Electric



Electricity in watchmaking is nearly as old as electricity itself with many clocks having been made in the XIX century. The size of these devices made it however impossible to fit into wristwatches :) Another issue was the need to invent a size efficient and durable power source like the button cells we use commonly today. Years of R&D at various competing companies followed by continuous miniaturization resulted in the first electric watch launched by Hamilton in early 1957 - the "Electric" - the first battery powered wristwatch.

 

With the race now lost other manufacturers presented their inventions soon after...most of these were far better in technical terms than the Hamilton but they couldn't withstand the large scale marketing campaign of the winner. Hamilton mass produced electric watches in hundreds of thousands but the futuristicly designed cases by Richard Arbib have made them cult symbols of the atomic age. In effect Hamilton Electrics have retained their value far better than any other quality electric watch.

 

electric repair

All watches with a standard balance but powered by a button cell are considered Electric which you can browse in the Pure Electric gallery. Basicly two independent standards were made with either moving coil (on the balance) or fixed coil type (mounted on the movement). Later inventions included early electronic components such as resistors and transistors and were called Electronic, as opposed to the common understanding of today where something electronic should have a digital display and circuit board. These can be found in the Transistorized Electrics gallery. Electric watches became extinct somewhere in the late 1960's and their Electronic successors in the late 1970's with the outbreak of cheap Quartz watches.

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