For more than 125 years, Hamilton has proudly claimed to be American. However, the brand born in 1892 has been certified Swiss made since 2003, a few years after it joined the Swatch Group in 1974. Although the heart and soul of the timepieces are to be found on the other side of the Atlantic, Biel is home to the brand’s headquarters and the Swiss movements that power the watches.
Stars and planes
Hamilton has dressed legendary stars. Marlene Dietrich in ‘Shanghai Express’ back in 1932, then Elvis Presley wearing the iconic triangular Ventura in the musical ‘Blue Hawaii’ for example. In total, Hamilton products appear in over 500 films, most of them Hollywood. But it is in aviation that the watchmaker expresses himself above all. From 1918, at the very beginning of airmail, Hamilton played a major role in the development of this type of transport in the United States, by ensuring the timing of journeys from one coast to the other.
Partner of Air Zermatt
The world-famous rescue company Air Zermatt has put the experience of its pilots at Hamilton’s disposal to create the professional instrument best suited to their missions in terms of design, ergonomics, precision and functionality. The Khaki Aviation Air Zermatt is the culmination of a partnership that began in 2011.
With 65 employees and 9 helicopters at three bases, Air Zermatt represents the best in the rescue environment, especially at high altitude.
To mark his difference, Hamilton chose an acrobatic helicopter patrol.
Dreams of Flight
Blending aesthetics, precision and aviation is Hamilton’s ultimate goal. To celebrate this marriage, the brand supported the preparation and execution of a film project in Namibia by Jacob Sutton and Italian aerobatic pilot Dario Costa for two years. The filming took place in the dunes of Swakopmund. The aim was to highlight the elegance of these dunes at low altitude, their curvature and thus produce a very emotional film of rare beauty. The images were taken by numerous cameras on the ground and from a helicopter. “We are proud to have been able to bring together these two great creative minds to create a unique film that is sure to inspire its viewers, showing them that dreams can come true if you put your mind to it. It embodies exactly what we are all about at Hamilton,” said Sylvain Dolla, President and CEO of the brand.
One of Hamilton’s most original partnerships is expressed in its support for the ASPA air patrol. To mark his difference, Hamilton chose an acrobatic helicopter patrol. Based in Spain, it is made up of five Eurocopter “Colibri” aircraft that move in a dizzying ballet, highlighted by smoke bombs. These aces even allow themselves to fly on their backs, which is by definition antinomic to the primary function of a helicopter.
Hamilton’s love of aviation is reflected in the brand’s display windows, which are always adorned with model aircraft. Life-size models are displayed on the roofs of buildings that house the brand’s shops.
Before aviation finally took off, Hamilton equipped American railway workers in the 1920s. Already this passion for transport and performance. Already this passion for transport and performance. During the Second World War, Hamilton stopped producing for the public altogether and concentrated solely on supplying the armed forces. More than a million of them accompanied the American troops, in particular the marines equipped with a chronometer created for them. In the 1930s, the Lancaster brand also became the official supplier of the largest US airlines: Trans World Airlines, and United Airlines among others.