Hampden Special Railway PW Opinions
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Thread: Hampden Special Railway PW Opinions

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  1. #1
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    Hampden Special Railway PW Opinions

    I was hoping to get a bit more information on this recent estate sale purchase. At just under $100. I was impressed by the two tone movement of which the gilding seems to be in pretty nice shape, the 23 jewels and the fact that it is running. On the other hand the case is pedestrian and the hands are rusted and one of the screws on the movement is mismatched. The database is not correct for this model. Calls this a Model 4 and dates to 1907. I believe it is a 16s but the database lists it as 18 and also lists 21 jewels. Database also does not have any production run or total production numbers.

    I have a few pocket watches but am no expert and have no knowledge of Hampden. I assume this to be one of their higher end models of the time? Would anyone know if this is a quality piece and how it compares to Elgins, Hamiltons, Waltham etc.? Does the base metal case look original to the piece? Come to think of it, that train on the engraving is way too modern for 1907! Is it a piece worth trying to do a quality restoration on.? Any comments appreciated and welcome.
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    Last edited by Giotime; November 20th, 2017 at 00:38.
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  2. #2
    Member thoth's Avatar
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    Re: Hampden Special Railway PW Opinions

    Awesome looking movement. I would say the case is a replacement. You could find a period correct yellow gold filled hunter case that would work.

    1907 is correct as well as 18 size. The database I look at is one that is a NAWCC one.

    http://www.nawcc-ch149.com/db_resch/Hampden_1230.html

    The database shows 21 jewels but all of the other info is correct. The production number for this variation is very low...565 watches. I guess it is possible that all 565 were 23 jewel and the info is wrong.

    Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk
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  3. #3
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    Re: Hampden Special Railway PW Opinions

    Giotime...Hello. This is an 18 size Hampden. It is in better-than usual condition: the movement screws look original, and the plates are very good. The upper balance jewel setting is a bit rough, ( and the white screw is not original ) which implies that it's had at least one balance staff replaced, and that the job was not done at the highest level...balance staff jobs were not always done properly, and sometimes are pretty rough...still, this one may be OK: 23 J watches would usually bring out a shop's Best Effort!

    The dial looks Original...many Hampden dials ( especially 16 & 18s ) have aged rather poorly. This one's hairline cracks would probably clean-up after a good soaking in watch-cleaning solution.

    The hour hand looks original...the other's look like replacements. Even rusty hands will clean up, and they can be re-blued.

    It's really not possible to do much better than a Hamilton...Waltham made a range of watches, from pretty basic, to World Class...Elgin, too, covered the range, from entry-level to Top Quality.

    Hampden was a very good brand. They, too, covered a very wide range...most, are a bit less impressive than their competition...then again, when it pleased Hampden, they could really show off: I own several, and--to mention only one--their Grade 104, a 16S 23J, has an escapement ( and, especially, the escape wheel ) that's as finely finished as anything
    I've seen...and I've seen quite a few!

    Finally: you got a Good Deal. The case, alone, is 'worth' 1/2 of what you paid. Of course, this is a Hunting movement, and many would prefer it in a Hunting case...such cases sell for more than you paid for the watch. Still, many folks like 'Side-Winders' : Hunting movements in Open Face cases.

    You did very well. Enjoy! Michael. ps: PM me with any questions / etc...I know USA watches pretty well!
    laikrodukas and Giotime like this.

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