Hampden Pocket Watch
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  1. #1
    Member Recoil's Avatar
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    Hampden Pocket Watch

    I have this Hampden a few years now.

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    From my quick research:

    1. Hunter movement in a open face case

    2. Movement was made 1885 approx

    3. Possibly 17 jewels?

    The minute hand looks odd in context to the hour hand, is this hand original ?

    The hand is slightly bent as well.

    I intend to get the watch serviced and cleaned next year as I am unable to set the time when I pull the stem out. When I turn the stem the hands won't move.

    I can wind it no problem and the movement is working fine.

    Any more information would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member VolkswagenFox21's Avatar
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    You pull out the stem and it spins around freely without resistance? Maybe it's lever set. I'm on my phone so I can't really be of much help at the moment.

    Lovely watch though!

  3. #3
    Member VolkswagenFox21's Avatar
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    Okay, I had time to do some research and it's a hunter movement, as you found out, made approx. in 1887, size 18, 11 jewels, and it's lever set.

    To set the time just unscrew the front bezel, you'll found a little tab on the outer edge of the dial which you have to pull out, then just turn the stem (don't pull it up!) and set the time.

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  5. #4
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Hampden Pocket Watch

    If you look carefully, you can see screw marks on the rim of the case around the movement that indicate that this case used to hold a different watch. That's fairly common; your Hampden is a nicely decorated 15j movement that was probably originally in a solid gold hunter case. These cases frequently find themselves victems of necessity, and are sold in times of need. Fortunately, the less-valuable movement was retained and transplanted into a different case. The case probably originally had a lesser (7jewel) movement. Speculation on my part, but it's a story we've seen countless times. The hands are a bit odd; the difference in the width seems a bit much for them to be a matched set, but the style is correct.
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  6. #5
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: Hampden Pocket Watch

    What is sure, it is a Hampden 18s Model 2. After 1888 Dueber moved production from Massachusetts to Canton, Ohio where Hampden stayed in production until the end. By 1931 the production tools had been sold and shipped to Russia, or the Soviet Union as it was known as then.
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  7. #6
    Vintage & NAWCC Forum moderator Ben_hutcherson's Avatar
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    Re: Hampden Pocket Watch

    IMO, neither hand is correct. The minute hand looks to be of the correct style, but it's just a shade too short.
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  8. #7
    Member Recoil's Avatar
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    Re: Hampden Pocket Watch

    Thanks for all the replies.

    I haven't manage to get the front bezel off, not able to get a good grip. Any tips.

    The minute hand is annoying me, IMO, its way to thin, should at less be the same thickness as the hour hand.

    What would you consider the right set of hands to be?

  9. #8
    Vintage & NAWCC Forum moderator Ben_hutcherson's Avatar
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    Re: Hampden Pocket Watch

    As I said, I would consider the minute hand to be the correct style as far as thickness/heaviness. The minute hand is also a correct match style-wise to the second hand(which may be original). Thin hands were the norm in the 1880s, with bolder hands not generally being seen until after the turn of the century.

    I don't collect Hampdens, but I do have a Springfield Railway from roughly the same SN range as yours that has fleur-de-lis hands, although I'm not sure something along those lines would be so correct for the dial you have.

    Here's a mid-1880s Waltham with what I believe are correct and original hands. I would expect to see something similar on your watch

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  10. #9
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Hampden Pocket Watch

    Yanking up the crown will do zilch with this watch.

    Here's a little trick.

    Breathe on the watch a couple of times. Sandwich it between your palms and twist in opposite directions applying gentle pressure (hand closest to you going anticlockwise, hand away from you going clockwise).

    Or breathe on the watch, place it in your right hand with the stem braced against your thumb. Using the fingers of your left hand, grasp or squeeze the bezel and twist anticlockwise.

    Breathing on the watch warms it up a bit and metal expands when it's warm. This may help loosen it up. Then just apply pressure and twist.

    Once you've got the thing off, find the lever. Dig it out with a fingernail. Don't rip it out. It should slide out a few milimeters. Twist the crown to set the time. Push the lever back in. Screw the bezel back on.
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  11. #10
    Member Recoil's Avatar
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    Re: Hampden Pocket Watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Shangas View Post
    Yanking up the crown will do zilch with this watch. Here's a little trick. Breathe on the watch a couple of times. Sandwich it between your palms and twist in opposite directions applying gentle pressure (hand closest to you going anticlockwise, hand away from you going clockwise). Or breathe on the watch, place it in your right hand with the stem braced against your thumb. Using the fingers of your left hand, grasp or squeeze the bezel and twist anticlockwise. Breathing on the watch warms it up a bit and metal expands when it's warm. This may help loosen it up. Then just apply pressure and twist. Once you've got the thing off, find the lever. Dig it out with a fingernail. Don't rip it out. It should slide out a few milimeters. Twist the crown to set the time. Push the lever back in. Screw the bezel back on.
    Thanks for the tip!

    I managed to get it off, with the aid of a pencil eraser.

    The eraser provided a better grip on the smooth bezel than my slippery fingers.The lever was next to the number 5 and it popped out easy to set the time.

    Thanks.

    p.s. Was the watch case that now houses the movement made before 1924. I believe that the case makers couldn't state a 15/20 year guarantee on the case for gold fill after this year.
    Last edited by Recoil; December 30th, 2011 at 18:24. Reason: p.s

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