Restored My Grandfather's Hamilton

Thread: Restored My Grandfather's Hamilton

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  1. #1
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    Restored My Grandfather's Hamilton

    I'm named after a grandfather who died long before I was born. When going through grandma's things after her death, we found an old Hamilton watch that had been presented to him by a group of friends. It was in terrible shape. The crystal was missing, and apparently had been for years because the dial was horribly corroded. The second hand was missing. The movement ran, but there were obvious signs of corrosion there as well.

    I finally decided I wanted the old watch restored, and took it to a watchmaker. I really regret not taking a 'before' picture, but here are some 'after' shots.






    I'd appreciate any and all information about this particular model of watch and the 982 movement. In poking around the Internet, I've found several other watches with 982 movements, but haven't seen this particular case before.

    I should correct that -- any and all information aside from value. I know it was worth what I spent on the restoration to me to have some tangible tie to my namesake. Its market value matters not at all.

    Thanks,
    Cannon

  2. #2
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    Re: Restored My Grandfather's Hamilton

    Great job on the restoration! Do your have a pic from before it was sent in for restoration?
    Are you watching closely?
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  3. #3
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    Re: Restored My Grandfather's Hamilton

    That is one sweet movement.

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    Re: Restored My Grandfather's Hamilton

    Your watch appears to be an "Essex", a 1941 design. We know your grandfather received it in 1942.

    The 982 movement is a 19 jewel size 14/0 movement first made in 1935. Production ended in 1951 after 669,600 such movements were made. Serial numbers went from J 1,001 to J 670,600.

  6. #5
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    Re: Restored My Grandfather's Hamilton

    Quote Originally Posted by crazyfingers View Post
    Great job on the restoration! Do your have a pic from before it was sent in for restoration?
    No, I don't have a before shot, and I'm kicking myself for not taking one.

    Quote Originally Posted by trim View Post
    That is one sweet movement.
    It is pretty slick, isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by RON in PA View Post
    Your watch appears to be an "Essex", a 1941 design. We know your grandfather received it in 1942.

    The 982 movement is a 19 jewel size 14/0 movement first made in 1935. Production ended in 1951 after 669,600 such movements were made. Serial numbers went from J 1,001 to J 670,600.
    Thank you! I found several good photos, and realize now my watchmaker and I both messed up on the strap. Somehow we both overlooked the holes inside the lugs for a typical spring bar installation, and he tracked down a strap that has the end threaded through the lug, and then glued down. Glad it wasn't too expensive as I'll be cutting it off, and getting a proper spring bar strap.

    I hate to hotlink someone else's pictures, so look about halfway down this page for photos of two different ways to attach the strap.

    I know I said I wasn't interested in current value, but I am curious what it would have cost new.

  7. #6
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    Re: Restored My Grandfather's Hamilton

    Quote Originally Posted by Cannon View Post
    I hate to hotlink someone else's pictures, so look about halfway down this page for photos of two different ways to attach the strap.

    Oooo driver's watch.

  8. #7
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    Re: Restored My Grandfather's Hamilton

    I have the old Hamilton catalogs on disc and the 1941 price for the Essex was $45. How that translates into 2010 dollars I don't know, but I suspect that it was at least 1-2 weeks wages back then.

  9. #8
    Member Beau8's Avatar
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    Re: Restored My Grandfather's Hamilton

    What a treasure it is~Cheers!

  10. #9
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    Re: Restored My Grandfather's Hamilton

    Quote Originally Posted by RON in PA View Post
    I have the old Hamilton catalogs on disc and the 1941 price for the Essex was $45. How that translates into 2010 dollars I don't know, but I suspect that it was at least 1-2 weeks wages back then.
    Thank you very much. I just ran that number through a few different calculators. Numbers were all over the map; but, by most measures, that would equate to something like $650 in 2010 US Dollars.

  11. #10
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    Re: Restored My Grandfather's Hamilton

    Quote Originally Posted by Cannon View Post
    Thank you very much. I just ran that number through a few different calculators. Numbers were all over the map; but, by most measures, that would equate to something like $650 in 2010 US Dollars.
    I was able to find the Essex in a 1940 catalog:



    Looks like the movement was upgraded from the grade 980 to the 982 at some point, probably by your grandfather. This wasn't unusual as some Hamilton dealers would do this for a small fee.

    Pink gold filled Hamiltons (they called it "Coral") were only made from 1939 to 1941. Civilian watch production was suspended in 1942 for WWII, and when resumed, no more Coral gold watches were made.

    Regarding what it would cost to make something like this today, $650 sounds about right based only on the rate of inflation of the US dollar from 1941 until today. However, any watch of this quality would need to be produced out of Switzerland. Also, the US dollar has depreciated against the Swiss franc by a factor of 4 since then.

    Therefore, a better measure of a current cost for something like this would be closer to $2,600.

    Hope this helps,
    gatorcpa

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