I tempted the 24 Hour forum with this yesterday ... now for all the pics!
Before the digital age ships relied on mechanical watches for navigation timing. Indeed, the whole foundation of modern horology rests on the needs of maritime navigation. The navigator's positions were only as good as the ship's clocks. So maritime clocks have always been well made and even today are highly valued. They represent the ultimate mechanical timepieces of their day.
US Navy ships in WWII were navigated by products of the Hamilton Watch Company. One of America's premier watch makers, they designed and built the Model 22 and usually encased it in a gimbal mount and then encased that box in another box. It was from this clock that all other ships watches were calibrated.
Some argue the Hamilton Model 22 is the finest mechanical timepiece ever made...
I'd love to have one but my price point and the sale price have never intersected.... I'm too cheap!
BUT Hamilton also made the deck watches which were the actual time keepers used for navigation and logging. And these are available at much lower price points!
One caught my eye... the 24 hour deck watch which kept GMT. It is based on the 22 jeweled Hamilton 992, a very accurate and durable watch. The 24 hour version is the 4992B. Mine comes with a practical nickel case, coin edging, and a dark very legible dial. The dial is labeled "GCT" which stands for Greenwich Civil Time, the name the US used for GMT until the early 50's. It has a sweep second hand in a time when most watches of this size used sub dials for displaying seconds. The second hand hacks, something rarely found until well after WWII. And it was adjusted to 6 positions!
It is about the size of a large pocket watch but, in use, it usually sat in a box on a counter or table on the ship's bridge.
I can't get this regulated to chronometer standards... I suspect this piece lead a long and useful life... but it is easy to get it to +/- 1 second per day in Dial Up, the normal position for use.
The longer I hang around Ray MacDonald, the more I like pocket watches... Thanks Ray! These timepieces are fun