Taking the Pulse of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll: Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton

Elvis Presley famously wore a Hamilton Ventura, touted as the world’s first electric watch upon its release in 1957, in the 1961 film Blue Hawaii. The now-iconic watch’s maker has capitalized on its connection to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll ever since, and launched a modern interpretation, called Elvis80, in 2015, the year of the late music icon’s 80th birthday. In 2017, the 60th anniversary of the Ventura’s debut, Hamilton added an avant-garde skeletonized version of the Elvis80; the newest iteration on that model, launching this year, adds a retro “electric pulse” to its curved triangular case and openworked architecture.

The Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton Automatic reinterprets the classic Ventura design codes with its curving triangular case, measuring a stately 42.5 mm x 44.6 mm in dimension and 12.3 mm thick and offered in two distinct executions: stainless steel with rose-gold-colored PVD coating and steel with black PVD coating. The steeply sloped sapphire crystal has a nonreflective coating, and the case is water resistant to 50 meters.

The dials are similar to the one on the original Elvis80 Skeleton, with luminous-coated sword hands and peripheral hour markers, but with an added vintage-inspired flourish: a zigzagging “electric pulse” across their center line, similar to the one found on the original Ventura from the 1950s that found its way to Elvis’s wrist. The hands and “pulse” are rose-gold-colored on the roase-gold PVD model, while the black-PVD version hosts nickel-plated hour and minute hands and a red seconds hand and “pulse.”

Also a departure from the historical Ventura, with its groundbreaking electrical movement, is the skeletonized, self-winding Caliber H-10-S which is on full display on the dial side. Developed specifically for Hamilton by ETA, its sister company within the Swatch Group, and skeletonized specially for this model, it offers an impressive 80-hour power reserve and côtes de Genève decorations on its visible plates and bridges.

The triangular case integrates tightly into a black rubber strap on both versions, which fastens to the wrist with a pin buckle. Both watches are on sale now, priced at $1,795 — hardly a King’s ransom.

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