Hamilton brings back ’70s feels with two new PSR modelsBorna Bošnjak
Finding yourself reminiscing the times of yesteryear, when the streets were graced by first-generation Dodge Challengers, speakers blaring the sweet sounds of Simon and Garfunkel? Thankfully, Hamilton brings a dash of that decade back with the new PSR MTX and PSR black and red.
With a two-piece reissue in 2020, the PSR brings back the red LED display that activates at the push of a button, nested in a TV-style case. The new editions also solve the power-hungry and somewhat cumbersome displays of the past, with a hybrid LCD/OLED display. Gone are the days of using both hands to glance at the time, as the time is now always on display, with the option of making it brighter by pressing the pusher.
Revolutionary, and a Hollywood star
Picture this. It’s 1970, only a year after Seiko shook the watchmaking industry to its core. While Swiss powerhouses scrambled to bring their own quartz offerings to market, Hamilton, after transitioning their production to Switzerland that same year, made new strides in revolutionising watchmaking.
Following in the footsteps of the Hamilton Electric 500, the Pulsar Time Computer was released. A fully digital dial, with red numerals flashing at the wearer’s behest, its LED display is, and I use this word sparingly, iconic in horological history. The Smithsonian calls it one of the earliest consumer products of the microelectronic revolution.
The watch was immortalised in 1973, as Roger Moore graced the silver screen wearing it in Live and Let Die. Interestingly enough, it only featured in a brief cameo appearance, but the Pulsar was roughly equivalent in value to the other Bond watch in the film, a Rolex Submariner 5513.
Though successful in its inception, high prices and improving LCD technology eventually meant phasing out for the Pulsar, before eventual discontinuation only seven years later. Sold in 1978, the Pulsar brand now belongs to the Seiko corporation, which still uses that name today.
Hamilton PSR MTX Limited Edition ref. H52434130
A throwback of a throwback, the PSR MTX honours the release of the latest installation in the Matrix saga: Resurrections. This sleek timekeeper holds true to the colour scheme of the movie with its black PVD case and green LCD display. The limited nature of it comes in the form of 1,999 pieces, a nod to the 1999 release of the first Matrix movie.
The case dimensions remain identical as the 2020 pieces, with a compact 40.8mm width and 34.7mm length, with the integrated lugs bringing it to an effective 45.5mm lug to lug. Moving to the right of the case, the square pusher evokes the original model’s highlights further. The black PVD treatment is smooth, and it mutes some of the highly visible vertical brushing of its uncoated stainless-steel counterparts. Flipped over, your eye is immediately drawn to the “digital rain” engraving on the caseback, which strengthens its ties with The Matrix franchise.
A beautifully executed integrated bracelet continues the PVD finish and has an effective lug width of 24mm, tapering to 19mm at its narrowest point. The oval links ensure comfort on the wrist, and their small size allows for accurate sizing despite the lack of micro-adjustments from the butterfly clasp.
The signature dial, this time in the aforementioned Matrix green, is combined with a faceted top-hat sapphire crystal for a total height of 13.3mm. Treated with anti-reflective coating, you should have no issues reading the dial, especially considering the extra brightness the numerals achieve with the optional button press.
Powering all of the PSR models is a Swiss digital quartz movement. The updates aren’t just on the display level, but extend to the features and ease of timesetting. Operating as a pseudo-crown, the pusher is responsible for all the interaction with the quartz module.
In its regular display mode, a quick press will help the reflective LCDs with an OLED boost to brighten the display, in an action akin to the original. Another quick press brings up the running seconds. A three-second press will let you set the time, with shorter presses advancing the numbers. A further two-second press selects the next digit to be adjusted.
Hamilton has gone to the trouble of creating a Google AR experience for the PSR MTX, in which you can view the watch through the camera of your smartphone. After scanning your surroundings, you’ll be able to see the watch in perspective with correct sizing. We tested the veracity of these claims by comparing it next to a real-life PSR, and were pleased with the results. You can try on the watch virtually and see how it would fit into your watch box here. To see our initial introduction and a sneak peek into a Hamilton worn in the movie, click here.
Hamilton PSR Black PVD ref. H52404130
Hamilton rightfully felt that the “murdered-out” look suited the sleek and edgy aesthetic of the PSR, resulting in this non-limited release. It manages to keep the ’70s aesthetic fresh simply with a new lick of paint, which is testament of a great original design.
Rather than featuring the monochrome monitor-inspired Matrix code on the caseback, this PSR references the inspiration for the original name. A highly magnetised rotating neutron star with electromagnetic radiation shooting out of its poles (or a pulsar, if you will) is emblazoned across the back in its full, gloss-finished glory, with the vast emptiness of space a matt surface surrounding it.
The more traditional red display makes a comeback with this piece, serving as a perfect complement to a black and red colour scheme.
Collectors will appreciate the ease of time setting as with all the new PSRs, and will have more of a chance to get their hands on one considering the limited production of the MTX.
Hamilton PSR MTX & Black PVD pricing and availability:
The Hamilton PSR MTX ref. H52434130 is available now as a limited edition of 1999 pieces. Price: $995 USD, CHF 995, €975
The Hamilton PSR ref. H52404130 in black PVD is available now as a regular production model. Price: $995 USD, CHF 995, €975