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992 serial numbers questions "Click" to Login or Register 
"Newly Expanded Hamilton Horology Reference Presented by IHC185"

I was looking at the research materials related to the Hamilton 992; among those is the above item. I was verifying the likely manufacturing date of the 992's in my collection relative to some Hamilton factory cases that house them. I noticed something I guess most strong Hamilton collectors already know..

The serial numbers are quite strange in some instances...The serial number 1750000 is a 992 made in 1923 and the next number (1750001) is a 12s grade 900 made in 1910 ??? Further, the next 992 serial number used doesn't occur until 2300001; then the 992 serial numbers are fairly "regular" until the last one 2584300 in 1931. Very confusing. Does anyone know why Hamilton did this? Just poor planning or record keeping? Education please.

As I rolled back through this data it apperas that the 992 was clearly the most frequently and regularly produced hamilton model...but the serial numbers don't portray that very well.

I was hoping to learn more about the variations in the 992 and will keep digging to learn that.

Posts: 586 | Location: Bastrop, Texas in the USA | Registered: January 22, 2011
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Watch movement numbers were "blocked" sometimes years in advance, this was a common practice among the watch companies and movements were not necessarily built in chronological order. Numbers were reserved for certain types of watches such as Hamilton 12-size early-on and then again beginning with three million in the mid-1920s and for this reason any movement number list that assigns artificial numbers by years will be inaccurate and therefore unreliable.

The number listings we publish in our research forums, for example and most particularly the Hamilton "Gelson Listings" do indeed show details of each production run for movements such as the Grade 992 you referenced. Just look up by numbers, but first set any preconceptions aside. Print your own copy and make notes. We have a wealth of information including advertisements and catalogs in our Hamilton, South-Bend, Illinois and Hampden Research forums.

Open to the World RESEARCH FORUMS

Here is direct Hamilton information...

Hamilton Movement Numbers and Hamilton Horology Reference Materials

Hamilton and 992B Research Forum

Perhaps you are not scrolling down or clicking all the appropriate links. As one example we have Hamilton advertisements and catalogs from 1908 through the 1960s end of production, you can learn a lot from them!

Read and study, do your own research, the door is open!


Posts: 10553 | Location: Northeastern Ohio in the USA | Registered: November 19, 2002
Thanks Lindell; I have found those and started studying them more seriously. I noticed precisely the block of 12s watches you mentioned as they tried to deal with the evidently huge demand for these in the early 1920's. One of my collecting goals is to assemble a nice set of these Hamilton 12s "gentlemens dress watches" and a few examples of their competitors as well.

The dominance of the 992 intrigues me; it surprises me how little this model evolved and yet remained so dominant in the marketplace of its day. It also seems surprising that with the huge numbers produced that they command such strong collector prices today.

Posts: 586 | Location: Bastrop, Texas in the USA | Registered: January 22, 2011
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