such as the Boulton, Ventura, Ardmore, and Wilshire fueled and led an industry wide trend of classic watches. The 80’s saw the reintroduction of classic Hamilton designs from the 1920’s to the 1930’s.


Hamilton continues being featured in Hollywood, appearing in such films as Men in Black, Lethal Weapon 4, Fight Club, Independence Day, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and You’ve Got Mail.


Hamilton’s production and headquarters transferred from U.S. to Biel, Switzerland.


Hamilton joins Leading aerobatic pilot, Nicolas Ivanoff. As a Hamilton ambassador he takes to the skies in a Hamilton branded Edge 540.


After seeing the hard work carried out behind the scenes, Hamilton decides to honor those who play a key role in making movies successful. Every year Hamilton hosts the Hamilton Behind the Camera awards in Hollywood.


Hamilton is the official timekeeper of EAA AirVenture. Every summer, for a week more than 500,000 aviation enthusiasts and EAA members from over 60 countries come together at this event in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.


Hamilton cooperates with various squadrons in South Africa , Canada, Korea, Spain and Russia to secure their status as the favorite watch of pilots. Hamilton has developed a new pilot watch, the Khaki Flight Timer, in collaboration with Air Zermatt, a prestigious transport and rescue helicopter company.


Hamilton launches the Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards in China, paying tribute to Chinese offscreen talent.



Hamilton returns to the big screen in Ridley Scott’s The Martian. Mark Watney(Matt Damon) uses the Khaki BeLOWZERO while he is stranded on Mars.