Information about vintage Hamilton watch repair, restoration, models, and advice for collecting and collectors Welcome Greetings! Thanks for visiting my vintage Hamilton watch blog. I like to restore US-made Hamilton wrist watches back to their original glory and share my experiences with other enthusiasts. Use the “Search” space below if you know what model you’re looking for. Feel free to leave polite comments or questions in the spaces provided. Also check out my “watches for sale” on my Etsy site – the link is on the right, just below. Sunday, April 14, 17 jewel Pocket Watch Hamilton made a variety of pocket watch movements after the turn of the last century. Sizes ranged from ladies 0-sizes up through size, Hamilton’s largest movements. The went in to “open faced” pocket watches while the went into “hunter cased” watches. A hunter cased movement will have the seconds at a 3:
How to Read English Hallmarks
I can’t vouch for ads below. The Hamilton B Railway Special is a high-quality railroad pocket watch. It has 21 jewels, 16 size , is factory adjusted to keep accurate time in all 6 positions and is lever-set. The B is all about accuracy. How accurate is it?
Hamilton’s first watch left the factory in , a jewel pocket watch. The company has come a long way since then. Transformed from an American to a Swiss Manufacturer, Hamilton is currently part of the Swatch Group – one of the largest watch manufacturers and distributors.
The 10K gold filled case and dial present very well indeed and the cal. Railroad watches are particularly sought after and rarely come up for sale in the UK. Hamilton pocket watches were the favoured timepieces for use on the American railroads in the 20th century and are now among the most sought after railroad timepieces. Do not miss the opportunity to buy this collectable timepiece. Pouring over it with a loupe I could see no hairlines at all, most unusual for a watch of this age.
There is a sunken subsidiary seconds dial just above the 6 o’clock position. The elegant blued steel hands are in great condition and the glass crystal is clean and clear. The front and screw on covers close tightly. On the inside of the rear cover it is signed “Wadsworth” and marked as 10K gold filled. The bow and signed crown are in good condition. Inspecting the case with a loupe I could see some brassing on the edge of the case and there are a couple of tiny pin dings on the back of the case; not bad for a carefully used watch which is now 86 years old.
The train jewels are set in solid gold casings. It has a solid gold centre wheel and solid gold balance screws.
The existence of a consistent naming schema makes your job much easier, but by no means does all the work for you. Within each named model there were variations, typically in one or more of four areas: Dial Case Material less common variation Movement least common variation Put that all together, and the result is that some models were available in numerous variations.
National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors – This is the NAWCC site. Includes a message board, gift shop, membership and chapter information. Invaluable for dating English silver pocket watch cases. West Coast Hamilton, Hampden, Rockford, South Bend Lookups – Database of known watch grades for Hamilton, Hampden.
The last Elgin movement made in America was produced in In between, pinning an individual Elgin down to a specific year and model can be a bit of a chore. Starting around , Elgin used model numbers to identify unique case designs. In the s, the use of model numbers was supplemented by individual model names.
The model numbers remained, however, and are the key to finding replacement parts for Elgins of the period. Identification of a watch is a process, typically done as follows: First, establish that the watch is, in fact an Elgin. Second, attempt to identify the model by matching the case to known examples or to identification resources. If that fails, identify and date the movement to narrow your search and try again to identify the case. We look at each of these issues, below.
Is it really an Elgin?
Pocket Watch Information
A French pocketwatch from s. Russian stamp, A so-called ” mystery watch ” with a transparent dial, c. It is the first transparent watch.
The following tables will help you date your vintage Bulova watch. Watches dated post have a 2 alpha-numeric date code on the outside backcase, whilst watches dated before usually contain a date code symbol on the inside movement (see below for examples).
A well maintained and adjusted watch kept in a fixed location at room temperature can reach accuracies normally only seen with quartz watches. A lot of other mechanical watches are off that much in just one day. The need for Railroad Watches to be “railroad approved” stemmed from a number of train accidents in the late ‘s where two trains collided head on due to poor time keeping. Regular watch inspection and consistent time keeping was the only thing that kept trains from running into each other on Americas single track railways.
These railways had a single track for both directions and two trains running in opposite direction could pass each other at railway stations and other places which had two tracks, one for each direction, for a short distance only. A notable watch inspector was Webb C. His first job as a time inspector was when he was brought in by the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railways in after a crash and was tasked with bringing their time inspection system up to industry standards.
Ball’s career eventually led to him being the time inspector on more than half the United States’ railways, leading to a far more uniform set of standards across the US. He gave a very interessting interview in the New-York Tribune January 16, Many lives sacrificed because of faulty watches, interview with Webb C. Ball January 16, An interesting question from a historic point of view is of course:
This is probably the most common question watch collectors have. Sometimes it is easy to answer, and sometimes it is impossible. There have been a lot of watch manufacturing companies that have come and gone over the years.
This is a 21 Jewel 16 size up down wind indicator Elgin Father Time Pocket Watch. This watch was serviced 9/15/15 and is running and keeping time. The Elgin is the equivalent of the Hamilton B and $ or more less. The serial number is dating the watch to The case is 10K GF and is in good condition with a few.
The Hamilton marine chronometers developed in the s were the first to be created by modern manufacturing. Chronometers were vital naval equipment for calculating longitude and plotting location and direction and were used by the US Navy as an alternative to radio to find position. They represented vital military equipment, since radio time signals could be intercepted and falsified by the enemy.
During the course of the war Hamilton produced 10, marine chronometers that met the toughest demands for accuracy and reliability, as the only company with the capability to provide this support, managing to develop and produce these in a little over a year. The Hamilton design team provided him with a wristwatch and a desk clock that fit the bill perfectly.
A revival in the 80s saw the reintroduction of classic Hamilton designs from the s through to the s. As an official Hamilton ambassador Nicolas Ivanoff is taking to the skies in a Hamilton-branded Edge For one week each summer, more than , EAA members and aviation enthusiasts from more than 60 countries come together at this event at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Hamilton has developed a new pilot watch, the Khaki Flight Timer, in close collaboration with Air Zermatt, the prestigious transport and rescue helicopter company.
Its launch marks the signing of an official partnership between the two aviation pioneers.
Hamilton Watch Identification Guide
The example below uses information from the American Waltham Watch Company, but that is just an example. You should consult the serial number table for the specific brand of watch movement you are trying to date by selecting a company from the menu on the left. Not all vintage watches can be dated using the serial number. Some American watch brands did not use a consistent series of serial numbers, but most of the big manufacturers did. Most vintage Swiss pocket watches did NOT have serial numbers and can’t be dated by this method.
Item Details. A 10K yellow gold filled open face Railway SpeciaL pocket watch by Hamilton, model 5 and grade B. The dial has bold, black Arabic numerals, black with blue tints hands, and a subsidiary seconds dial at the sixth hour position.
Grade designations were used by the Hamilton factory to distinguish between grades i. They were not used outside of the factory. The trademark was widely used by Ball for advertising and sales purposes. It was not until that it appeared on a watch movement. In addition to the information presented here, a number of early 16 size movements were also produced with Webb C.
These watches appear to be relatively scarce, but are not included in the information below. Equivalent to Hamilton grade
Soviet pocket watch Molnija Serkisof Demiryolu Railroad USSR 1970s
For questions about pocket watches, contact: Although time keeping mechanisms have been around for thousands of years, the first mobile clocks did not appear until the s. Until that time, a clock’s mechanism was so large, heavy and ponderous, few people considered the possibility of a portable clock. Most clocks were huge and resided in churches or cathedrals.
Counterbalances and weights to power clocks were usually made of stone blocks or metal. In the s, Henry De Vick invented a clock for the royal palace in Paris with a pound.
Comprehensive resources for Hamilton Research courtesy of IHC
Molnija pocket watches I have started this page because I like pocket watches. Russian Molnija watches are robust, good quality watches and are still available second hand. I don’t speak or read Russian but I have some friends that do and sometimes I ask them for help. I never really liked wrist watches and I used to carry my wrist watch in the pocket or I would just not carry any watch at all.
I retired my watch when small GSM mobile phones came up. All the phones had a built-in clock. I had no more need for an extra watch. Today smart phones are so big that they restrain you when carried in your pant’s pocket. Now I avoid smart phones and wrist watches in my spare time. I find it good to do something together with my family and be not reachable by phone.
Thus I have re-discovered the good old mechanical watch.