The Ultimate Watch Hamilton Ventura

One thing I haven’t mentioned on the Cocktail Nation radio show is my love of watches.
To me watches, especially vintage watches are like shoes are to women.
You simply can’t have enough. My personal collection is a mixture of both vintage and contemporary watches but there is one watch which stands out from the crowd…the Hamilton Ventura.

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Asymmetrical watch cases have never been really a success. Most brands have flirted with the idea at some point in history, with varied success. Only one brand was able to create a design icon out of it; Hamilton with its Ventura.
The reasons for this are multiple. When the watch was introduced in January 1957 it was the very first battery powered watch ever available for the public. The Hamilton caliber 500 was the result of more than a decade of research. The movement features a balance wheel with an integrated coil and two magnets that are placed in the movement plate.

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As soon as the coil in the balance wheel is between the magnets, the contact springs are closed and a current will run through the coil. Because the current will run in the magnetic field of the magnets it will get a pulse and this way power the movement. Despite the decade of research was the caliber 500 basically not ready for mass production. Lots of them where returned back to Hamilton for service. This certainly dented the reputation of the Ventura that was embraced by the, mainly American, public as a watch of the future.
Of course, it was not only the movement that made people buy this watch. It was most certainly also the design. Responsible for its futuristic looks was Richard Arbib. This American designer had worked for General Motors, Century Boats and Harry Winston, and had a way of creating designs that seemed to embody the rapid technological breakthroughs that the world had seen after WWII. He most certainly achieved this with the Ventura.
Upon introduction, the Ventura was only available in 14K yellow gold with either a black or a silver dial. Hamilton charged US$200,- for this model, and an additional US$100,- if you wanted six diamonds as hour markers. Later on, Hamilton also introduced a 14K white gold version, but this one was not so popular since the American public ruled white gold as old fashioned….. Hamilton also exported the Ventura, but only on a very modest scale. In Europe an 18K yellow gold version was available, and South America could purchase an 18K pink gold version.
That the Ventura had star power was also underscored by many celebrities that choose the watch. Amongst them was Rod Serling, writer of The Twilight Zone, that introduced some episodes of this TV-show while wearing his Ventura. But it is of course Elvis that gave the Ventura everlasting fame when he wore it in the 1961 movie “Blue Hawaii”. The star power of the Ventura has not faded over the years. In 1997, Will Smith strapped on a Ventura re-issue in the blockbuster “Men in Black” and in 2010 featured a Ventura in an episode of the TV-show “Mad Men.

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In 1963 Hamilton stopped the production of the original Ventura. The electric movement had already been labeled obsolete, mainly during the introduction in 1960 of the, technically superior, Bulova Accutron. However, the attraction of the design stayed and in 1988 a re-issue of the Ventura once again graced the catalogues of Hamilton. Apart from some little retouches was it very much the same design as Richard Arbib created in the 1950’s. The main difference was that the 1980’s model had a quartz movement and the gold case had become gold plated steel.

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Today the Ventura is almost a complete collection of its own. Hamilton offers the model with a wide variety of movements (even an automatic) dials and straps, and in 2010 even released two special editions to commemorate what would have been Elvis Presley’s 75th birthday. One was the re-issue of the model as he wore in Blue Hawaii, the other was, what could best be described as, a Ventura on steroids. The Ventura design was adapted to the 21s century and bolder then ever. The watch was even more streamlined and sculpted in an oversize pvd case with inside an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. But whither you choose this model or the ones closer to the original, the common factor that all Ventura’s share is that futuristic design that even today is surprisingly refreshing.

Swank Advice-What Kind Of Man Is A Lounge Lothario

1. He is hygienic, but cleans his nails and trims his nose hairs outside of a nail salon.

2. He can balance swank sophistication, a career and a personal life.

3. He reserves his “LOL” for actual laughter, which he exudes out loud and often.

4. He isn’t looking to play “pen pal” with gals through the smart phone because he knows that all text and no play makes Johnny a very dull boy.

5. When he’s interested in a woman, he doesn’t wait three days to call her, but he does actually call her, and when he does, he asks her out for dinner, makes reservations, picks a great bottle of wine (because he knows how to) and then makes sure she gets home safely.

6. If he wants to see her again, he lets her know, and if he doesn’t, he politely lets her know that it was a pleasure to spend time with her, even if it wasn’t. He does, however, let her know gently and firmly enough that he’s not interested so that she doesn’t waste her time thinking it might become something it won’t.

7. He reads actual books and newspapers and holds opinions on everything from scotch pairings to world events all the while understanding that not all of his opinions are facts and that not everyone has to agree with him in order for him to maintain his relationships or his manhood. In fact, he enjoys it when you don’t agree with him because it means he gets to indulge in a good debate.

8. He opens doors and takes coats, not because he feels a woman is weak, but because he is strong enough to show that he cares about the comfort of those around him.

9. Sure, he might want to get into a woman’s bed, but he’s also interested in getting into her head as experience has shown him that seduction is a delicate dance and the man who resides in her mind has conquered every other part of her.

10. He appreciates a woman who shows she cares for him, but he isn’t interested in being courted. He enjoys taking the lead in courting and doesn’t need to be “chased” because he’s in desperate need of an ego stroke. He also won’t play “puppy dog” to a woman who takes advantage of this.

11. He doesn’t look to be anyone’s father or savior, and he doesn’t pretend to be the leading man in any woman’s fairy tale. He’s just a man looking for a partner who can slay her own dragons, pay her own bills and explore the world alongside him.

12. He looks for a woman who doesn’t need him, but wants him, not for money or the happiness or a baby or a safety net, but solely for who he is.

13. He has a career, a hobby, a family of close friends and a favorite way to have his steak prepared and he isn’t the least bit intimidated when the woman in front of him shares these qualities.

14. He has taken the time to get to know himself and has a strong understanding of his own character and convictions, what he values and what he doesn’t. He is a man who is honest with himself about himself and therefore is OK being honest with those around him.

15. He takes as much pride in the way he treats women he’s with as he does his job and the way he looks.

16. He’s not the bad boy, a good boy, or a boy at all; he’s a man. A leading man, and he’s looking not for a good girl, but a great woman. One who shares all of the solid qualities that he brings to the table, and perhaps, can teach him something along the way.
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A Man And His Shoes

A lot of men don’t pay much attention to their shoes but I am here to tell you that they reveal whether he takes pride in the little things. If he throws on a nice suit and pairs it with cheap, clunky lace-ups, he’s not what you’d call a detail man. And if he leaves his pricey wingtips scuffed and unpolished then these are clear signs his personal life is probably just as messy.

There are numerous styles of shoes out there, but what’s great about being a man is that you can do perfectly well by sticking with just a few. You don’t need to maintain some Carrie Bradshaw–esque obsession about the latest and coolest. If you invest in a handful of sensible (and stylish) pairs and take care of them, you’ll be set for years. You just need to take that first step.

As I was growing up my two male role models, my Father and Grandfather were obsessive about their shoes. My Father would polish his shoes every morning for about ten minutes, his shoes were always placed carefully on a rack in his closet and not just thrown into the corner. My Grandfather was much the same. Open his closet and you could smell the leather and shoe polish. Neither men would throw out a pair of shoes until they were completely warn out. Very often the shoes would be taken to a cobbler and come back refurbished and repaired.

I have carried this knowledge with me into adulthood and here are a few things I would like to share with you about the all important shoe.

1) A man needs only a few pairs of shoes.
I choose to have three pairs of black shoes.One pair is for everyday wear, another for dressing up and going out and the third pair is patent leather to be worn with a tux. I have one pair of brown shoes for casual wear with lightly colored trousers and Aloha shirts.

2) Regularly Polish Your Shoes.
You’ll make them look great and you will help preserve your expensive shoes.
I love the ritual: the careful laying out of newspaper, and the round tin of Kiwi polish with the built-in wing-nut-shaped turn-key opener—a damned near perfect piece of industrial design. After enough applications, the old T-shirt that I use becomes a work of art in its own right, a poor man’s Matisse. And my dad’s horsehair brush (with the Good Housekeeping Seal branded into its hardwood handle) is the very same one he taught me with. First, I brush the shoe well, cleaning it of any dust or dirt. With the rag wrapped tightly around my first two fingers, I apply the polish in small, tight swirls. By the time I’m through applying wax to the second shoe, the first will be dry and ready to brush, and that’s all I do.

3) What you’ll need to care for your shoes
A. One tin of black wax polish and one tin of neutral. The black for your black leather dress shoes (obviously). And the neutral for your brown—because you essentially want to moisturize the leather, not color it.
B. An old T-shirt or towel will do the trick for applying wax. But if you buff your shoes post-brushing, invest in a nice soft chamois.
C. Don’t skimp on the brush—you want a wood handle and horsehair bristles. And for when you’re running out the door and just don’t have time for a full polish, keep an instant-wax sponge in your kit for a quick touch-up.

4) Kill a Tree, Save Your Shoes

Yes, if you want your shoes to last, you need shoe trees. Ones made from cedar. They’ll preserve the shape of your shoes, prevent them from developing deep creases, absorb moisture, and even make them smell better. They’re a no-brainer.
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