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If you've been following us for awhile, you will have gathered that our appreciation for vintage timepieces doesn't follow any particular road.
Many collectors and enthusiasts hone their focus on one particular category, brand, or even model of wristwatch. Others, such as ourselves, prefer to take a wider view - we buy and collect what we love, regardless of brand, era, or purpose of design. Certainly, we spend a lot of time talking about the "icons" - wristwatches who's very silhouettes evoke a particular sentiment in the minds of enthusiasts. But many of the icons we so adore - the Speedmasters, Navitimers, and Submariners of the world, are not beautiful in any classical sense of the word. We certainly draw significant appreciation from the rugged, purpose-built nature of these sporting timepieces, but it would be a tough argument to conclude that they are works of art.
But the connection to art and high-design isn't as far a leap when considering other types of wristwatches. Like any good piece of art, the appeal and response to its viewers will vary, but to us, pieces such as Hamilton's T-403 are undeniably beautiful, and incredibly appealing options for the design-minded collector with sights set beyond the norm.
Penned by legendary designer Richard Arbib, the T-403 was one of several asymmetrical wristwatches developed for Hamilton in the 1950s. Better known for his streamlined and luxurious automobile concepts, Arbib had a significant impact on consumer goods as well, and the watches bearing his signature mark of futuristic design are no exception. Included in this line of watches are the better-known Ventura and Pacer - the former of which was worn by both Elvis Presley and the Men In Black.
Unlike either of those models, only available with nouveau electric movements, the T-403 utilizes a mechanical Calibre 663 movement. Not only is it mechanical, but it is actually a Microrotor automatic, giving the watch its characteristic thin (9.3mm from case back to the top of the crystal) sizing. Other movements using this Calibre used Hamilton's "Thinomatic" nomenclature.
Combining this mechanical element with an unforgettable space-age design is perhaps the ultimate expression of retro-futurism, and results in a timepiece which, whether it sings to you or not, is unquestionably a thing of beauty.
*Arbib Automobile design images taken from the internet. Thanks, Internet!
10K Gold Filled case is approximately 33mm in diameter (excluding the crown) and 39mm lug to lug. Hamilton Reference T-403. Calibre 663 Automatic Winding Movement with Microrotor. Circa 1960
Overall Condition: Case is in very good condition over all, showing only light signs of wear from age and use. Case back shows some tool marks from overzealous watchmakers (it is a monocoque case!). Two-tone dial is in original condition, showing light patination and stippling consistent with age. Original blued-steel hands and signed crown.
Includes 18mm black saddle leather strap with gold tone buckle.