Today, we all take for granted that most watches run by the power of a battery. However, this was not always the case. Before 1957, all watches used the power of a wound spring to turn the hands.
After World War II, technology allowed for an energy cell the "size of a shirt button."
Now the challenge was to harness the power of the energy cell to make it drive the hands of the watch. The race was on to see who could be the first to mass produce such a watch.
On January 3rd, 1957 at the Savoy Plaza Hotel in New York City, Hamilton held an elaborate press conference where there were over 120 reporters in attendance to launch the watch. The press release was published in over 500 newspapers across the country. Radio and magazine advertisements followed with futuristic themes, and specialized displays were sent to Hamilton retailers to tout the new invention. The future was here, and Hamilton wanted to stake it's claim in ushering it in.
The Electric team realized that the exterior housing this revolutionary movement should look as modern and futuristic as the movement. They hired a well-known automotive designer, Richard Arbib, to design cases that would reflect Hamilton's forward-thinking vision.
This combination of style and revolution has made the Hamilton Electric Watch a coveted prize for many watch collectors.
If you would like to learn more about these iconic watches, René Rondeau's book "The Watch of The Future" is the definitive source.