Help Needed - Vintage Hamilton ID

Thread: Help Needed - Vintage Hamilton ID

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  1. #1
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    Help Needed - Vintage Hamilton ID

    Hi all. I have been a member of the forum for a little while, but this is my first time posting. While I have always been interested in adding a few vintage pieces to my collection, I have avoided doing so because I didn’t feel that I knew enough about them. In any event, I was in an estate jewelry store over the weekend and decided to pick up my first vintage piece. Now I am trying to figure out what I actually bought. I have looked online and through some books, but I am having trouble identifying the model. If anyone could help with what model Hamilton this is and around when the watch would have been made, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you, and I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Help Needed - Vintage Hamilton ID

    For additional information (as I know the pictures are not the greatest), the word "Swiss" appears on the face of the watch. Also, on the back of the watch, there is engraving that identifies the watch as a Hamilton and indicates the watch is 14 karat gold.

  3. #3
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Help Needed - Vintage Hamilton ID

    This is a model from when Hamilton gave up trying to make their own movements and started buying Swiss automatic movements. It is probably 70's. I suspect by this time Hamilton stopped making up names for various models... but others may know more.

    These are generally fairly good watches and, if serviced, can be a good wear.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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  5. #4
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    Re: Help Needed - Vintage Hamilton ID

    I disagree with Eeeb everything about the watch says 50's except the hands. The case especially says 50's to early 60's. The first appearance of stick hands for Hamilton was in the 1960 catalog. I can't read the model name but if it says Accumatic it is definitely 50's. I believe that it's a 50's watch that had it's hands replaced. The correct hands should be Dalphine.

  6. #5
    Member JohnF's Avatar
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    Re: Help Needed - Vintage Hamilton ID

    Hi -

    Hamilton was one of the premier US watch manufacturers, and the Hamilton 770 movement is considered by many watchmakers to be on the same level as a Patek from that time period (Hamilton was known as "The American Patek".

    Eeeb is correct: the watch is from that point in time when Hamilton ceased making their own movements (there's a long story there...) and acquired Swiss movements instead.

    I read the lettering on the lower part of the watch to be "automatic", rather than "accumatic".

    I just perused the Hamilton section of the most recent Shugart and can't find your particular watch. That doesn't mean necessarily that it isn't a Hamilton, but rather came from the much later Hamilton days where the models aren't well documented.

    Consider this:

    1) the "H" logo of Hamilton first started appearing in the late 1950s and became fairly wide-spread by the middle 1960s, becoming almost universal by the 1970s. Hamilton used the "H" symbol otherwise only on crowns, and the higher-end Hamiltons continued to use the simple name without "H" symbol well into the late 1960s.

    2) the only watch that Shugart shows with straight lettering on the lower part of the dial was an automatic from the early 1970s. The "accumatic" and "automatic" lettering on the vast majority of watches shown in Shugart - which is not exhaustive, but is fairly good - is curved to match the lower curve of the case.

    Regardless, as Eeeb has said, these can be quite nice watches and excellent performers if properly maintained. Hamilton made a huge number of watches and it is fairly easy to get parts for them, allowing for long-term maintenance.

    JohnF
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  7. #6
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    Re: Help Needed - Vintage Hamilton ID

    Thanks to everyone for your help.

    You are correct that the lettering on the lower part of the face does say "automatic" and not "accumatic". Your comment about the curved versus straight lettering on "automatic" is also quite interesting. In looking through some books, I was having trouble finding models that had straight lettering (other than the Thin-o-matic models I think). As for the "H", I forgot to mention that it also appears on the crown.

    Just based on the styling of the watch, I (like nsmike) assumed the watch was from the 50's or 60's. However, the watch is in very good shape and appears to run very well, so I am not complaining. The estate store where I bought it had it fully serviced and they guaranteed their work for 12 months.

    Thanks again to everyone. This forum is such a great resource.

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