Still in a kind of "what did I do" frame of thought. I was hunting around and came across the sale of a Hamilton 962 with a serial of 50002. Well the seller was talking about how this was the 2nd 962 made of 350. That is interesting....then I started digging. I came across this document.
Here the statement is made that the 962, as listed in the factory production book, was a total of 430 watches sent to finishing 2/6/1897.
Then there is this note.....
"Records show a few sold late 1896".....This means that the factory numbers would be incorrect as they would not sell watches in 1896 that were not sent to finishing until 1897 unless it is talking about pre production selling. So this leads to the numbers..... If the factory says 962 started at 50071 and this is 50002 there is the 50001 to 50070 uncounted for and would be what this note means.
Then you get this.....
Here is where the numbering get odd. 50001-50010 962 then 50011-50020 964 back to 962 for 50021-50060 and then you don't see a 962 run until 50101-50400. My math says 350 total for the 962 and that only the first 50 were produced in 1896. As to when they were produced in 1896 goes back to the note. If they sold some 962's in 1896 it could only have been these 50. The one I am getting is a private label. There is another individual out there with 50007 that is a private label as well. Based on this I think the first run of 10 were all private label. But it left me thinking about number 50001. I can find no evidence of anyone having it anywhere....or at least it has not been mentioned where Google finds anything. Maybe Fred knows? I would have thought it would be in the NAWCC Museum or in the hands of some Museum at this point but no luck. So there is the background. The 962 was the first production 16 size movement they made and they started at 50001....making this new project of mine #2.
The intention will be to restore it. The hands are good....but from there....needs a service. Needs a staff. Needs a 4 footed dial. Needs a better case. Now when I say restore, I am not talking about just making it all pretty. I am not ditching the dial or the case. The case though I am not sold on being original. If I find the case is not original I will try and find the period correct one for it that would have been used by Hamilton. As the note says, they only sold the 962 as uncased watches. Being a private label, the jeweler could put any case available on it. The dial matches the single sunk on the 50007 watch and is a more common dial. I think my main issue will be the case as these had a larger pillar plate and looking at the watch without the bezel looks like the plate is larger than the dial.
I wonder if they had a larger dial on these or what. Anyway, this is the start of a project but one I am happy to take on.