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Vintage design codes rule in the new Hamilton PSR Digital Quartz watch, which pays tribute to the space-age aesthetic of the 1970s original.
For Hamilton CEO Vivian Stauffer, the new release is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the past. ‘The Pulsar was the world’s first digital watch, released in 1970,’ he says. ‘Its groundbreaking technology disrupted the market, and its futuristic looks made it a favourite of forward thinkers and style leaders, including Jack Nicholson, Joe Frazier, Elton John and Keith Richards. In 2020, for its 50th anniversary, we decided to wake this sleeping giant by remaining true to the original design, but updating the technology to an LCD-OLED hybrid display. The initial release was a steel and a gold PVD limited edition, both with a red display.’
This new piece builds on these past releases, with an LCD-OLED display featuring green numbering able to reach full brightness at the quick push of a button. Fully crafted from stainless steel, its tough form gives it an effortless wearability.
‘When we created the new PSR we tried to stay as true and as close to the 1972 Pulsar P2 as possible,’ Stauffer adds. ‘We rethought the way we integrate this cutting-edge OLED/LCD display, the play with light and reflections as well as emissive colours. [The] space age and simplicity are at the base of the PSR, as well as strong character and distinctive design like the rest of the Hamilton watches. Remaining true to the original 1972 design is also key for this timepiece.‘
Recreating this distinctive aesthetic was not without its challenges, mostly stemming from the juxtaposition of the old and the new; modern technology in a vintage case. ‘It was a fun dive into the old technology, figuring out how the watches were built and how they worked back in the day, and building a bridge to today. A nod to these days are the dotted numbers when you press the button, reflecting the LED display of the 1970s model.’
Hannah Silver joined Wallpaper* in 2019 to work on watches and jewellery. Now, as well as her role as watches and jewellery editor, she writes widely across all areas including on art, architecture, fashion and design. As well as offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, Hannah is interested in the quirks of what makes for a digital success story.
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