Hamilton American Classic Spirit of Liberty Auto
Hamilton brings American style to the entry-level watch segment.
‘American Classic Spirit of Liberty’ might sound like a presidential campaign slogan, but Hamilton transports this idea to Swiss watchmaking. And the result shows in a stylish yet affordable piece. Let’s have a closer look at what the most American of Swiss brands has to offer with the American Classic Spirit of Liberty Auto.
“Without liberty, life is a misery”, says the strap on this new watch from the American-Swiss watch company Hamilton. And no, this is not a quote from a war-declaring Bush-era speech. Quite the opposite. It’s actually a quote from the man whose name is carried on by the watch company, Andrew Hamilton. He spoke these words in the 19th century when he addressed the House of Representatives in Pennsylvania in an attempt to defend the freedom of speech.
Modern American spirit
Andrew Hamilton wasn’t actually the founder of the watch company, but the factories were built on his land and therefore took his name. Hamilton was quite a prominent figure at the time; he founded the city of Lancaster in Pennsylvania and as a lawyer, he fought hard to get law and order to be properly imposed in the Thirteen Colonies.
Now Hamilton (the watch company that is) is introducing a line of nicely priced, basic watches that carry that famous quote laser engraved on the leather straps. The Hamilton American Classic Spirit of Liberty Auto comes in a number of stylish colours. The dials are made in sepia, champagne or grey and the straps come in similar tones. Beside the engraving, the straps are also quite nicely done in a different way. All straps are polished and dyed by hand and therefore all look slightly different.
The H-10 Movement
Hamilton claims ‘American Spirit, Swiss precision’, and that shows in this watch. The movement that powers this watch is the automatic H-10 movement, which in different calibrations is found in lots of Swatch Group watches. Most of the time it goes under the name ‘Powermatic’, and it’s basically an upgraded ETA 2824 movement. The power reserve, therefore, is 80 hours and also carries a date function. The steel case has a 42mm diameter and the sapphire glass has an anti-reflective coating. The watch is water-resistant to 50m.
Overall, the Hamilton American Classic Spirit of Liberty Auto, priced at EUR 895, really is a stylish creation and it ticks all the boxes for a great value-for-money-piece and looks like a good competitor in the already very crowded entry-level watch segment. Let’s see if it can actually make some space for itself there.
These watches are available on hamiltonwatch.com
That’s a handsome beast. I’m getting Laurent Ferrier vibes from the grey dial version. Date’s not too intrusive either.
It should be noted that Mr Hamilton was in fact Scottish and that America did not even exist at the time he uttered those words. He was almost certainly paraphrasing The Declaration of Arbroath; a pivotal document which predates 1776 by several centuries.
Like many Hamilton pieces, there is a lot to like but it is tainted by one or two annoying decisions, in this case more than annoying. This strap is risible. The size is wrong. The datewheel is the wrong colour. The lugs are too long.
This could have been a nice watch. Instead it became a parody of it’s own marketing department.
The Declaration of Arbroath. I’m getting goosebumps.
The trial at which Mr. Hamilton spoke was in 1735. That’s the 18th century.
And, from the comments, the possesive form if “it” is “its.” Snark requires proofreading.
1320 is not The 18th C.
Do try to keep up.