Hamilton/Elgin Wrist Watch - American Movements
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  1. #1
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    Hamilton/Elgin Wrist Watch - American Movements

    Hi all,

    I was just curious if anyone has any information on Hamilton wrist watches with American movements? I noticed that Hamilton started incorporating swiss movements as early as the late 1950s, but I have no idea what models existed in the post-war period, prior to the swiss transition. I trawl through the loads of vintage Hamiltons on Ebay, but it seems American-made movements from this period are rare.

    Any information that anyone has would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Seb

  2. #2
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    Re: Hamilton/Elgin Wrist Watch - American Movements

    sebii...Hello! Quickly noted: Hamilton made MANY ( MANY!!) USA-made wristwatches...from 17 to 22 jewels, housed in steel / gold-filled / solid gold cases, for men and women. Do a search @ Hamilton wristwatch history...you'll have several nights of reading ahead of you! And: Hamilton made ONLY excellent-quality watches...I have owned / worked on quite a few, and have always been impressed with them. Have fun learning about them...they're fine watches. Michael.

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    Re: Hamilton/Elgin Wrist Watch - American Movements

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the reply. I have searched that phrase and found very minimal specific information, which is why I posted. Indeed, if you search that phrase now, this thread is returned on Google! Do you have any specific recommendations on sites that outline specific models? The closest I have found are the serial number databases for the movements, but nothing yet for complete watches.

    Many thanks,
    Seb

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  5. #4
    Member tinknocker's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton/Elgin Wrist Watch - American Movements

    Check out vintage watch forums, they have a lot of info on Hamilton
    Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

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    Re: Hamilton/Elgin Wrist Watch - American Movements

    OK! So I have had some luck. For anyone else who is looking for information, I have found a great site with catalogues from every year, as well as an excellent identification guide. Unfortunately, I'm apparently too untrustworthy until I post a few more random posts on the forums, so if you'd like it, PM me!

  7. #6
    Member gatorcpa's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton/Elgin Wrist Watch - American Movements

    Check this link:

    Vintage Watch Forums - Hamilton Dealer Catalogs

    Hamilton catalogs from 1910 through mid 1970's.

    You can easily see the evolution from pocket watches to wristwatches and from American made movements to Swiss.
    gatorcpa

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    Re: Hamilton/Elgin Wrist Watch - American Movements

    If you search Ebay for wristwatches by brand, you can also specify age. For Hamilton or Elgin, the bulk of the watches they made before 1960 had US-built movements. And the movement will be stamped 'USA', if it was built here.

    Hamilton stopped producing movements in the US in 1969. Elgin, in 1964 (with the exception of some women's movements).

    Any self-winding Hamilton will have an imported movement, but Elgin made 4 grades (calibers) of domestic self-winding movements, the 607/618 Bumper Automatics in the early 1950s, and the 760/761 Durabalance automatics a decade later.
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  9. #8
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    Re: Hamilton/Elgin Wrist Watch - American Movements

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneJockey View Post
    If you search Ebay for wristwatches by brand, you can also specify age.
    You can do that, but the vast majority of vintage watches on eBay aren't categorized by age anymore.

    You'll be missing a lot of listings that way.
    gatorcpa

  10. #9
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    Re: Hamilton/Elgin Wrist Watch - American Movements

    Welcome to the forums!
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  11. #10
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    Re: Hamilton/Elgin Wrist Watch - American Movements

    If you are really into these vintage watches, also check out the watches by Richard Paige (RPaige) and Vortic Watch Co. Both of those companies uses vintage American movements in modern watches. They have some really cool designs. I recently did an article on some of these at WatchPonder. com if you are interested. I own some of each (as well as many Swiss watches) and I love those vintage movement watches. They really integrate the Hamilton, Waltham, Elgin, etc movements well. I'd argue the high-grade Walthams and Hamiltons are prettier and better than most movements today. Just my two cents.
    Perseverence likes this.

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