Rediscovered My Grandfather's Watches
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  1. #1
    Member Sital's Avatar
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    Rediscovered My Grandfather's Watches

    I was going through our home safe and came across a small jewelry box that had some of my grandfather's things in it. My dad had given this to me years ago and I all but forgot about it. When I opened it, I got a pleasant surprise: 3 pocket watches. I wasn't into watches when my dad passed them on to me, so they hadn't stuck in my mind. I believe they are all from around the 1930s, but I don't want to attempt to open them to find out more. I tried google for the octagonal Elgin, but didn't find that exact model. They all are in need of restoration and repair, so I'll start on that quest by inquiring with my "watch guy". But if anyone knows a vintage watch restorer in Massachusetts, let me know!

    Anyway here they are:

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    Breitling | G-Shock | Glycine | Jaeger-LeCoultre | JS Watch | Longines | Omega | Rolex | Squale | Stowa | Tudor | Zenith

  2. #2
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    Re: Rediscovered My Grandfather's Watches

    I just sent you a PM. I like the hammy and the gold elgin. I forgot to mention in the PM, two of the watches I had serviced I gifted to my son on his wedding and my future son in law for his wedding to my daughter. keeping them in the family. my first pm thought "sentimental value" is priceless...
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  3. #3
    Member Rook49's Avatar
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    Re: Rediscovered My Grandfather's Watches

    It's no big deal to take the back off and see what the serial number is. Then you can go to The Pocket Watch Data Base and find all the info on the watch.
    https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/

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  5. #4
    Member Sital's Avatar
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    Re: Rediscovered My Grandfather's Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Rook49 View Post
    It's no big deal to take the back off and see what the serial number is. Then you can go to The Pocket Watch Data Base and find all the info on the watch.
    https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/
    I now about the serial number and that database, but I'm not at all confident that I can get the backs off without scratching them. The only watches I open up are quartz ones to change the battery, and believe me you can tell.
    Breitling | G-Shock | Glycine | Jaeger-LeCoultre | JS Watch | Longines | Omega | Rolex | Squale | Stowa | Tudor | Zenith

  6. #5
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    Re: Rediscovered My Grandfather's Watches

    The octagonal one will be the one that you worry about the most as you have to stick a blade into the crack on the side of the case back to open the watch. The others have a tab at one o'clock that will allow you to ether open the watch with your finger nail or a light touch of a knife blade.

    I am going to go out on a limb by saying that while the octagonal one might be 1930's the others are probably much earlier.

  7. #6
    Member Bezelbub's Avatar
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    Re: Rediscovered My Grandfather's Watches

    I think the Hamilton might be a 956 or 974. The 956 was sold complete only and cased and time at the factory and the neck and tab for the case look similar.

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  8. #7
    Member Rook49's Avatar
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    Re: Rediscovered My Grandfather's Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Sital View Post
    I now about the serial number and that database, but I'm not at all confident that I can get the backs off without scratching them. The only watches I open up are quartz ones to change the battery, and believe me you can tell.
    Some of them like my Hamiliton 992 the back screws off. Just put the watch in the palm of of one hand and use the palm of the other hand to press and twist it counter clockwise. I've got other pocket watches that have a small lip where you can use a finger or thumb nail to pop them open. You can't screw them up like that.


  9. #8
    Member Sital's Avatar
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    Re: Rediscovered My Grandfather's Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Bezelbub View Post
    I think the Hamilton might be a 956 or 974. The 956 was sold complete only and cased and time at the factory and the neck and tab for the case look similar.

    Name:  001 case front-tile.JPG
Views: 44
Size:  1.71 MB
    Thanks for the info and pics!
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  10. #9
    Member Sital's Avatar
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    Re: Rediscovered My Grandfather's Watches

    Quote Originally Posted by Rook49 View Post
    Some of them like my Hamiliton 992 the back screws off. Just put the watch in the palm of of one hand and use the palm of the other hand to press and twist it counter clockwise. I've got other pocket watches that have a small lip where you can use a finger or thumb nail to pop them open. You can't screw them up like that.

    Both of the round ones have lips, but I couldn't get either open with my fingernails. My dad didn't wear these watches so I don't think they have been opened in probably at least 60 years.
    Breitling | G-Shock | Glycine | Jaeger-LeCoultre | JS Watch | Longines | Omega | Rolex | Squale | Stowa | Tudor | Zenith

  11. #10
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    Re: Rediscovered My Grandfather's Watches

    Sital...Hello!

    Take a look at the "Bergeon 4932" case opening tool ( or others like it ). Get one of these little Wonders, & you'll soon solve the Mystery of Opening Pocket watch Cases.

    Easy to do / no damage / tool lasts Forever.

    And: the 8-Sided Elgin looks like a 12s, possibly a 7 or 15 or 17 Jewel. Base metal case. The round Elgin I don't recognize. The Hamilton is either a 12 size or 16, looks to have a refinished metal dial, and is probably a 17 Jewel. The Hamilton is the 'best' mechanism here, and these tend to show up in very good mechanical condition, and respond nicely to a Service.

    Of course, images of the Movements will complete the Story! Michael.

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