back to top

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Pulsar Revived With New PSR Digital Watch

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Pulsar Revived With New PSR Digital Watch Hands-On

The Hamilton Pulsar was a legend as the first digital watch ever made back when it was released in the early 1970s. Hell, it was on James Bond’s wrist in Live and Let Die all the way back in 1973, not to mention actual people like Elvis, Jack Nicholson, and Elton John. The space age design and LED screen of the Pulsar P2 made it a huge hit through the 1970s, though its popularity did wane with more competitors in the space emerging. The Pulsar name no longer belongs to the brand, which is we now see the release of the Hamilton PSR digital watch.

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Pulsar Revived With New PSR Digital Watch Hands-On

The Original Hamilton Pulsar P1

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Pulsar Revived With New PSR Digital Watch Hands-On

The Hamilton Pulsar P2

The PSR is introduced in two versions that mimic the Pulsar P2,  which was the version that came after the P1. The first Pulsar was the P1, which was solid gold, cost $2,100 (which is more than $13,000 today), and was limited to 400 pieces. Fortunately, Hamilton chose to settle for gold PVD plating with the PSR reissue, which is limited to 1970 pieces. The other PSR is modeled after the steel P2 and will not be limited.

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Pulsar Revived With New PSR Digital Watch Hands-On Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Pulsar Revived With New PSR Digital Watch Hands-On

Both editions share the same case and hybrid. LCD/OLED display. Hamilton claims that, when activated, the red OLED numerals as well as LCD display makes it so the time can be easily read even when outdoors in the bright light. I quickly took the watch outside to give it a test, and reading time was, indeed, a breeze. It also doesn’t hurt to have an AR-coated sapphire crystal over the display. Having no backlight, the battery life should be considerable.

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Pulsar Revived With New PSR Digital Watch Hands-On   Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Pulsar Revived With New PSR Digital Watch Hands-On

The Hamilton PSR shares the vaguely cushion-shaped case of the original, measuring 40.8mm-wide and 34.7mm lug-to-lug. Water resistant to 100M, both versions come with a matching bracelet that is surprisingly nicely finished, and wearing the PSR makes it clear that Hamilton does not see this simply as a  fun novelty (in non-watch-world parlance). It’s a solidly built revival of the first digital watch, and there is clearly pride in that history.

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Pulsar Revived With New PSR Digital Watch Hands-On

The display when button is not activated

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Pulsar Revived With New PSR Digital Watch Hands-On

The display when button is activated

The Hamilton PSR is bound to draw comparisons to another digital watch that was recently brought back, the Bulova Computron LED ,which I saw last year at Baselworld 2019. The Hamilton PSR is priced over twice as much as the Computron, but not without good reason. The case and bracelet quality and finishing are strikingly different, even before you consider things like the LCD/OLED screen with sapphire crystal on the PSR. Just as how two digital watches, or two quartz watches, or two mechanical watches are not the same — despite the same time-telling method — neither are the Bulova Computron LED and Hamilton PSR. They do represent some of the most fun you can have with a digital display for less than $500 for the Bulova and under $1,000 for the Hamilton.

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Pulsar Revived With New PSR Digital Watch Hands-On

Hands-On Debut: Hamilton Pulsar Revived With New PSR Digital Watch Hands-On

The new Hamilton PSR in stainless steel (Ref. H52414130) is priced at $745, while the Hamilton PSR in stainless steel with yellow gold PVD (Ref. H52424130) is priced at $995. Both will be available later this year and you can learn more at hamiltonwatch.com.

Read more about

Watch Brands

Explore

Comments

Disqus Debug thread_id: 7920907460

  • •L•E•O•

    Funny piece, I like it. 🙂

  • Hands90

    Another Bond watch.
    This makes me happy.

  • SuperStrapper

    I know a few people that are going to fall over themselves to get one of these.
    Despite my enjoyment of digital, this watch really doesn’t interest me. I adore my gold full metal g shock, and the Bulova computron re-release but this one doesn’t do anything for me.

  • Raymond Wilkie

    If i may be so bold, can i point out a typo in your review . I’m sure you meant to say $78.50.

  • Richard Baptist

    This one is a pass for me. While nice, it’s not nearly as compelling as the computron. I’m sure it will be a hit though. Is it me or are these watches double the price of the computron?

  • It seems to me exactly like the display of the old, glorious ti-57 ?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b302589d903ff249137c191c10097802689e0f1b506ad4e85ae14cc2dc7a3872.jpg

    • Yep – individual “dot” LEDs (not segments like you find later on in devices). The Pulsar definitely had red dots.

  • Ulysses31

    I imagine it’s similar to a transflective display. A LCD layer above, which is visible in bright light with a partially reflective layer underneath, like a one-way mirror. In darker conditions, you can activate the OLED display which will shine up through it. It would allow for the watch to be readable without always having to operate the light.

  • Joe

    I like it but it’s a tough proposition, at that price.

    I can be a sucker for re-editions but it’s a large watch, considering the empty space around the digits.
    Ultimately I’m not sure that all watches should be re-introduced.

    Perhaps what might have made it slightly more compelling, is to have QI charging capability (like some of the more recent phones or the Apple Watch), which would make it less dinosaur, although then perhaps it should have been a Fossil watch 😛

    • Polerouter

      Why would you need QI charging when you have 5+ years battery life, though?

      • Joe

        I guess you’re right…

  • all74

    It’s a shame that they didn’t copy the style of the original display; the rounded top and bottom (vs. the original straight lines) makes it look cheap to me

  • I wish they had patterned on the P4 instead of the P2. The more refined and integrated look of the P4 does it for me. I owned a P4 back in 1976 and bought a Tiffany branded example about 3 years ago. Oddly they were huge watches back in the 1970s but now seem a bit small (which is why the one I bought in 2016 is on my daughter’s wrist and not mine). https://www.ablogtowatch.com/first-grail-watch-mark-carson/

    • Mike Bour

      I inherited my dad’s P4 Classic gold-plated Pulsar he bought new in 1976 about 30 years ago. It even had a mercury switch to activate the time with a flick of the wrist. Sadly, the watch was lost when my house was destroyed in a 2013 tornado.

      • Sorry to hear about the loss of house and watch. Yep, mercury switch worked reasonably well but sometimes it did not come on when you wanted and other times it lit up with normal wrist activity. Cheers.

        • Mike Bour

          Thanks. I will definitely be buying this watch when it comes out. I also owned a Hamilton MIB edition which was a of a P2 it has a cheap looking reverse LED.

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png.