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Pulsar Quartz Wristwatch

The first all-electronic wristwatch
In 1972, the Hamilton Watch Company of Lancaster, PA, began to sell the "Pulsar," the first all-electronic wristwatch. The Pulsar's most striking feature was its time display. Gone were the traditional hands and dial. Instead, the Pulsar indicated the time of day in flashing red digits at the push of a button. Advertised as a "time computer," the Pulsar was one of the earliest consumer products of the microelectronics revolution. Marketed to men as examples of space technology, the Pulsar took its name from the recently discovered stars that emit radio waves at precisely spaced intervals. Initially sold in fine jewelry stores for $2,100 (roughly the same price as a Chevrolet Vega), the first production series of 400 sold out in three days.

1.5" high x 1.5" wide x 0.5" deep
The first Pulsar for women was marketed in 1974.
Web display only

Learn more!
· Pulsar Quartz Wristwatch
· "On Time," an NMAH Virtual Exhibition
· "Taking the Measure of Time" by Per Ola and Emily d'Aulaire, "Smithsonian" magazine, December 1999

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