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A Hamilton Polaris 14 carat solid gold gentlemans' electric watch in great original un-restored condition, manufactured in c1963. The Hamilton electric wristwatch was the first commercially produced electric watch. It was introduced to the market in 1957, ahead of the tuning fork watch introduced by Bulova in 1960. Simply put the Hamilton electric watch is a conventional mechanical timepiece powered by a battery, instead of being wound manually or using kinetic energy. It is not a quartz watch and it has no transistors. The novel tiny batteries used in the Hamuilton electric watch were described by Hamilton's advertising as “an energy cell no larger than a shirt button”. The first watches used the cal.500 movement which was updated in 1961 by the more reliable cal. 505 movement which is housed in the watch listed. To add to the excitement of this new innovation, Hamilton wanted their watch cases to look as modern and futuristic as the internal mechanics and to reflect an era where there was a fascination with space travel and rockets. The Polaris A1 missile, after which this watch was probably named, was the first Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) developed and deployed by the United States. Hamilton continued to manufacture and sell their electric wathes until 1969 when the quartz watch overshadowed not only the electric watch but anologue watches generally, putting Hamilton and many other watch manufacturers out of business.
The watch presented for sale has a 14 carat solid gold asymmetric case in great condtiuon. The factory original dial presents well on the wrist and the movement, which I had serviced last July (2019) and a new battery just fitted in preparation for sale, is running well and keeping time. Like many rare and unusual watches which I manage to acquire, I have kept this watch in my personal collection for a few months. I have enjoyed owning and wearing it. The watch has just been fitted with a new old stock genuine lizard calf strap. It is triple signed, on the dial, case and movement.
Case: 14 carat solid gold, in very good condition, measuring approximately 30 mm across, excluding the crown and 37 mm from lug to lug. There are the expected light marks on the case from use over the years, but no signs of abuse, dents or scratches of any significance that I could see to highlight. The rear of the case is signed "Hamilton" and hallmarked as 14K gold as is the inside.
Dial: factory original, signed "Hamilton Electric" with a satin silver finish and hours marked by applied gold coloured batons and an Arabic number 12. The hands are in good shape with some light tarnishing and the crystal is clean and clear. The dial is showing patina as is to be expected with a 63 year old watch but it presents so well on the wrist that any restoration would spoil the originality of this watch and most certainly diminish its value.
Movement: Hamilton cal. 505 electric movement, serviced in July 2019, running strongly and keeping time. A new battery has just been fitted. The watch has been adjusted to take readily available modern batteries. When it needs replacing just take it to a watchmaker who will remove the old battery and replace it with one with the same reference number.
Strap: new old stock "IW Suisse" genuine lizard calf (not grain) brown leather strap, which fitted to the watch measures approximately 210 mm from buckle tip to last hole.