Hamilton grade 943
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Thread: Hamilton grade 943

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  1. #1
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    Hamilton grade 943

    Hello!

    I've been meaning to wander over here for a while now to learn a little more about 2 pocket watches that I inherited. First up is the Hamilton, serial #163332 - this tells me it's a 943, which seems to have some horological significance but I confess to being woefully uneducated. The movement and dial are all original, the case I'm not so sure about. It runs just fine, I'm wearing it now actually :)

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    Next up is the AW Co Broadway, Dueber Silver Hunting Case, key wind, serial number: 2056564. I apparently don't have a pic of it, but will try to remember to upload it later. It wasn't running when it came to my father and he had to replace the crystal and several other parts. I need to replace the minute hand (young cousin got his mitts on it....) but otherwise it looks great now and is working.

    Anything you could tell me about these would be great - either way I love them both but it would be nice if I could speak a little more intelligently about them. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Vintage & NAWCC Forum moderator Ben_hutcherson's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton grade 943

    You have a phenomenal watch.

    Hamilton's "bulk" 18 size, 21j railroad grade watch was the 940. The hunting case counterpart(which was also a railroad watch for most of its production run) was the 941. It's worth mentioning that at least for 16 and 18 size pocket watches, even Hamilton grade numbers are open face(wind at 12:00) and odd grade numbers are hunting case(wind at 3:00).

    The 942 was the higher grade version of the 940-at a time when the 940 had composition jewel settings, the 942 had gold(the 940 would later gain gold settings). The 942 was also always double roller, while the 940 wouldn't get that until later years. The finish on the 942 steelwork is phenomenal-it's black polished all over(including under the dial). The 943 is the HC counterpart to this, and working from memory production of the 943 was well under 1000.

    Without seeing in hand, I really can't find much to say about the condition of yours. The steelwork looks excellent. There are appear to be a few scratches on the base of the cock as well as on the edge of the barrel bridge. The latter is really common on 18 size hunting case Hamiltons due to the position of the regulator microscrew. One of the plate screws is domed and not flat like the rest(flat is the correct finish for this grade) but fortunately this isn't a terribly difficult problem to fix.

    The 24 hour Montgomery dial is very special and quite scarce. Yours appears to have a hairline through the 18 minute marker, but it looks great in your photo without an in-hand examination.

    Treat it well-you have a very special watch!
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    Member National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors
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  3. #3
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    I can't add anything to what Ben said, but would like to second his thoughts. I have attached a bad pic of my example of the 940 grade he mentions.

    Fantastic watch. Read up on it, get it serviced, treat it well and enjoy it.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  5. #4
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    Re: Hamilton grade 943

    Thanks for the responses, guys! I had no idea it was so rare. I'll definitely get it to my watch guy to get it serviced.

    Thanks again!

  6. #5
    Member tinknocker's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton grade 943

    Wow, lovely Hamilton.
    banks504 likes this.
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  7. #6
    Member HamiltonElectric's Avatar
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    Re: Hamilton grade 943

    That is really a beauty! Hamilton ledgers indicate that your watch went to the Finishing Department on October 27, 1902. Ledgers also show total production of 943 movements as 2,399. Compare that to the 940 with 205,815 made -- almost 100 times as many.
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