From Hamilton – the only watches run electrically (Mar, 1958)

From Hamilton – the only watches run electrically

Electricity gives them uncanny accuracy. No winding, no twist of the wrist needed. A tiny power cell inside does the work. Rugged, practical watches, Hamilton Electrics have fewer parts (no mainspring!). Your Hamilton Jeweler now has the new Anniversary series celebrating the first birthday of the world’s only electric watch. (Top to bottom) Victor, $89.50; Pacer, $125; Titan, $95. Hamilton Watch Company, Lancaster, Pa.


  1. Yaos says: February 26, 201112:08 pm

    The Pacer would cost about $920 in today’s money. You can buy an entire digital computer for that much!

  2. Nomen Nescio says: February 26, 201112:25 pm

    and today, i’m among those who no longer carry a watch at all, yet still tell time with uncanny accuracy thanks to the help of electronics. until we lose signal to our cellphones. then we no longer have any clue what the time is…

  3. Jayessell says: February 26, 201112:48 pm

    Electric but not quartz?

  4. DouglasUrantia says: February 26, 201110:39 pm

    there’s no point for wearing a watch now that cells phones are in every pocket. I still see people wearing watches…why?

  5. Stephen says: February 27, 20116:59 am

    DouglasUrantia – because I can tell the time without taking my hands off the handlebars. Telling the time on a mobile phone kept in the pocket curiously returns us to the days of the fob watch.

  6. rick s. says: February 27, 20119:49 am

    DouglasUrantia: Yes, you’re exactly right about that. I’ve gone a step further and only wear an analog watch which I find makes it even quicker for me to tell the time than the digitals I’ve used. And they are just as accurate should I ever need split second timing.


  7. LightningRose says: February 27, 201110:11 am

    I really dig the Pacer’s futuristic styling!

  8. hwertz says: February 27, 20112:42 pm

    “Electric but not quartz?”
    Nope! Per this site:…
    This watch actually uses points! A wire contacts the points 5 times a second, and that is when the power is drawn to operate the watch. Essentially, the mainspring and winding mechanism are replaced with this electric mecanism, while the rest of the watch is fully mehanical.

    The other early one is the Bulova Accutron. These used a 360hz tuning fork! This actually was a fully electronic watch.

  9. Brian says: February 28, 20111:28 pm

    I’ve got a Pacer — it’s a beautiful watch and, from a design point of view, definitely a product of its time. Mine has the older 500 mechanism inside it, which keeps accurate time but is kind of wonky. Definitely not as accurate as later models of the mechanism — and not nearly as accurate as today’s watch.

    The Pacer is actually the second mechanical watch; the fancier Ventura was released first (and cost much more at the time). (Technically, I guess it was the third. A Hamilton watch called the Van Horn was released at the same time as the Ventura.)

    An interesting note about the design: Apparently, an executive was wearing an early prototype of the electric watch to a watch show to gauge people’s reactions. Unfortunately, because the electronic mechanism was inside a normal looking watch case, no one knew what it was and no one acted any differently towards it. The executive realized that if people were going to own the world’s first electric watch, they’d want other people to know it! So Hamilton made the decision to hire the design firm of Richard Arbib to come up with some forward thinking designs for the watch cases.

  10. Jayessell says: February 28, 20111:50 pm

    Re #3….
    When you say ‘nope’, what you mean to say is ‘that’s correct, a quartz oscillator is not used.’?

    Are you a woman?

  11. Jari says: February 28, 20111:59 pm

    I never realized, that Pacer was this “old” design. First time I saw them was in M.I.B.

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