Hamilton Military Watches
The Hamilton Watch Company was established when the Keystone Standard Watch Company was forced into bankruptcy in 1892 and sold at a sheriff’s sale to a group of Lancaster businessmen whose objective was to “build only watches of the highest quality.” During this same year, a merger was effected with the Aurora Watch Company of Illinois and a decision was made to name the new company after James Hamilton, owner of a large tract of land which was granted to him from William Penn and included what is now the city of Lancaster. The new company would be known as The Hamilton Watch Company.
In the early 1900s, Hamilton was named the official wristwatch supplier for the American Armed Forces. The Hamilton military watches were worn on the wrists of servicemen in both World Wars and all other military operations that the US entered over the last hundred years. During World War II, the production of consumer watches was stopped, with all watches manufactured being shipped to troops. More than one million watches were sent overseas including wristwatches and marine chronometers, even earning Hamilton an Army-Navy E award for excellence in manufacturing.
Hamilton continued to produce some of the finest American watches until 1969, however, through a series of mergers and acquisitions, the Hamilton Watch Company eventually became integrated into the Swatch Group, the world's largest watch manufacturing and marketing conglomerate.