Since its founding in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1892, Hamilton has been a major force in the world of watches. Back then and through the first half of the 20th century there was a major watch production industry in the United States and Hamilton was one of the driving forces of that industry. Early in their history, Hamilton focused on producing pocket watches and wrist watches for the railroad industry and then during the world wars produced watches for the US military and its allies. Their field watches and marine chronometers produced during this era are cherished by collectors to this day. After the war they switched focus back to civilian products and introduced one of the first electronic watches, the Ventura series, that was made famous by Elvis Presley. By this time in the 1960’s, Switzerland was becoming the epicenter for the watch industry and Hamilton moved their production to Switzerland in 1969. Shortly after that the company came under the control of SSIH (later to be known as the Swatch group) and continues to make watches under the Hamilton brand to this day.
On October 4th, 1957 the Soviet Union forever changed the trajectory of the human race when they launched the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, into the earth’s orbit. The space race was on, and for the next decade, rocketships and space age design would touch every part of society from movies, to architecture and furniture. Cars perhaps more so than any other form naturally molded to this shape. One of the designers most famous for bringing these design cues to the world of automobiles was an industrial designer named Richard Arbib. Arbib’s Astra Gnome concept car which debuted in 1956 took the world by storm with its radical space age design, and would be featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine and displayed front and center at the New York Auto Show that same year. Arbib wasn’t just a car designer though and luckily for us, he was also hugely influential in the world of watch design. The Hamilton T-403 seen here is one of several designs penned by Arbib for Hamilton in the 1950s including the Ventura, Everest, and Pacer. On top of a fantastic design, this watch sticks out from its Arbib designed cousins because of its movement. The other models featured electric movements whereas the T-403 was fitted with a microrotor automatic Hamilton calibre 663, making this the Arbib model of choice for collectors and enthusiasts alike.
The 34mm 10 karat gold filled case is in fantastic original condition. There is a bit of tarnishing that has built up specifically around the shark fin lugs and surface level scratches throughout but the watch is a true survivor. All of the components look to be correct and are thought to be original.
The Dial and Hands
The dial and hands are in excellent condition with no major flaws to note. The space age design of the case carries over to the dial with a fantastic two tone pac man esque design with radiant lines. The dial is further set off with blued hands.
This watch features a microrotor automatic Hamilton calibre 663 movement. The watch is running and the service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Automatic Hamilton Calibre 663|
|Dial||Gold and Silver|
|Case Material||10k Gold Filled|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|