Perhaps this is just a matter of my own childhood, but I remember being fascinated by those calculators that had the light-up red numerals on their displays. When I found that those also showed up in watches, well, it was just a matter of time till I had one (and I did in the late 90s, a second-hand Fossil one that I found). They were cool, but viewing it in daylight was a disaster. There’s a newly reimagined version – the Hamilton PSR – that has a slight twist on that display technology, so here’s to hoping daylight visibility is better.
Back in 1970, the Hamilton Pular was introduced to the world, and then in 1972 the first one was available to the market (at only $2,100 the 18ct yellow gold version) (in other news, you could buy a car for that same price then). Well, here we are 50 years on down the road, and we all know that “everything old is new again”, so here we are with the brand-new Hamilton PSR. This one carries the familiar cushion-style case that the P2 version of the original had. But, as I hoped, the display is vastly improved. And I quote:
One of the differences with the previous version is the display of time. The Hamilton PSR features a hybrid display mixing reflective LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) and emissive OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes) technologies. Pressing the button will once again bring up light red OLED numerals in the familiar ‘digit dot’ style, while the LCD display ensures that time is also permanently visible in daylight conditions. With no backlight, the display has very low energy consumption.
That is super-key. If you’re giving a watch a 100m WR, this is a watch that can go about you for anything. With this hybrid OLED/LCD display, they’re ensuring that you can actually read this in bright sunlight. Now, this 70s era look may not be for everyone. However, the era works for dive watches, so why not something that’s a bit more geeky? We can’t all be spear fishermen (or pull off the look), but I know for myself, I used to know my way around a drafting board, so yeah, this would be a fun one to revisit.
Fortunately, while there is a gold PVD version of the Hamilton PSR, pricing has come down a LOT. If you want the gold tone (which has a limited edition run of 1970 pieces), you’ll be putting $995 down on the oil barrel. On the other hand, if you think the look of cold steel is the way to go (that’s my camp), you’re looking at $745. If you’ve been thinking that it’s high time that you added a fun, retro, techno-geek piece into your watchbox, this is a release to check out. Sure, you can find vintage versions out there in the secondhand market, but I think this new display is the key for this watch. We’ll see – we’re on the list to get a loaner of the Hamilton PSR, and we’ll let you know once we can have some time with it. hamiltonwatch.com/psr