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Lost-Stolen Database? "Click" to Login or Register 
I’m an absolute newbie (joined yesterday) and have been reading with interest the postings in this forum, so forgive me if my questions are answered elsewhere.
Is there a lost or stolen database? I recently purchased a Hamilton 992B on eBay and received it, immediately noticing that there had been engraving on the back of the case which had been ground off in some way. I suppose that someone selling this watch might have thought it more sellable without any personalization, but there may have been other less honorable motives, as well. There was no indication in the eBay description about this.
The serial number on the movement does not match any that are listed on posts in this forum. I was wondering if there is a database somewhere that one could check against?

Location: Illinois and Maine in the USA
Hi and welcome , the case may have been an old military issue , look up this link ; https://ihc185.infopop.cc/eve/f...0103944/m/6173944197
you may want to post a picture , the case's have serial numbers on all the piece's , so to repair it it may be worth sending it to case repair shop like ;https://www.pocketwatchcaserepair.com/contactus good luck with it
Location: Maryland in the USA
Here is a pic of the back of the case. The ghost of the letter “A” can be seen in the upper left quadrant, and the serifs of other letters in several lines below.


Location: Illinois and Maine in the USA
Sorry, rotate the pic 90 degrees ccw .. still a rookie at this photo posting

Location: Illinois and Maine in the USA
Movement serial number C498513 puts the date at about 1965 production. Don’t know if the case number is contemporary.
And here is a pic of the inside of the back. There are numbers scratched (151178?) at the perimeter, and perhaps some more about 120 degrees further around.
Any idea what the scratched numbers might be? A date?


Location: Illinois and Maine in the USA
IHC Member 1357
Steve, if your movement is from 1965 or so,I believe
the case with the "P" prefix is correct for it.
As for the inscriptions on the case they were mqde
by a watch repair person. And only he would know the meaning of them. Personally I would not let the
etching on the back bother me. Heck,I might take it
to a jeweler and have him inscribe my initials on it. Just my take on it.
Location: Carbon, Texas in the USA
Steven , I sent a couple case's out for repair and was really surprised at what came back , also make use of the Hamilton research here, there is a ton of info to absorb
Location: Maryland in the USA
Thanks for the responses.
They bring another question to mind : What’s the exposure to a collector who comes innocently to possess a stolen watch? I am guessing that if another party could prove prior ownership, the collector would be out his investment .. following the rule of “ let the buyer (collector) beware”.
Should we worry if we come into the possession of one of those wonderful, desirable Military watches?

Location: Illinois and Maine in the USA
Hi Steve , I don't think many look at this section ! Most probably never get past the discussion page, I have heard of watches being recovered , most went through a pawn shop . I would make sure you have pictures and serials written down and stored somewhere safe [bank} The police are powerless unless you can prove ownership . The story I saw , it was not all clear cut even after proving ownership . But the good news is that as much info is out there , serial numbers and data , you would be a fool to try and sell it on the net. I feel safer with watches than coins , I am almost certain the coins came from shady sources , I find it hard to believe a homeless/ or addict man kept his collection , great profit to be had if your willing to be a party in that , my thought is they will steal from you as well as somebody else .
Location: Maryland in the USA
IHC President
Life Member
Picture of Lindell V. Riddle

Likely with Steve's watch someone wanted to remove initials or a presentation. The Star-Hamilton Stainless Steel Case 15 originally had a circular "butler-finish" which is easily replicated. Early examples beginning in 1950 used an R-Prefix whereas later ones like Steve's carry a P-Prefix. I know, it makes no sense but that is what they did.

Here is a story (short version of a complicated scenario) that explains why I am a believer in posting movement numbers and other identifiers in forums such as this one. Should a watch "grow feet" or "sprout wings" it can be reported to the Police and posted here so all of us would be on the alert, here is a fine example of how it can work...

A few years back, one of our members bought a nearly $4,000.00 Bunn Special on eBay that never made it to his residence. I spoke with the seller and the shipper who had shipped through FedeX thinking the watch was fully insured. Turned out the fine print with FedeX limits their liability to $100.00 on "Jewelry" which is what THEY consider our watches to be! Shipper paid for full insurance and FedeX refused to pay-up. (Now you see why I recommend and use the Postal Service and UPS exclusively.) My suggestion to the shipper was to file a Police Report with numbers, description and pictures culled from the auction which he did.

Sooo... we then put in a continuing eBay search for the movement number. And, you guessed it, about five months later the eMail came in one morning showing that movement number was in a new eBay auction. I determined it was our member's watch, then went through eBay, got the current seller's name, address and phone number. Interestingly, the new seller was located just 2 miles from the shipper which is where the package went missing from the FedeX truck and the same community where the police report had been filed.

My next call was to the new seller who came up with a vague story which changed to claiming he bought it from a pawn shop. I pointed out that pawn shops, by law, must keep careful records so they will be able to show the police their records as I would be calling the police and they would likely be over to visit him for proof of purchase and pointed out that receiving stolen goods was a serious crime... immediately the seller's tone changed to one of contrition and asked if he could call me right back. Less than 20 minutes later he called back (after he spoke with an attorney) and made arrangements to ship me the watch upon my promise the police would not be notified and that upon receipt of the watch we would send him a release of all claims.

Through these efforts and the fact we believed that sooner or later the watch would show up, our persistence was rewarded and we were able to finally deliver the watch to its rightful owner.

This is but one of several "happy endings" each of which came about from having legitimate, dated proof of purchase with the pertinent numbers, clear pictures and a "Never-Give-Up" attitude.

The law is simple, it is important to remember that a stolen item, where a fully detailed police report is filed and the legitimate history can be clearly established, is returned to the legal owner.

A time-dated posting with clear pictures showing movement and case numbers is good protection.

Be well my friends,


Location: Northeastern Ohio in the USA
IHC Member 1291
Picture of Buster Beck
Very likely the watch had a personalization on the back that was taken off crudely at best. Or it could have been a "LOANER" from a watch repairman for a Railroad person. When you took your watch in to be serviced, and were a railrod person, the shop would loan you a RR watch because you had to have one in the course of your duties. All the shops had "loaners", usually engraved on the back "LOANER" and with a number to ID it so that the loaner wouldn't end up in a pawn shop !!

Later when RR's no longer required employees to have a RR watch, these "loaners" became obsolete and perhaps this was one that someone ground that info off, who knows.....

Location: Texas in the USA
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