So, I found this old watch...

Thread: So, I found this old watch...

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  1. #1
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    So, I found this old watch...

    While visiting my in-laws this Christmas, my 79-year old father-in-law took out an old lockbox full of medals and other ancient treasures that formerly belonged to his father. He was showing them to my young kids, who were of course fascinated (as was I!)

    Among the forgotten heirlooms was an old pocketwatch (photos below). After Grandpa put away the lockbox, I told my wife I thought we should (with Grandma's permission) sneak out with the watch and have it professional restored to working condition as an 80th Birthday present for her dad. I know it might end up costing more than the watch is really worth, but I know the sentimental value would be profound to him, and I can easily see him carrying around the restored watch and showing it gleefully to his friends. Which puts a big old smile on my face.

    So- I'm here to ask both for suggestions on trustworthy antique watch restoration outfits, as well as seek any additional information anybody might have about this particular model of watch.

    Thanks very much for any guidance or insight anyone can provide.

    Best regards,
    Dan

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  2. #2
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    Re: So, I found this old watch...

    I do not know what it is, but I will give yousome advice:

    It seems tobe in an excellent condition, nice clean dial etc. The crystal has gone yellow, as old plastics (Celluloid?) can do.
    If you replace the crystal and service the movement, it will look really fantastic!

    (I assume it still works?)

    The movement is a lower mid quality.

    What are those 2 plaques on the last pic?

    The movement is made in 1922-25, as the serial number starts with 3 77

    This is what I found:
    Size 12
    Grade 302
    Model 5

    Just do not ask me what that means!
    Last edited by Janne; December 28th, 2010 at 02:30.

  3. #3
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    Re: So, I found this old watch...

    Thanks so much for the quick reply, Janne!

    To your questions, actually, it is not currently working- so part of our restoration plans include getting it repaired. I imagine it has probably sat quietly in its case (that brown thing I also scanned) for decades, untouched.

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  5. #4
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    Re: So, I found this old watch...

    Aha! A handmade case, no doubt!
    That is why it is in a such nice condition!

  6. #5
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    Re: So, I found this old watch...

    The company was around from 1827 to 1927. History of the Hampden (Dueber) Watch Company Including Serial Numbers & Production Dates Based on the serial number the watch is dated 1922. And found the watch on Ebay. ANTIQUE DUEBER HAMPDEN POCKET WATCH 12'S - eBay (item 230566534317 end time Dec-30-10 15:05:01 PST)

    Hope all goes well.

  7. #6
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    Re: So, I found this old watch...

    Quote Originally Posted by watch origins View Post
    The company was around from 1827 to 1927. History of the Hampden (Dueber) Watch Company Including Serial Numbers & Production Dates Based on the serial number the watch is dated 1922. And found the watch on Ebay. ANTIQUE DUEBER HAMPDEN POCKET WATCH 12'S - eBay (item 230566534317 end time Dec-30-10 15:05:01 PST)

    Hope all goes well.
    Thanks very much for that information- very helpful!

    cheers.

  8. #7
    Member Chris Hughes's Avatar
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    Re: So, I found this old watch...

    It's a Hampden grade 302 watch from roughly 1925. Looks to be in okay condition, though it may have some rust, which isn't a good sign. Don't wind and run it until you have it cleaned and serviced.

    The 302 was a lower grade Hampden, sold as an entry level gentleman's watch. Hampden made about 60k of these first and last. This one appears to be in the original case and has the original (quite nice) dial and hands. The movement is very plain, which is to be expected in these later, lower grade Hampdens. It's not a particularly rare movement, but because it's an heirloom it's worth exploring the possibility of having it cleaned. You should expect to pay somewhere between 100 and 300 dollars to have it cleaned and oiled, depending on who does the work and on how much needs to be done to it. If you have it worked on, make sure you use someone who has experience with vintage American pocket watches. A good watch repair shop will completely disassemble the watch for cleaning. Ask them what their service consists of before leaving your watch, and if they don't disassemble the watch, don't give them your business. Also, be aware that it's often a better option to mail the watch to a qualified repairman than it is to take a chance on a local jeweler who may or may not know his way around a watch like this.

    One highly recommended shop is The Escapement. Hit their Web page, send your pictures and a description of the watch and they'll give you an idea of what it might cost to have it worked on.

    Hope that helps. I'm a Hampden collector, so I know a little about these.
    Last edited by Chris Hughes; December 28th, 2010 at 07:53.

  9. #8
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    Re: So, I found this old watch...

    Thank you so much for this information about the watch and the suggestion about The Escapement. I had seen Ed's name elsewhere and was considering contacting him about the restoration/repair. So I will definitely do so now!

    best regards.

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