Help with Info on Hamilton Pocket Watch

Thread: Help with Info on Hamilton Pocket Watch

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  1. #1
    Member Shadyshane's Avatar
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    Help with Info on Hamilton Pocket Watch

    Same old story, Great Grand Fathers Pocket Watch, and I'm looking for help to find out what information can be determined about it. I now my great grandfather was a train conductor for the Cherry River Boom & Lumber Co., and he was killed in 1929, apparently making a switch with another car. Other than that, little is known about the man. This pocket watch was his, and was given to my grandfather. Now I do not believe it is a "railroad" watch, but I would like to know what information could be determined by the serial numbers on the case and the movement. I plan to have it fully restored and return it back to my grandfather with a little more history to go along with it. Any help would be appreciated.
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    Last edited by Shadyshane; October 2nd, 2011 at 07:33.
    "You like havin' a good time, Huh? Then you need a good watch." Rocky Balboa

  2. #2
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Info on Hamilton Pocket Watch

    It is a 12 size 19 jewel grade 900 from about 1920. Grade 900 was produced from 1909 through 1923, and the last watches were sold in 1930. Total production was 24700. It is a nice gentleman's watch, but not railroad grade due to size.
    Erik_H
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  3. #3
    Member perby's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Info on Hamilton Pocket Watch

    Hi Shadyshane,
    You're watch would not be eligible for RR service because it is a 12s watch. It is a grade 900. Although it was a relatively high grade watch, and met most of the requirements, short of the size. This watch was manufactured in 1918/19. I believe most watches from Hamilton at this time were cased at the factory, and yours does not appear to have other case marks, so is likely original to the movement. If the watch has not been serviced for awhile I would refrain from running it until you can get it serviced, as damage may occur.
    It looks like a nice good grade watch.
    Bill

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  5. #4
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Info on Hamilton Pocket Watch

    All grade 900 were cased by Hamilton at the factory. In addition every watch came with a wooden or leather box, complete with an individually numbered certificate. It will be great if you still have these.
    The 900 was a high grade watch, more on the specifications: 19 extra fine ruby jewels in gold settings, patent motor barrel, gold train, steel escape wheel, double roller escapement, sapphire pallets, breguet hairpring, compensation balance, adjusted to temperature, isochronism and 5 positions. The fish-scale damasceened plates of your watch have white gold finishing I believe.
    Erik_H
    Member NAWCC Chapter 149

  6. #5
    Member Shadyshane's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Info on Hamilton Pocket Watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik_H View Post
    ...In addition every watch came with a wooden or leather box, complete with an individually numbered certificate. It will be great if you still have these.
    yes it would, but I don't. My family new little of the original owner, besides he died when my grandfather was very young. While tracing my ancestry, I found several records of his death, which listed he occupation and cause of death. When I shared this info with my grandfather, he pulled out an old cigar box which had only a few small artifacts in it. It was apparently what was given to my great grandmother when she received news of her husbands death. When I was given the watch a few month's ago, it had no crystal, but if wound, would work, but that is no longer true.
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik_H View Post
    It is a nice gentleman's watch, but not railroad grade due to size.
    I looked up the requirements for being a R.R. watch, which, as you stated, the size of this watch prevents it from being consider as such, but adds to to the intrigue of the watch for me. My family of this time period where not wealthy, and quite poor to be honest, so it's interesting that a young railroad conductor would pony up for such a nice gold filled gentleman's watch, and not a cheaper model, that while not as flashy, would meet the requirements of his position and use of the watch. He was a smaller man, so perhaps he decided that meeting all the other requirements of a railroad grade watch, besides the size, were sufficient for him.
    Quote Originally Posted by perby
    You're watch would not be eligible for RR service because it is a 12s watch.
    ...indeed, but it was used for that purpose, though on a lumber train service hauling cargo, and as opposed to a passenger train....maybe if it was a size 16 or 18, the poor sap wouldn't have gotten killed on the job lol.

    Thanks for the info guys, exactly the type of stuff I was looking for. Any other tidbits of info, no matter how minuscule, are welcomed
    "You like havin' a good time, Huh? Then you need a good watch." Rocky Balboa

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