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The Hamilton Electric 500

Electro-mechanical watches were the first wristwatches to use a battery.

The beginnings of the wristwatch revolution can be traced to the first battery-powered watch. Hamilton Watch Company, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, announced the Hamilton Electric 500 in January 1957. Although it had a balance and hairspring, the new movement replaced the mainspring with a tiny battery. Key players in developing the technology of the electric watch were Hamilton's director of research John Van Horn, the firm's chief physicist Philip Biemiller, and master technician James Reese.

Futuristic watch designs were developed to reflect the Hamilton 500's revolutionary technology.

Ventura The new Hamilton watches even looked revolutionary on the outside, thanks to designs from Richard Arbib. Although the first production model, the Van Horn, was conventional in appearance, other models like the Ventura, the Victor, and the Spectra were asymmetrical and futuristic.

Hamilton electrics suffered from technical problems, but they remained in the firm's product line until 1970.

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