It’s Elvis Presley’s and David Bowie’s Birthday. Here Are Their Tribute Watches.

Two pop music icons celebrate birthdays on January 8: Elvis Presley, who died in 1977, and David Bowie, who passed away in 2016. Both of them have been honored in the modern day with special-edition timepieces — and in Elvis’s case, it’s a contemporary version of a watch he actually wore and made famous during his lifetime. Read on to discover more about the Raymond Weil Limited Edition Freelancer David Bowie and the most recent Elvis-inspired models in the Hamilton Ventura collection.

The Raymond Weil Limited Edition Freelancer David Bowie collection pays tribute to British rock icon, who would have turned 72 this year — and continues the brand’s tradition of celebrating musical pioneers and milestones. (Other limited editions in the collection have used the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and the Les Paul Gibson guitar for their inspiration.) The watch’s round, 42-mm stainless steel case and galvanic, circular satin-brushed dial host several design cues specifically inspired by Bowie and his work. The stylized red lightning bolt at 12 o’clock comes from the cover of Bowie’s 1973 album Aladdin Sane, and the pop-art “Bowie” logo above the 6 o’clock position is the same one designed by Andy Warhol for the cover of the artist’s 1974 album Diamond Dogs. Printed on the caseback’s sapphire crystal is a rendering of a famous 1974 portrait of Bowie by legendary photographer Terry O’Neill. Inside the case is a mechanical, self-winding movement, Caliber RW4200, with 26 jewels and a 38-hour power reserve. The watch, which comes on a black calfskin leather strap with red stitching and folding clasp with push-button security system, is limited to 3,000 numbered pieces, priced at $1,595.

Raymond Weil Freelancer David Bowie LE - front
Raymond Weil Freelancer David Bowie, front (above) and back (below)
Raymond Weil Freelancer David Bowie LE - back

The Hamilton Ventura, launched in 1957, was widely acclaimed as the world’s first electrical battery-powered wristwatch and made even more famous when Elvis Presley wore it in his 1961 movie, Blue Hawaii. To mark the iconic timepiece’s 60th anniversary in 2017, Hamilton launched a trio of new models inspired by the original.

All three of the watches feature the Ventura’s hallmark unconventional curved case design and feature on their dials, as a tribute to the 1957 original, the large electricity symbol that proudly touted the watch’s breakthrough technical innovation. Two of the models are available in different case sizes and are outfitted with modern Swiss quartz movements; the third is available in one large case size and equipped with a mechanical, self-winding movement.

Hamilton Ventura Classic - gold PVD, small and large
Hamilton Ventura Classic in gold PVD, small and large sizes

The Hamilton Ventura Classic is a vintage-look tribute piece available in two executions. One (pictured above) has a stainless steel case treated with a yellow-gold PVD coating and mounted on a brown teju-patterned leather strap. Its white dial has 2N gold hour and minute hands and a red-tipped seconds hand. The other Classic (below) evokes Elvis’s late-1950s rebellious days with its use of denim, a fabric that became popular in that era. The polished, stainless steel case frames a 3D-printed blue-jeans-pattern dial, with nickeled hands for the hours, minutes, and seconds, and attaches to a strap made of blue denim with a pin buckle. Both Classic models come in two sizes — 24 mm by 36.5 mm, and 32.3 by 50.3 mm — and contain quartz movements. The dials are protected by period-appropriate mineral crystals. Prices are $895 for the gold-PVD models and $845 for the denim-dial version.

Hamilton Ventura Classic - denim
Hamilton Ventura Classic in denim

Distinctively more contemporary — but still unmistakably a Ventura — is the Hamilton Ventura Skeleton, which deftly combines the model’s retro-futuristic look with an ultra-modern, skeletonized dial execution that calls to mind the look of a microphone that the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll may have used when recording his early hits. Inside the 42.5 mm x 44.6 mm polished steel case, and glimpsed through the dial’s geometrical crisscross pattern, is the Caliber H-10-S automatic movement, with an impressive 80-hour power reserve, developed for Hamilton by the Swatch Group and skeletonized especially for this model. The hour and minute hands are coated with Super-LumiNova and the central seconds hand is in bright red. The crystal is sapphire, with a nonreflective coating. The watch is available on either a black rubber strap with steel pin buckle (pictured) or a stainless steel bracelet with butterfly clasp. It is priced at $1,695 on a strap and $1,745 on a bracelet.

Hamilton Ventura Skeleton
Hamilton Ventura Skeleton
No Responses to “It’s Elvis Presley’s and David Bowie’s Birthday. Here Are Their Tribute Watches.”

Show all responses
  1. Unknown but wouls like to own both watches how much in sterling currency David Bowie & Elvis Presley watches

    How much in sterling pounds are both watches do you do pay by monthly weekly installments Total of bith watch prices and individually please send reply in pounds not American money.

  2. Donnie Biscuit

    What is up with that Bowie watch, I assume it came out posthumously. The man himself rarely wore a watch in public but was pictured in a Longines and a Louis Vuitton. He did write a lot about time in his lyrics and deserves a classier piece than that with his name on.

  3. I don’t see anything on this page about proper licensing, so I can’t tell if these are on-the-level or not.

    • Paul Noronha

      Hamilton is not a fly by night brand so I think it would be safe to say that these are “on the level.” Raymond Weil is also no slouch, and their music/artist theme is well known. I have two of the David Bowie LEs — I bought one for my niece and one for myself. The presentation box is really awesome — the watch is presented on a stand and sits sort of suspended in a silverish box environment with the red lightning bolt in the background.

  4. Rob Nord

    Already bought the Bowie watch – superb packaging and a handsome watch worthy of the legend he is. Love it!

  5. Guillermo F. Perez-Argüello

    Actually, the Ventura Elvis wore in Blue Hawaii had already appeared in another Paramount movie. They owned the watch, and gave Elvis a couple of similar ones. Decades passed and Swiss mega watch maker Swatch bought Hamilton,, the “Elvis watch” accounting for US$ 1 million in the sale. They, ( SWATCH) then took it and other watch marvels on sort of museum tour. I saw it in Spain, where the curator explainbed the story of the watch.

Leave a Reply