Yes, the Ventura was worn by Elvis, plus featured in a Men In Black movie – we need to get that stuff out of the way.
Let’s look at the real history that underpins the Hamilton Ventura, which is the cross-cultural architecture that built America as a 20th century superpower. By that, I mean the Chrysler Building, Packard Straight Eight cars, the sleek Hoover Dam and the myriad roadside advertising hoardings and diners of the 30s and 40s.
From Chaplin’s Metropolis movie homage Modern Times, to Veronica Lake’s pre-Human League hairstyle, American culture embraced art deco and kept reinventing it; in neon store signage, sharp angled zoot suits, streamlined petrol pumps and of course wristwatches.
To understand where the Ventura comes from, you have to look at the curvaceous Bulova President, or the JLC Reverso. Plus the Daddy of Deco, the Cartier Tank. These, along with Cunard liners, Duesenberg cars, or Mae West’s onstage fandangos with fans, inspired the chamfered, Toblerone perfection of the Ventura case design.
Sideways, it could be a slice of American Pie. On its base, it resembles a Swiss alpine peak. Flip it onto its point and the Ventura case looks like a car grille, or one of those stained glass windows that used to sit atop suburban front doors.
VINTAGE STYLING, MODERN TIMES
What NWC mag loves about the Ventura S auto is that offers classic dial and case design, with that 21st century H series Swatch Group auto movement in there, giving 48 hours of reserve. Sapphire crystal of course, plus a choice of black or light grey straps. The case is a fashionable 38mm wide.
There is an XXL wider Ventura if you want it, plus skeleton versions, chronographs, Elvis 80, blue denim dial effect…you get the picture. They just keep remixing it. But the S Auto is one Ventura that will never date in our humble view, it has that 1940s elegance that is old school Hollywood, all gangster suits and film noir dames. Nothing wrong with that.
Retail on the latest S model is £945. More here.