Seiko’s innovative Japanese technology has no doubt revolutionized the watch industry and shifted the global market into new and unexplored territories in timekeeping. On the other hand, Hamilton is a Swiss watch brand associated with creating a huge portfolio of watches that cover a lot of bases and a lot of uses, from professional pilot’s watches to outdoor explorers, to lovers of the classic dress watch. Choosing between Hamilton and Seiko shouldn’t be such a difficult job since both companies are quite different in their approach to watchmaking. That doesn’t mean to say one brand is better than the other. Moreover, it’s about choosing what’s important to you in a watch. In this guide, Seiko goes head-to-head with Hamilton in this comparison article.
Seiko is a world-famous Japanese watch brand that created its first quartz movement in 1969. It was a great move for the manufacturer since quartz watches became so popular in the ’70s during the quartz crisis. By 1977 the brand revealed its first solar-powered watch and towards the ’90s put itself on the map for creating a whole new technology - the Spring Drive, which combined the benefits of quartz and a mechanical movement, providing all-round better timekeeping efficiency.
Hamilton was founded in 1892. The American-based company now has Swiss connections but draws from its rich heritage when creating inspiring timepieces. Hamilton switched from creating consumer products to developing military-grade tools during the Second World War, partnering up with the American military in the process. After this Hamilton resumed normal business creating watches for the public once more. It began incorporating Swiss-made movements into its wristwatches and was picked up by the Swatch Group in the ’70s.
Not only was Hamilton’s Ventura watch sported on the wrist of King of Rock icon, Elvis Presley, but it also made an appearance in the Men In Black and Men In Black 2 films. Its distinct shield-shaped dial has become an instantly recognizable design within the watch industry. The Hamilton Ventura was also the world’s first electric watch which launched in 1957. There are quartz and automatic variations available in Hamilton’s current collection, as well as a choice between steel and black PVD-coated cases.
Movement: H-10, Self-winding
Functions: Date, Calendar, 80h power reserve
Strap: Black rubber
Hamilton Khaki watches stand out on an international level. Inspired by the military and aviation fields, a watch from this collection is perfect for you if you like 1940’s retro-inspired designs. The watches from this collection are rugged in construction yet elegant in their dial designs. Luminous features, 24-hour tracks and a prominent crown for easy gripping through pilot’s gloves, are well-recognized features of this line.
Reference: H-50 H69439931
Case/Dial: 38mm Steel, Black
Movement: Cal. H-50, Self-winding
Functions: Date, Luminous hands, 80h power reserve
From open-heart dials to stylish chronographs and minimalist designs that embody a super-thin case depth – the Jazzmaster collection is a modern series of wristwatches for those with a taste for the finer things in life. These dress watches will appeal to you if you’re in search of a timepiece that will add a stylish finishing touch to formal or smart attire. There’s even a GMT model for the frequent traveler and the iconic 53mm Face To Face watch, belonging to a limited edition collection of just 2000 worldwide.
Case/Dial: 40mm Steel, Black
5 bar (50 m/164 feet)
Movement: H-10, Self-winding
Functions: Date, Calendar, 80h power reserve
Similar to the Hamilton Jazzmaster. The Coutura range of wristwatches from Seiko is full of classic timepieces with a functional twist. Some watches incorporate a perpetual calendar, as well as a selection of kinetic watches – a feature that will certainly appeal to you if you’re interested in environmentally-friendly watch technology. There are models crafted from ceramic as well as diamond-studded bezels for the fashion-conscious woman.
Case/Dial: 44.5mm Steel, Black
Movement: Caliber 8B92, Quartz
Functions: Date, Calendar, Chronograph
Whether you need a rugged tool for underwater or a stylish tool for wearing on dry land - the Prospex watch collection by Seiko has everything to offer from its Sea models, equipped with quartz movements and impressive water resistance (assisting with saturation diving), to limited-edition models with cermet bezels. The Land series of the Prospex supports adventure seekers of every kind. Characterized by their legible day-date features and bold Arabic numeral hour tracks, they offer the explorer instant access to the time whenever it is required.
Case/Dial: 44mm Steel, Green
20 bar (200 metres / 660feet)
Movement: 6R15, Self-winding
Functions: Date, Calendar, Luminous hands, Rotating bezel, 50h power reserve
The 5 Sport collection is where you’ll find watches with plenty of character and boldness. Ultra-masculine, these timepieces are worn by professionals and amateurs. Despite their sporty aesthetics, there are watches within this collection that are suitable for wearing as a dress watch with formal or elegant attire. All models within the collection boast a chunky set of central hands and an arrow tipped minute hand surrounded by a one-way rotating bezel.
Case/Dial: 43mm, Black
10 bar (100 metres / 330 feet)
Movement: 4R36, Self-winding
Functions: Date, Calendar
Hamilton watches tend to fall in the higher-end price bracket compared to Seiko (excluding Grand Seiko models, of course), but are still classed as a mid-range watch brand on the whole. The price tag of a Hamilton watch accurately reflects a recognized Swiss company that does not always use in-house movements. Higher priced Hamilton watches can be purchased for a few thousand dollars – the most expensive costing up to around 6000 USD, yet most of the manufacturer’s watches are priced below $500 making them incredibly affordable. You can pick up a Seiko watch for as little as a hundred dollars. The Prospex Kinetic GMT Diver’s watch with a waterproofness of 200 meters can be purchased for around $500, whereas models from the Grand Seiko collection like the Hi-Beat are priced at around $12,000.
Whereas Seiko is the more prominent brand, associating itself with incredibly accurate movements and a wealth of expertise in terms of solar power and cutting-edge watch technology - Hamilton can compete substantially, with their successful line of military watches. Their Khaki Field models are perfectly tailored to answer the needs of military personnel whilst embodying a style that is also welcomed by watch connoisseurs and collectors globally. Are you a gadget-obsessed tech enthusiast? If so – opt for a Seiko. If you prefer precision combined with a tool watch – Hamilton is the brand to go for.
We have a lot more guides to navigate your research for the perfect watch. Seiko is one of the most popular brand across its sport and elegan lines. If you are an hard-core Seiko fan you can read our Seiko SKX007 guide - one of the most popular entry diver of all times.
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