Hamilton "Cape-Horn" Super Compressor

Hamilton "Cape-Horn" Super Compressor

What does Hamilton have in common with Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, Blancpain, Universal Geneve, and Zenith? They all sold the same watch.

Super Compressor diving watches are a category unto themselves, and the best Swiss brands sold versions of the distinctive dual crown watches that have been one of the most popular types of dive watches for years.

The Super Compressor name refers to the innovative case design, which utilizes a "compressor" system that’s designed to become more watertight the deeper that the watch goes under water. As the atmospheric pressure increases along with depth, the case back is compressed, pushing on the gaskets and creating a tighter seal.

Though the compressor case wasn’t any better at preventing water intrusion than a screw-down crown (in fact, it was probably worse), because of their good looks compressor cases proved to be popular during the 1960s. Eager to get into the burgeoning dive watch market, many of the best Swiss brands turned to EPSA (Ervin Piquerez, S.A.), the leading manufacturer of compressor cases at the time, for cases to build their divers around.

It is perhaps the internal bezel that has become the most endearing feature of Super Compressors to collectors today, and the idea behind them is that they’re less prone to accidental rotation than an external bezel. They worked out great for warm water divers, but anyone with gloved hands would have been out of luck (but at least stylish!).

This particular example is branded by Hamilton, and features a classic 36mm EPSA case with dual crosshatched crowns and the characteristic internal rotating dive bezel. The dial's a real stunner, with gorgeously-aged lume and the "Cape-Horn" signature at 6:00.

Sporty yet comfortably sized, this piece shows normal signs of use throughout, and a beautiful patination of the silver dial- a characteristic unique to the Hamilton variants.

For more information on the history of compressor-cased diving watches, click over to Scubawatch.org, HERE.


Stainless steel case is approximately 36mm (excluding crowns). Hamilton Automatic Movement. Circa 1960s.

Overall Condition: Stainless steel case is in very good condition with sharp lugs and no signs of over-polishing. Case does have minimal signs of use and wear in keeping with its age, particularly on the sides of the case. Rotating inner bezel is in very good condition with crisp printing. Dial is in very good condition with faint signs of age throughout. Luminescent elements of the hour markers and hands have gained a fine even patina over time. Dual crosshatch crowns. Hamilton case back has some scratches but is in otherwise good condition.

Includes one 18mm genuine rubber Tropic strap and two 18mm nylon straps from Crown & Buckle

SKU: TT01122

More pieces you may enjoy

Bucherer Chronograph
Cushion case chrono from Bucherer
$ 1,250.00
Jules Jurgensen Automatic Gents
Unique dress watch from Jules Jurgensen with fancy lugs
$ 425.00
Bulova 666 Diver
$ 795.00
Wilson Deluxe Diver
Rare dive watch for the Arabic market
$ 895.00


Thank you for your interest in the Tudor Oysterdate Big Rose. Please fill out the form below and we will get back to you shortly.