When discussing dress timepieces, the idea of timelessness comes up frequently. The ideal dress watch should feel rooted in tradition, elegant without feeling either antiquated or overly modern, and above all balanced. One of the prime examples of this in the current watch market is Hamilton. For the latest addition to the American Classic line, the American Classic Spirit of Liberty collection, Hamilton has blended together classical design elements, a thoroughly modern automatic movement and an inspiration that dates back to before the American Revolution.
The Hamilton brand was originally founded in 1892 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and quickly became one of the cornerstones of the once-powerful American watch industry. The company took its name from Andrew Hamilton (not to be confused with Constitutional framer and Broadway sensation Alexander Hamilton), one of the founders of the city of Lancaster during its colonial beginnings, the Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1729 to 1732 and again from 1734 to 1738, an influential lawyer, an impassioned voice on the importance of liberty and freedom of speech, and the original owner of the land used for the Hamilton factory. The American Classic Spirit of Liberty collection sets out to celebrate this man and the timeless American values he helped to establish by creating a suitably classical American inspired timepiece.
The stainless steel case of the American Classic Spirit of Liberty series is clean and elemental, but with a number of unique touches for a distinctive personality. Sized at a modern 42 millimeters in diameter, the overall shape of the Spirit of Liberty is clean and classical, with a mix of brushed and polished surfaces. On closer inspection, however, the details of the case become a visual treat. Attached lugs subtly add an old-school feel to the overall shape while drawing visual attention to the razor-sharp transitions between finishes. The broad bevel along the top of the case sides and lugs makes the Spirit of Liberty appear slimmer on the wrist in addition to providing dynamic and stunning play in changing light. On top of this finely crafted case sits a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, giving this classic style a modern visual clarity and scratch resistance.
The American Classic Spirit of Liberty is available in three unique dial variants, all featuring bold and distinctive sunburst dials. These include a rich sepia brown, a light and reserved champagne gold, and a deep oyster gray. Each of these handsome color options shares the same classically inspired layout, with the proud Hamilton ancestral family crest above the emblem at 12 o’clock. The light and elegant leaf hands taper toward finely faceted applied tapered baton indices, offering a hint of glimmering flash from almost any angle. These are finished in brilliant polished nickel for the sepia and oyster gray dials, while the champagne gold dial receives a complementary treatment in warm rose gold. The date window of the American Classic Spirit of Liberty is placed at 6 o’clock to preserve the dial’s harmonious visual symmetry without sacrificing the usefulness of the complication.
Inside this classically styled timepiece beats a thoroughly cutting-edge mechanical heart. The Hamilton H-10 automatic movement features some of Hamilton’s finest technical features, including a massive 80-hour power reserve. This level of reserve is nearly unheard of in a watch of this price and sets the American Classic Spirit of Liberty further above the pack.
In recognition of the legacy of Andrew Hamilton, each watch in the American Classic Spirit of Liberty collection features a custom leather strap with intricate laser engraving. These straps are meticulously designed to pair handsomely with a corresponding dial model, including a warm tobacco brown for the sepia dial, a verdant bottle green to contrast the champagne gold dial, and a deep ultramarine blue to create a truly classic pairing with the oyster gray dial. Each Spirit of Liberty strap is hand-patinated for a vintage appearance right out of the box that is truly one of a kind. The straps are laser-engraved with a poignant quote from Andrew Hamilton, “Without liberty life is a misery.” These stunning leather straps are finished off with a folding deployant clasp. For those who prefer bracelets, the American Classic Spirit of Liberty collection is also available on an elegant multi-link brushed stainless steel bracelet.
As a part of the American Classic series celebrating Hamilton’s nearly 130 year legacy of fine watchmaking, the American Classic Spirit of Liberty is a testament to the timelessness of the marque’s design approach. All four of these variants (including the optional bracelet) of the American Classic Spirit of Liberty are available now from the Hamilton website, at a price of $995 on leather and $1,045 on the stainless steel bracelet.
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