The History Of The Hamilton Ventura

Hamilton Ventura10

Iconic and a design classic, the Hamilton Ventura

Now more than 60 years old, the Ventura still has the same rebellious appeal as it did on it’s launch.

The Hamilton Ventura has been one of the flagships for the brand for many years now, a truly iconic piece from their range. Daring, pioneering and unconventional, just like the man who has helped to push his design to stardom, Elvis Presley. Now, the Ventura has been updated for modern appeal, whilst still retaining its classic charm, and is available in a whole range of designs and variants!

First imagined by renowned American industrial designer Richard Arbib, when he was asked by Hamilton to design whatever he wanted, with no thought for practicality. So, with a blank sheet of paper, and a pencil in hand, Arbib began to sketch, and that very first sketch has now become a 20th century icon, still turning heads today, more than 60 years later!

This is the story of the Ventura.

The beginning of the story of the Ventura takes place all the way back in 1950’s America. With the opportunity for growth and prosperity appearing during a time of transition, it was a time for potential, a time for opportunities to be seized. And so, people did just that, and a brand new style of music was born. Rock and Roll. Which has gone on to be one of the most popular styles of the 20th century, impacting and influencing artists for years and years, and still today. Along with this new genre of music came a style, as with any type of music, a fashion movement always follows; leather jackets, denim jeans and slick, sculpted hairstyles were part of the look and became the new uniform of youth.

Many people claim that the style was one that predicted the style of the future, whether that was accurate or not, it was based on the freedom and imagination that the music gave them! Hamilton were then inspired by this, and allowed Arbib to design the Ventura, with its shield shape and stainless steel, with unusual fixings for the leather strap or stainless steel bracelet, the piece encapsulated the freedom of the 50’s and the Rock and Roll lifestyle that was so popular at the time!


The Hamilton Ventura was actually the world’s first electric watch, driven by battery power! The watches electric properties allowed for the Ventura to become an instant sensation, which actually went on to revolutionize the world of watchmaking forever! However, it may not have been this that kept the Hamilton Ventura at the forefront of the public’s imagination. During the years after the release of the Ventura there will have been plenty of different battery powered watches to choose from. But none that looked electric too. The appearance alone kept this watch at the top of the pile for Rock and Roll fans, and four years later, the king of Rock and Roll had the Ventura on his own wrist, in the 1961 musical comedy “Blue Hawaii”. The global megastar was just the endorsement that the watch needed to give the Ventura the true staying power and popularity that we still see today.

“Blessed with an immense talent that catapulted him to stardom, Elvis was the superstar of the Rock and Roll revolution whose shock-waves inspired a generation and made him a cultural icon. Just as Elvis and his contemporaries fused rhythm and blues, country and western and soul music to create Rock and Roll, Hamilton used an unusual combination of intricate design, watchmaking heritage, precision and innovation to create the Ventura.”

Hamilton Ventura 1

“Hamilton used an unusual combination of intricate design, watchmaking heritage, precision and innovation to create the Ventura.”

The Hamilton Ventura was originally in production for around 7 years, before being discontinued. However, when collectors and fans were still after this watch, Hamilton decided that it was time to bring it back to life. Being such an iconic piece, the Ventura was always going to make a return, and Hamilton decided that it was best to bring it back to it’s collections in 1988, and ever since that day it has remained in production.

The link between the Ventura and Elvis still lives on too, as 2015 saw the release of a brand new collection of Ventura’s to coincide with what would have been the King of Rock’s 80th birthday. Following the success of this, Hamilton then announced in 2017, that they would be releasing more new models to commemorate 60 years since Richard Arbib first sketched the original design or the Ventura watch…

“That Elvis and Ventura’s paths to fame seemed inextricably linked is perhaps a coincidence, but the properties that made them both a firm favorite with the public and a symbol of the times are indisputably shared. Bringing something completely new and different to a public that craved the future in the present was the key to their success.”



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