Internet Horology Club 185
Hamilton 992 Engineer Corps Database

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November 15, 2012, 06:52
Edward L. Parsons, Jr.
Hamilton 992 Engineer Corps Database

Hamilton 992 Engineer Corps Database

During WW1 the US Army built their own railroad in France. Upon completion the Army Corp of Engineers operated the railroad from train movements to actual running the trains. This was done to deliver the war supplies needed to support the front line troops. The Corp of Engineers used American railroad practices and placed an order with Hamilton for 1000 watches. The 992 was selected in plain nickeloid alloy cases. The movements were taken from existing stock rather than to make up a single production run for the order.

All of the dials on this 1000 order were DSD's with the red 5 minute track. They were all signed "Hamilton- Engineer Corps U.S.A." above the center post. These dials were numbered 1 thru 1000 below the center post.
(Courtesy of Buster Beck)

John Flahive's Serial Number Table:

Movement S/N____Dial S/N_______Case Material_______________Case Maker________Case S/N

2,492,063_________13__________Rose GF Plain
_________________28__________Dial only
1,274,827_________78__________GF extra screw marks
1,296,168_________184_________Base Metal
1,302,255_________199_________WGF Hamilton BOC
1,302,214_________308_________Basemetal with train_______Emperor____________495688
1,296,875_________370_________YGF French Bow_____________B&B Royal_________6997551
1,094,833_________377_________no case
1,295,642_________383_________Oresilver #1_______________ Fahys____________6659235
1,298,327_________395_________Silverode__________________Philadelphia_______ 599042
1,302,067_________396_________Nickel Silver_______________ Sturdy____________4500813
1,296,463_________404_________WGF Rigid Bow_____________ Fahys____________ 460703
1,302,113_________412_________Base Metal with train on back
1,298,351_________503_________Base metal________________ Defiance__________ 7649489
1,298,797_________545_________14K WGF____________________Dueber_____________1493862
_________________559_________No movement or case info
1,302,015_________575_________Hamilton Display case
1,298,582_________601_________Oresilver Plain____________Fahys______________6659784
1,298,099_________607_________Swing out case
1,298,477_________690_________Hamilton Display case
1,298,809_________706_________14K WGF
_________________737_________No movement or case info
1,298,705_________756_________Swing out case
1,307,154_________803_________Yellow GF
1,308,228_________808_________YGF 20 yr__________________Dueber____________11277289
1,298,762_________820_________Oresilver Plain
1,554,458_________823_________GF 25 yr__________________Monitor____________4616950
_________________826_________Dial only
1,125,384_________869_________10K YGF____________________Wadsworth_________H020684
1,311,375_________892_________10K GF
1,307,946_________960_________YGF Plain
1,307,535_________982________No Case info
1,311,212_________992_________Mainliner style YGF

Total Confirmed Examples = 60

[Updated Jan 2021]
November 16, 2012, 18:30
Jim Hester
Wow, thanks for sharing this! This is really interesting and important information. I wish I had one of these in my collection.

November 16, 2012, 23:49
Werner Rosier
Mine has the No.395 on the dial Wink

My WWW collection is now complete, time to look for new ventures!
April 10, 2013, 18:41
Buster Beck
Here is the record from Hamilton Watch Co. of the original order for these watches for General Pershing's forces and their final disposition;


April 10, 2013, 19:01
Edward L. Parsons, Jr.
Nice piece of research Buster. These watches sold for $22 back in the day, which is interesting when you look at today's value of a couple of grand, give or take. But when you remember that $20 in 1918 was a big gold coin that is now worth about $2000 give or take, it seems the value has kept pace! Wink

Best Regards,

April 10, 2013, 20:45
John J. Flahive III
Here is an original Hamilton ad from 1919 in the National Geographic about the 992 watches used in the railroad in France in WWI.

December 26, 2013, 09:26
John J. Flahive III
I've updated the Hamilton 992 Engineer Corps Database with two more watches that I purchased in 2013: #575 and #805. I've also added #982, which I found referenced on-line.

This brings the total documented number of examples up to 39 out of 1000 produced.

John III
January 10, 2014, 17:58
Edward Kitner
Here is a link to #698, it is up for bid.

Hamilton 21 Jewel 992 Engineer Corps U.S.A. - World War I Military Pocket Watch

January 12, 2014, 12:20
Larry Lamphier
Is that yours Edward?

January 12, 2014, 12:28
Edward Kitner
I wish!

[Movement number: 1368949]

January 12, 2014, 12:49
Paul D. Trombley
Thank you for highlighting this watch... and refreshing this thread. I love this kind of stuff, even if it is a bit out of reach at the moment.
January 13, 2014, 10:25
Paul D. Trombley
Sold for $921.00

That seems like a really reasonable price for the condition and tangible history associated with this watch.

I understand a watch is worth what a buyer is willing to pay... but realistically... was this number high or low for the watch? Opinions?
January 13, 2014, 18:10
Edward Kitner
Not sure, but I stopped watching it after $500.
January 13, 2014, 21:14
John J. Flahive III

I think this was a very fair price as this watch was all original. I was the highest bidder until I got sniped at the end.

Not too many of these around so I think the price will keep going up.

John III
January 14, 2014, 08:41
Edward Kitner
John, you are right about these watches. The survivors will only go up in price.
I am looking for a gimbaled/boxed Hamilton model 22, so my price was set very low for monetary reasons.
January 15, 2014, 22:14
John J. Flahive III

I'm in the hunt for a gimbaled Model 22 also. There is one at my local antique store, but he isn't sure if he wants to sell it. Confused

John III
January 16, 2014, 08:47
Edward Kitner
John, not to many fair priced ones on the bay lately.
I would keep working on the one in the antique store. Why is he in business if not to sell and make money?
August 02, 2015, 23:14
Richard Spence
Hamilton 22j Army Corps of Engineers 1916 992

#895.....dial only for database, movement is a 4992B, case much later.

Not mine.

August 05, 2015, 13:09
Mike Turk
That was an expensive dial...... Eek

[Sold for:US $1,000.00
Best offer accepted]

[Movement number: 4C22196]

October 03, 2015, 11:11
Richard Spence

992 on a 992 serial # 1311212

April 09, 2016, 20:44
John J. Flahive III
I picked up my fifth Hamilton Engineer Corps 992 this weekend. Number 690 came with a Hamilton swing out gold filled case so I swapped it for a Hamilton display case. Serial number is 1298477, which is in line with other known examples.

So far I have documented 43 examples of this rare watch.

April 10, 2016, 12:10
Kevin Hoffman
That is a nice watch and great info on it's history .
September 16, 2016, 11:11
Royal Barnard
Thought you might like to see this Corps of Engineers #438 992 which I will be posting on eBay soon. From the estate of the original military owner who carried it in WWII. Never before offered for sale. In a Wadsworth "Railroad Model" 14k Gold Filled "Quality" case numbered 6726656. Running nicely.

Corps 438

September 16, 2016, 11:14
Royal Barnard
Movement is #1302216. Finished in May of 1918.


September 16, 2016, 11:18
Royal Barnard
Case is a Wadworth 14K Gold Filled "Wadworth Quality Railroad Model" number 6726656

September 16, 2016, 17:00
Kevin Hoffman
Give us a "link" when you put it up for sale , I am sure someone here would like a shot at it
September 17, 2016, 07:47
Dr. Debbie Irvine

Posted at the top of this page are these words...


Please discuss "ON-LINE TRADING" in that titled forum.

...which is a "Members Only" Forum.

We invite Royal to become an IHC185 Member!


September 19, 2016, 10:09
Dr. Debbie Irvine

Royal has just become an IHC185 Member!

September 19, 2016, 10:30
Robert Epstein
Welcome Royal.....

"It's like deja vu all over again..."
September 19, 2016, 12:44
Buster Beck
This watch did not come from the factory in a gold filled case. The case has been changed, not unusual as we have seen several over the past years that have been swapped out over the past 98 years !! It should be fairly easy to find an era correct plain, nickel, screw back and bezel case that these watches came in.

You may want to put it in our auction or our for sale forum instead of the other on-line selling venues.

September 22, 2016, 18:31
Royal Barnard
Thanks BB for the sales tip, but I already put it up on "you know where." I hate the place, but it's easy and everybody seems to end up there. First dibs to forum members if you wish to touch base.
December 12, 2016, 16:05
Steven Ford
Here's one up for sale on eBay today

#862 992 SERIAL #1307044 FAHY'S ORESILVER #1 CASE #6659122

December 12, 2016, 18:16
Buster Beck
That's a righteous example, but the seller wants a King's Ransom for it ! Maybe he will get it, who knows !!