Going Back to the Future With the Hamilton PSR

Hamilton recently announced the return of the Hamilton Pulsar in the form of the Hamilton PSR. The Hamilton Pulsar, released in 1970 was the world’s first digital watch. The watch was revolutionary and was Hamilton’s view of the future. At the time of its introduction, America was fresh off winning the space race and computers were becoming a beacon of optimism for all the improvements the future had in store. Hamilton described the watch as “a solid-state wrist computer programmed to tell time.” Not as a digital watch, a wrist computer. The watch quickly became a star and was worn by icons like Jack Nicholson, Joe Frazier, and Gianni Agnelli. President Nixon’s daughters bought him one from Tiffany & Co as a Christmas gift. Let that sink in, this digital watch that looks like it’s straight out of the Jetsons was retailed by Tiffany & Co. Can you imagine a watch like this sold at Tiffany now? No way. This gives you an idea of how influential the watch was at that time. Fifty years later the timing of reintroduction in the form of the Hamilton PSR is perfect.

Hamilton PSR image from Hamilton

The PSR is going to appeal to those who remember the original first hand and feel nostalgic for it the same way they do a vintage mechanical watch. It oozes with charm and nostalgia not often found in a digital watch. But millennials, like myself who weren’t around for the original, will identify with the spirit of this watch. This watch takes me back to a time when I was obsessed with technology. In the 90s we had a similar optimism around the future of technology. The internet, PDAs, and cellphones were all improving at a rapid pace. The PSR reminds us that we can’t help but innovate and that the future is bright. Though now it’s a vintage-inspired piece, the retro-futuristic vibe is still front and center. Its got a quirky and fun design that would look right at home in the cockpit of a concept car from the 70s. It simultaneously looks forward while reminding us of simpler technology that didn’t impose itself on our daily lives. I love watches in part because they don’t notify me of anything. They sit on your wrist quietly working, ready to be called to service. This watch has all the same charm as a vintage Speedmaster but in a more affordable package.

Assembling the Hamilton PSR

The Hamilton PSR is an almost perfect replica of the original model from the 70s’. Sans a few technological updates—an updated display that contains both LED and OLED—this watch takes you back to the future in a way that would make Doc Brown beam with pride. Hamilton is releasing it in two models the stainless steel and stainless steel with yellow gold PVD. The stainless steel will be regular production and cost $745 and the yellow gold PVD will be limited to 1,970 pieces and cost $995. This watch is aimed right at the enthusiast community and though the original was discontinued after a couple of years the market is ripe for the reintroduction. In sticking with the theme I quote Marty McFly “I Guess You Guys Aren’t Ready For That Yet. But Your Kids Are Gonna Love It.”

Find out more at Hamiltonwatch.com


Published by David Klint

Husband, Dad, writer, and watch enthusiast.

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