Hamilton Sea-Lectric II (1962)

The Hamilton Sea-Lectric I first appeared in 1958 and was powered by a 500 or 500A movement. It came in a 10K GF case with stainless steel screw down back. My Sea-Lectric II has  the superior 505 movement and is a far more distinctive watch. With it's broad shouldered stainless steel case and crown @4 and red tipped arrow head seconds hand.

In total Hamilton has produced some 50 models with 'sea-something' in the model name. Amongst which are 3 Hamilton Electrics named Sea-Lectric I, Sea-Lectric II and Sea-Lectric II-B. And those last three are not the only Electrics that were waterproof. Remenber, Hamilton was at the top of their game and the term waterproof wasn't to be interpreted as solid as it sounds.

Hamilton Electric, the race for the world's first battery powered watch

In competition with Elgin and Bulova, Hamilton released the first electric powered balanced movement in the year 1957, the Calibre 500, folowed by the improved Calibre 505 in 1961. These revolutionary electric watches should appeal to the era's fascination for rockets, space travel and the future.  A new range of Hamilton watches were introduced and were very succesful, with over 350,000 Electrics over a period of twelve years, until the quartz watches changed the world of horology.

Richard Arbib

Hamilton hired industrial designer Richard Arbib, famous for his work in the automotive industry (America Motor Company), who believed that case, dial, hands and strap or bracelet should all align. Although he started with designing the Hamilton Ventura, yhe Hamilton Vega is a perfect example of his vision. Unfortunately not mine but definitely one to put on my wish list.

Look at this watch (right picture), it's dynamic cross-hatch pattern flowing through the bracelet, into the lugs, and through the dial. Furthermore asymetrical designs and an uncommonly positioned crown were two of his other watch design trademarks.