Hamilton Ventura Elvis80

Hamilton Ventura Elvis80

Postby koimaster » March 15th 2016, 4:04pm

Not many watches that I really like as much as the Ventura. Too bad ChronoMatt is not around. He has a hell of a collection of the originals.

The Hamilton Watch Company released the Ventura on January 3, 1957. There had never been a watch remotely like it before. It not only radically changed the shape of watches, it changed the way a watch could be powered, for it was the world’s first battery driven watch, perhaps the most important breakthrough in watchmaking technology in nearly 500 years. The Hamilton Ventura was telling the time electronically some 12 years before the Seiko Quartz Astron was launched in Japan on December 25th 1969.

The Ventura’s futuristic styling immediately made it noticeable and much sought after among a clutch of celebrities, and at the time, there didn’t come much more ‘celebrity’ than Elvis Presley, who wanted one as soon as he saw it.

The watch was the brainchild of Richard Arbib, among the top industrial designers of his day, he had made a name for himself designing not watches, but cars for General Motors. But along the way he had also turned his considerable design talents to boats and vacuum cleaners, and all kinds of consumer products.

Hamilton had the good sense to allow Arbib to give free reign to his imagination, which he did with hundreds of remarkable sketches. In fact Arbib created so many outstanding designs in arriving at the Ventura that some of them were used for Hamilton watch designs a little further down the track.

The eye catching asymmetrical design of the Ventura was first sketched by Arbib in May 1956. Both the look and the name have a distinct mid-20th century look and feel to them. Arbib’s original Ventura mimicked the changing shape of electric guitars, trendy kidney-shaped coffee tables car tail light fins; atomic-themed furnishings and decorative patterns. Arbib would move on to design other wild Electric designs, too.

Presley’s association with the watch is so strong that for decades, collectors and non-collectors alike have referred to the Ventura as “The Elvis watch”. It can be clearly seen in the 1961 film Blue Hawaii. In one scene the watch is featured in huge close-up, completely filling the screen. Celebrity endorsement doesn’t come any less obvious, and despite it’s relatively high price tag for the time of $200 (over $2,000 in today’s money) demand far outstripped supply.

One of Presley’s most famous photographs during his much publicized tour of duty in the US Army was a picture of him in uniform proudly wearing his Ventura on his left wrist.


http://www.watchuseek.com/hamilton-vent ... ndbreaker/
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Re: Hamilton Ventura Elvis80

Postby TemerityB » March 15th 2016, 4:54pm

My wife is nutty for the Ventura, but only in its original look. Personally? Hell, yeah, I'd strap on that new auto.
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Re: Hamilton Ventura Elvis80

Postby koimaster » March 15th 2016, 7:01pm

TemerityB wrote:My wife is nutty for the Ventura, but only in its original look. Personally? Hell, yeah, I'd strap on that new auto.



My daughter was going to sell her ladies version.
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With the lilt of Irish laughter

Every day and in every way

Now forever and ever after."
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Re: Hamilton Ventura Elvis80

Postby svaglic » March 15th 2016, 8:55pm

koimaster wrote:
TemerityB wrote:My wife is nutty for the Ventura, but only in its original look. Personally? Hell, yeah, I'd strap on that new auto.



My daughter was going to sell her ladies version.


I remember that, I was so tempted to bite on that, I had too many irons in the fire at the time though. She should keep it, it's too much of a classic.
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