Hamilton PSR — The Legendary LED Watch Is Back With A Bang

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Hamilton PSR — The Legendary LED Watch Is Back With A Bang A space age classic that changed the way we tell time by Balazs FerencziMarch 18, 2020 MIN READHamilton PSR — The Legendary LED Watch Is Back With A Bang

Hamilton is going to shake things up again with their new release, the PSR. A timepiece that, back in the ’70s, brought the space-age era to the dusty watchmaking tables of traditional Swiss watch ateliers is making a comeback. It was the hottest thing on the market back then. And I have to say the new one is not too bad either.

The original Pulsar came out in 1970, exactly 50 years ago. To celebrate this anniversary, Hamilton releases the PSR, a remarkable reinterpretation of the iconic ’70s quartz wonder. On the outside, the watch shows a striking resemblance to the vintage model. Inside, however, you find a quartz movement that has been reworked to meet 21st-century expectations.

Hamilton PSR

To put the Pulsar into perspective, we have to remember what happened in that era. In 1969, the first men landed on the Moon wearing some amazing mechanical timepieces. It was also the year when the race for the first automatic chronograph caliber, in which Hamilton took a significant role, ended. One year later, the Pulsar hits the market. It honestly must’ve looked like something had crash-landed from space.

The name, Pulsar, came from the pulsating neutron stars that emit beams of radiation at ultra-precise frequencies.

Hamilton, that time still based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, presented the Pulsar at a lavish press conference in The Four Seasons restaurant in New York. The name, Pulsar, came from the pulsating neutron stars that emit beams of radiation at ultra-precise frequencies. It was not a cheap watch at the time. The price tag was $2,100. As a comparison, back in 1970, an Omega Speedmaster Professional was around $200. The Pulsar was not only expensive but a favorite among celebrities.


From the president to a secret agent

The Pulsar debuted in America’s favorite late-night program, The Tonight Show. Johnny Carson, the host of the show, demonstrated the unique functionality of the watch. By pushing a button on the side of the case the otherwise dark dial would light up and the time would show in bright red led numerals. No moving parts, no ticking sound only unmatchable accuracy and robustness.

President Gerald Ford was a proud owner of a Pulsar…

Soon, the watch was on the wrist of every celebrity in the entertainment world and beyond. Keith Richards, Joe Frazier, Elton John, and Elvis Presley (a long-time Hamilton aficionado) all wore the Pulsar. Still, the greatest achievement of the watch was to make it to the White House. President Gerald Ford was a proud owner of a Pulsar and so was James Bond. In the 1973 movie, Live and Let Die, Roger Moore’s interpretation of the iconic hero sported the timepiece on the silver screen.


The more affordable Pulsar P2, the same watch that Roger Moore as James Bond wore in 1973

PSRAnd its modern counterpart, the Hamilton PSR in steel worn by yours truly

What’s new?

In 2020, rereleasing a watch with a push button to show the time is not going to work anymore. So, the new Hamilton PSR has to offer something more. And it does. To start with, the time is always visible on the screen. It features a hybrid display mixing reflective LCD and emissive OLED technologies. It means that the LCD shows the time permanently, however in case of lower lighting conditions by the press of the button on the side of the case, the OLED numerals light up. Since there is no display backlight, the battery consumption is deficient, allowing the PSR to run for a very long time without a battery change.

Sizes and prices

The new Hamilton PSR looks precisely like its vintage counterpart. The name on the case needed to be changed and the size also adapted to modern standards. We have a 40 x 35mm case here in either steel (standard model) or gold PVD coated steel (limited edition). The bracelet looks like all those other iconic ones we are used to seeing on our favorite vintage chronographs. You know, the 1171s or the 1162s.

The glass is a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, and we have water resistance to 100m. The price of the steel regular production model is €695 ($745). For the gold PVD coated limited edition (in 1,970 pieces), you would have to pay €945 ($995). The PSR feels and looks fantastic on the wrist; it’s not head-heavy and gives an instant dose of coolness to its wearer. Not everyone would dare to take this bad boy out for a spin. Do you? For Hamilton’s website, please click here.




Watch specifications

Brand Hamilton ModelPSRReferenceH52414130 – steel H52424130 – gold PVD coated steelDialLCD & OLED hybrid displayCase Materialstainless steel stainless steel with yellow gold PVD coatingCase Dimensions40.8×34.7mmCrystalSapphire crystal with anti-reflective coatingCase Backclosed case backMovementDigital quartzWater Resistance10 bar (100 m)StrapStainless steel bracelet Stainless steel bracelet with yellow gold PVD coatingPriceSteel: CHF 745 EUR 695 USD 745, gold PVD: CHF 995 EUR 945 USD 995 Watch of the Week

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About the author

Balazs Ferenczi

Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up… read more

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