Hamilton Otis

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SKU AS01712
SKU AS01712

Why We Love it

Hamilton is perhaps best known to modern collectors for their historically significant tool watches: robust field watches issued to the U.S. military from the Vietnam War to the 1980s, bulky precision chronographs, or divers in EPSA SuperCompressor cases. But during the Golden Age of American watchmaking, Hamilton was master of all trades, from railroad timers to dress watches fit for kings. Their catalogs from the 1930s and 1940s were filled with elegant and innovative watches that have all but faded to obscurity. 

The Otis--or Otis "Reverso"--is one such watch. Seeking to capitalize on Alfred Chauvot's innovative reversible case design, Hamilton produced the Otis in 1938. The Hamilton Otis used Chauvot's case designs, either in solid gold or gold-filled, with black or white dials and bold Breguet style numerals. 

Hamilton had this to say about the Otis in their catalogs from the era: 

"Exclusively Hamilton, this smartly designed strap watch ingeniously fulfills its double duty in a practical foolproof manner. Slight pressure from the side, a flip of the finger - and the watch locks firmly into reversed position."

However, "exclusively Hamilton" was not entirely the truth. In fact, the design of the Otis infringed upon another watch manufactured by a Swiss company: Jaeger-LeCoultre, that is, who was also manufacturing their Reverso under Chauvot's patent. As you'd expect, Hamilton and JLC soon found themselves embroiled in a lawsuit. 

Ultimately, after three years in court, JLC won out. Due to the terms of the lawsuit, Hamilton could only produce the Otis using movements made by Tavannes, Movado, or JLC themselves. Faced with the choice to either use another brand's movements or cease production altogether, Hamilton pulled the Otis from their catalogs in 1940.

Surviving examples are rare, which makes this one all the more desirable. It's a true survivor, with a strong case devoid of pitting or custom engraving, and a beautifully patinated original dial. The infamous case--14k gold filled in this example--is in excellent condition, with its reversing design functioning perfectly. Practical, foolproof, and stunning, it was the American answer to the Reverso, and deserves to be remembered and loved by another generation of watch collectors. Don't miss it! 

A:S Guarantee

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Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.

Condition

Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.

Warranty

We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Shipping & Returns

+

All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.

Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.

We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.

We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Hamilton Otis

Hamilton Otis

Sold
Sold
Hamilton Otis

Why We Love it

Hamilton is perhaps best known to modern collectors for their historically significant tool watches: robust field watches issued to the U.S. military from the Vietnam War to the 1980s, bulky precision chronographs, or divers in EPSA SuperCompressor cases. But during the Golden Age of American watchmaking, Hamilton was master of all trades, from railroad timers to dress watches fit for kings. Their catalogs from the 1930s and 1940s were filled with elegant and innovative watches that have all but faded to obscurity. 

The Otis--or Otis "Reverso"--is one such watch. Seeking to capitalize on Alfred Chauvot's innovative reversible case design, Hamilton produced the Otis in 1938. The Hamilton Otis used Chauvot's case designs, either in solid gold or gold-filled, with black or white dials and bold Breguet style numerals. 

Hamilton had this to say about the Otis in their catalogs from the era: 

"Exclusively Hamilton, this smartly designed strap watch ingeniously fulfills its double duty in a practical foolproof manner. Slight pressure from the side, a flip of the finger - and the watch locks firmly into reversed position."

However, "exclusively Hamilton" was not entirely the truth. In fact, the design of the Otis infringed upon another watch manufactured by a Swiss company: Jaeger-LeCoultre, that is, who was also manufacturing their Reverso under Chauvot's patent. As you'd expect, Hamilton and JLC soon found themselves embroiled in a lawsuit. 

Ultimately, after three years in court, JLC won out. Due to the terms of the lawsuit, Hamilton could only produce the Otis using movements made by Tavannes, Movado, or JLC themselves. Faced with the choice to either use another brand's movements or cease production altogether, Hamilton pulled the Otis from their catalogs in 1940.

Surviving examples are rare, which makes this one all the more desirable. It's a true survivor, with a strong case devoid of pitting or custom engraving, and a beautifully patinated original dial. The infamous case--14k gold filled in this example--is in excellent condition, with its reversing design functioning perfectly. Practical, foolproof, and stunning, it was the American answer to the Reverso, and deserves to be remembered and loved by another generation of watch collectors. Don't miss it! 

A:S Guarantee

+

Our Pledge

Analog:Shift stands behind the authenticity of our products in perpetuity.

Condition

Since our pieces are vintage or pre-owned, please expect wear & patina from usage and age. Please read each item description and examine all product images.

Warranty

We back each Analog:Shift vintage timepiece with a one-year mechanical warranty from the date of purchase.

International Buyers

Please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

Shipping & Returns

+

All of our watches include complementary insured shipping within the 50 states.

Most of our products are on hand and will ship directly from our headquarters in New York City. In some cases, watches will be shipped directly from one of our authorized partners.

We generally ship our products via FedEx, fully insured, within 5 business days of purchase. An adult signature is required for receipt of all packages for insurance purposes. Expedited shipping is available at an additional cost. We are also happy to hand deliver your purchase in Manhattan or you may pick it up at our showroom.

Returns must be sent overnight or by priority international delivery, fully insured and paid for by the customer. A restocking fee may apply. Watches must be returned in the same condition as initially shipped.

We welcome international buyers, please contact us prior to purchase for additional details on shipping and payment options.

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