Hamilton-Ricoh Watch Co.
The Hamilton-Ricoh Watch Company, Ltd., was a joint venture and only existed between 1962 and 1964. 60 % was owned by Hamilton, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (U.S.A.), and 40 % by Ricoh (Japan).
Electric parts were made in Lancaster, while the mechanicals parts were made in Japan, the watches also being assembled in Japan.
The movements are marked Ricoh “555E”, but are the same as the Standard Time Corp. “130E” (fitted in Hamilton’s “Vantage” range), which in turn is very similar to the Hamilton “505”.
Although the factory was turning out 1 000 / month, very few were sold. Marketing was handled by Ricoh but they failed to break the stranglehold and monopoly that Seiko had in the Japanese stores; in the end, most were sold on US military bases in Japan.
The partnership was dissolved in 1965; some of the Hamilton-Ricoh movements were re-cased as “Vantage” and sold in the U.S.A.
Hamilton “Electric” wristwatches
The production of this type of watches start in 1957, with an electrical system patented by Hamilton in the U.S.A. in 1954 and in England in 1955.
The “World’s First Battery Powered Watch” exists in different asymmetrical shaped, square, triangular or round, including the famous “Ventura”, “Pacer”, “Polaris, “Spectra”, “Pegasus”, “Vantage”, “Altair”, “Van Horn”, etc., models.
The historic Hamilton Watch Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania (U.S.A.), first started making watches in 1892; the last U.S.A.-made Hamilton watch was produced around 1969 although watches with “Hamilton” on the dial are still being made today by the current owners of this brand name, the Swiss Swatch Group.