Great Grandfather's Hampden

Thread: Great Grandfather's Hampden

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  1. #1
    Member Swoopage's Avatar
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    Great Grandfather's Hampden

    Good Evening,
    I have been an active member on WUS for some time now and recently discovered this part of the forum.
    This summer I recently had an old Hampden watch that was passed down to me 10 years ago refurbished by a local watchmaker.
    The only info I know about the watch is the production date matches up to 1882.
    I have wondered what is the "story" behind this watch. Ie from an expert's eye, what has been replaced or what is original?
    So far, I had the acrylic crystal replaced with a clear class and had the porcelain dial filled where there was a hole by the middle.
    Does anyone have any insight to my old watch?

    Thanks,
    Eddie

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    Current Collection:
    Seiko: SNK809

    Past Collection:
    Orient: ER1W003W Brazen - FEM7D003B Hammerhead
    Seiko: SRP351 Sky, SRP313 Monster, SARB065 Cocktail Time, SKX171, SBBN017 Tuna, SRP309 Orange Monster

  2. #2
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: Great Grandfather's Hampden

    Looks like a nice watch. However, I very much assume that it is not in its original case - the small seconds should be opposite the crown or else there should be an outer front cover (savonette or "hunter" watch). Also, the case back (generally, snap down = post WWII) looks too modern for the movement (ca. 19th century, as you yourself confirmed).

    Hartmut Richter

  3. #3
    Member Swoopage's Avatar
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    Re: Great Grandfather's Hampden

    Ah, very interesting. It does have a screw back to it and screw front with a lever-set function. I see what you mean by the orientation of the movement in the case.
    I read somewhere before that the original cases of vintage pieces that were made of more expensive metals were often sold in hard times. Thus the movement was transplanted in a cheaper case.
    This must be the case of mine. Interesting to know. My ancestor that had this piece used to work on the railroad in Ohio. Is this considered a "railroad" pocket watch?
    Current Collection:
    Seiko: SNK809

    Past Collection:
    Orient: ER1W003W Brazen - FEM7D003B Hammerhead
    Seiko: SRP351 Sky, SRP313 Monster, SARB065 Cocktail Time, SKX171, SBBN017 Tuna, SRP309 Orange Monster

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  5. #4
    Member chronophobia's Avatar
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    Re: Great Grandfather's Hampden

    Hi, Eddie.

    Here's some info on your watch from a site that aggregates old pocket watch records:

    Hampden Pocket Watch Serial Number 223775 Information

    It's been suggested by another member here that one should view records from this site with a pinch of skepticism as it's been known to contain inaccuracies, but this data seems about right. Your watch is a 15-jewel movement, which is better than most, but not "railroad grade." Railroad watches are usually 21+ jewels and adjusted to six positions, which in turn is usually prominently advertised on the movement itself.

    When a watch is adjusted to a position, it is held in a specific orientation in hot, normal, and cold environments and adjusted for accuracy. Six positions means it has proven accurate in these environments with the crown up, down, to the right, to the left, and with the dial facing up and down. This basically means it keeps time at exactly the same rate no matter which way you hold it, in most temperatures, which is a very high bar indeed for these early movements. The data above indicates that your watch was adjusted to "0" positions, which seems wrong, but I don't know enough to say for certain.

    Either way, your watch is still nothing to sniff at. A very respectable timepiece.

  6. #5
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    Re: Great Grandfather's Hampden

    Your watch was originally in a hunter case. The current open dial case was probably married to the movement in the 1930s-40s. Hunter case movements in open dial case are known as "sidewinders".

  7. #6
    Member Swoopage's Avatar
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    Re: Great Grandfather's Hampden

    Very interesting. Thank you for the description about the railroad grade movement, it seems like an early type of COSC testing for pocket watches. Very good to know. It makes sense it is a lower grade movement, since my ancestor was a poor Irish railroad worker. Would be a little honkey if he a very elaborate timepiece for his normal day activities.

    I haven't heard of the "sidewinder" case style before either. I will have to look up to see who might have switched the cases. Historically around that timeframe would make sense going through the depression.

    Thanks for contributing! Me and my family are trying to find out and put together the history about this watch and how it has traveled through the generations in my family tree.
    Current Collection:
    Seiko: SNK809

    Past Collection:
    Orient: ER1W003W Brazen - FEM7D003B Hammerhead
    Seiko: SRP351 Sky, SRP313 Monster, SARB065 Cocktail Time, SKX171, SBBN017 Tuna, SRP309 Orange Monster

  8. #7
    Member bundtrock's Avatar
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    Re: Great Grandfather's Hampden

    Quote Originally Posted by Swoopage View Post
    Very interesting. Thank you for the description about the railroad grade movement, it seems like an early type of COSC testing for pocket watches. Very good to know. It makes sense it is a lower grade movement, since my ancestor was a poor Irish railroad worker. Would be a little honkey if he a very elaborate timepiece for his normal day activities.

    I haven't heard of the "sidewinder" case style before either. I will have to look up to see who might have switched the cases. Historically around that timeframe would make sense going through the depression.

    Thanks for contributing! Me and my family are trying to find out and put together the history about this watch and how it has traveled through the generations in my family tree.
    A resource you might find interesting and valuable would be Ancestry dot com, to add to what you already know about your family and your watch's multi generational travels? Best of luck!
    Have Discovered Vintage Pocket Watches!

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