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Correct hands for a Hampden? "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Member 1369
posted
I have been looking at a lot of photos of Hampdens from about the date of this new acquisition - 1906 - and have seen almost none with this style of hands. It seems that this style should be on an earlier watch since most that I have seen from this vintage have either the spade style or the moon style hands.

The 21J movement is #2196983 and is engraved 'the dueber watch co'.

So, would this style have been original to this watch or should I be looking to change? And if so, to what style - spade or moon?

Also, what style of hands would have been acceptable for this to be used on the RR? Only the spade style?

Thanks for any info/opinion.
Ralph

 
Posts: 517 | Location: Ontario in Canada | Registered: February 10, 2010
IHC President
Life Member
Picture of Lindell V. Riddle
posted

Hi Ralph,

That is one of the combinations of dial and hands that would have been appropriate at the time and they may have possibly been original to your movement. I agree that if this watch was being used on the railroad we would expect to find spade-style hour and minutes hands, but that was up to the Railroad Time Inspector, having hands that were not confusing was a major concern and these might well have been acceptable.

Remember also, not all watches although "Railroad Grade" were necessarily used on the railroads. Many of them originally had distracting dials or hands including fancy multi-colored dials and fancy gold hands that although certainly not acceptable in Time Service were among the choices available to the retail buyer. As an example I have both a South-Bend "The Studebaker" and an Elgin "B.W. Raymond" with fancy dials and hands. All these various choices including the choice of cases were made by the first retail buyer.

Today, those choices are up to you, but frankly I like what I see.

Lindell

Wink
 
Posts: 10518 | Location: Northeastern Ohio in the USA | Registered: November 19, 2002
IHC Member 1369
posted
Thank you Lindell, you have confirmed what I thought, that the hands could have been 'oem' and, while I am interested in this watch because it 'might' have been used in RR service the main criteria that I use is that the watch would have been acceptable for service. As such I now just have to decide if I will change the hands or leave as is.

I will be in no hurry to do so even if I eventually do change them. I like the look of the dial with these hands and that is fine for my purposes.

Admittedly, watches that were bought with hands such as these would likely have seen a number of owners over the years and if the hands had needed to be changed for any reason, would have been.

Thanks,
Ralph
 
Posts: 517 | Location: Ontario in Canada | Registered: February 10, 2010
posted
I would suggest that the second hand at least is a mismatch with the hour and minute hands. Also, I think by 1906 the style of minute and hour hands would be different from the umbrella stye hnads you have. Those would seem to fit more in the 1880's.
 
Posts: 293 | Location: Vancouver, Washington, USA | Registered: May 19, 2005
IHC Member 1369
posted
Thanks for your comments, Michael, appreciate that.

What style of seconds hand do you think should match with the hour and minute? And, is 'umbrella' the correct name for this style? I see them as being a stylized 'H' as in Hampden.
 
Posts: 517 | Location: Ontario in Canada | Registered: February 10, 2010
posted
umbrella name is probably incorrect. but don't know another name for it. the second hand looks too thick compared to the minute and hour hands. simply doesn't look as refined. I have an American Waltham made in 1859 with the same minute and hour hands and a similar second hand to yours but thinner in all dimensions. Also, therefore doubt the hands are an effort to indicate an "H" since they were used much earlier on American Watch Co. Waltham.
 
Posts: 293 | Location: Vancouver, Washington, USA | Registered: May 19, 2005
IHC Member 1110
posted
Hi Ralph, those hands are also referred to as "butterfly" hands. I have an 18s 2-tone Special Railway hunter movement in an OF case that has the original Roman dial, and those same hands.I like the style , but they're awful hard to see because they're so thin.Definately would have been hard to sneak by RR inspection because they are so hard to see!Best regards, Ted.
 
Posts: 1183 | Location: Lebanon, Connecticut USA | Registered: March 28, 2008
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