Hamilton Electrics Pacer Ventura

Elvis Presley wearing his Hamilton Electrics "Pacer Ventura"The watch above is a 1960 gold Hamilton Electrics Pacer Ventura wristwatch. It’s not known which watch The King of Rock and Roll was wearing when constipation claimed his life. Elvis Presley had a few truly tasty timepieces, including a Gerald Genta-designed Rolex King Midas.

Hamilton Electrics manufactured some 39 thousand examples from 1957 to 1969. fratellowatches.com provides the provenance of Elvis’ Pacer . . .

“He wore the watch regularly until he gifted it to one of his close friends and employees; Richard Davis. According to story Elvis took the watch off one day and gave it to Davis. He told him something is wrong with the back. When Davis flipped timepiece, he found the following inscription on it: ‘To Richard from E.P.’

“The watch, with an accompanying letter by Davis and photographs of Presley wearing it was auctioned in 2016 by Antiquorum. The price estimate was between $10,000 and $20,000. The sale exceeded the estimate, selling at $22,500.”

Here’s a period correct, presumably unmolested gold Hamilton Electrics Pacer on sale at etsy.com. A bargain at $125!

Well it was back in the day. Or was it? That would be $1053.83 in today’s money. TickTockOldWatch reckons they can get double that now. The vintage Pacer’s yours for $2,035.10. Alternatively, you can buy a modern version of Elvis’s Hamilton from Hamilton, for $1495.

Ummmm. While the Hamilton Elvis80 clearly shares the Pacer’s DNA, while it’s a cool watch in its own right, the Elvis80 is as far removed from The King’s watch as JXL’s A Little More Conversation is from the original. At least it’s not a faux field watch.

It looks like the watch Elvis might have worn during the ’68 Comeback Special (to complement his black leathers) but didn’t, because the watch didn’t exist.

I reckon that’s a feature, not a bug. Whether he was clad in his gold Nudie suit or an Aztec jumpsuit, Elvis’ style was of his time — save those leathers, worn to evoke a ’50’s-era dress sense he never adopted in the ’50’s.

Anyway, I reckon the Elvis80 Hamilton is of our time: Elvis Presley’s Hamilton Electrics Pacer Ventura imagined. An old vibe, a new hit.

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