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|IHC Member 365|
I would like to know if the dials marked "Hamilton Railway Special" first appeared with the introduction of the new grade 992B in 1940, or if they were first used on some of the last production grade 992E (Elinvar) watches, which were discontinued in 1940.
My understanding is that the 536 (heavy gothic RWS) and 537 (Blind Man Numerical RWS) dials, and the no. 11 case, were intended to be applied only to the 992B.
(Similarly, the "23 jewel Railway Special" dials and case A were initially intended only for the 950B.)
From a business perspective, using the new RWS branding on old product would have been a bad idea in establishing the reputation of the new watches.
Hamilton initially referred to the 992B in some documents as the "992 Elinvar Railway Special," and early 992B box labels referred to the "992 Elinvar." But as far as I know no one has ever produced a Railway Special box label with a 992E serial number listed.
See this thread for more information: https://ihc185.infopop.cc/eve/f...4108073/m/6351023821
However, it's possible that if a wholesale or retail customer requested a certain non-standard configuration, Hamilton might well have complied with the request.
For example, if I showed you a 950E in a Case A with a 522 (pre-RWS BM Numerical) dial, I would probably be told that I had a 'Frankenwatch,' and the 950E was sold only in the Mainliner case with the "railroad tracks" dial and baton hands. And until recently I would have agreed.
But unless there's some fakery here, at least one 950E left the factory in a case supposedly reserved for the new 950B, and with a dial intended for the 992E, presumably a specific request from a wholesaler or retailer.
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