A fascinating video on Hamilton in its heyday

This video, courtesy of the Prelinger Archives, was made in 1947 and details production of watches at Hamilton Watch Co.’s Lancaster, Pennsylvania plant. It’s fascinating to see how vertically integrated Hamilton was at the time. The video shows not only the company’s metal foundry but also hairspring production as well as a mini refinery making lubricants. It is tempting to remark on how times have changed, yet there is so much that is the same in production and assembly. The hairspring production for instance is virtually the same today (like at Lange Uhren for example), except that all the companies making in-house hairsprings buy the alloy from Nivarox. And from the height of this industrial power, in just over 20 years Hamilton was no longer making watches in America, and a few years after that it was gone for all intents and purposes. Even though its namesake today produces solid timepieces like the Pan Europ chronograph, it is not the same Hamilton as before. – SJX Skip to 4:52 for the interesting part on watchmaking.

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