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Good evening ladies and gentlemen,
First I would like to comment on the civility, conduct, and scholarly nature of this discussion board. It's not often you find a place like this on the WWW. Thank you for offering such a place. Since I am complete newb to pocket watches and horology I won't be able to add much to the conversation around here but I will do what I can.
I have been interested in pocket watches since I was sixteen. I asked for a pocket watch for Christmas at that time (25 years ago) and was given a 'gold' Lucien Piccard. I grew tired of the gold look before the battery died. It now resides in a box in my closet.
About two months ago I came across some youtube videos of a gentleman and his pocket watch collection. That was all I needed to start researching. I watched ebay and researched various websites for a month to find out what I wanted and how much it would cost.
Of course, as these things go I found this website after my first purchase. After finding this place I paid my dues, which includes a copy of Cooksey Shugarts book and have been scouring this website to soak up as much as possible.
My first purchase is a Hamilton 992 #2482872 with a Star Nickel case #8084833.
I have a few questions I hope you can answer.
1- Is this case period correct for my movement? I can't find much about Star cases and I am unclear as to if this movement could have been sold with or without the case.
2- What would be a period correct case from Hamilton? If I understand my research correctly a Model 3 through Model 10 case could be used. I actually love this case and if it is period correct I will leave it alone.
3- Are the hands and dial correct for the movement?
4- Finally, Feel free to critique any issues that you see.
This watch runs great, to me anyway. When I got it I had to research how to wind and set it. I wound it a few times and a couple of hours later it stopped. I wound it some more with the same result. Shortly after that I found this site and read that its impossible to overwind the movement. I'm skeptical of that but after building the courage to wind it more it ran for 28 hours.
Thank you for reading this and I look forward to your responses.
Inside back case
Rarely can a fella go wrong with a 992 or 992B pocket watch. Would venture to say your movement has been re-cased into the current nickel case. The movement most likely came in a Gold Filled (possibly a Model #2 (BOC)) case that lasted for so many years and the gold wore off from normal use. The Star case is a good carry case and easy on the eyes.
The hands, dial, and movement look period correct.
Here is a great link right here on the site for 16sz Hamiltons:
Here is quick and easy way to search your serial #:
Manufacturer Location: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Movement Serial Number:2482872
To Finishing Dept: Aug 7, 1927
Run Quantity: 13,000
Jewel Material: Ruby
Jewel Setting:Gold Screw Settings
Double Roller: Yes
Adjusted # of Positions:5
Railroad Grade: Yes
|IHC Member 1291|
Hamilton 992 movements could be bought as "movement only" up until 1929 when Hamilton started offering their 992 movements as "factory cased" only. Your Star nickel case with its low pendant would be a period correct case for a Hamilton 992 such as yours made in 1927-1928.
A "factory case" for your 992 would/could have been a Model 1 Cross-Bar Wadsworth, Model 2 Wadsworth, Model 3 Fahy's, Model 4 Fahy's, or a Model 5 Keystone. These cases were made in white, yellow, and green gold filled for the most part with a few being solid gold also. Factory cases made after the Model 5 Keystone would be too late to be period correct for your 1927-1928 Hamilton 992.
Dials for the 1927-1928 Hamilton 992 would be a porcelain DSD styled in heavy gothic #519 [such as yours], heavy arabic #436, heavy arabic numerical #581, C.P.R. #577, numerical, or blind man #576, blind man numerical #522.
We generally do not recommend using any of the on-line "data-bases" for Hamilton as they are chock full of errors. Instead with Hamilton please always use our IHC185 data-base by John F. Gelson;
[Lindell Riddle quote]
Hamilton Movement Number Listings Preserved by John F. Gelson
There was great interest in having the Hamilton Movement Number Listings Preserved by the late John F. Gelson, last President of Hamilton Watch Company made freely available. In one of our last conversations shortly before his November 2005 Passing John and I discussed that one day we would share his list on the internet.
Today we are well on the way. Recently Debbie and I scanned the entire Gelson Hamilton List™ and sent it along to IHC185 Internet Vice President Frank Kusumoto. Frank then put it into high resolution format so it can now be freely accessed by anyone in the world with an internet connection.
Our good friend John Gelson did not live to see this, but we dedicate these efforts in his honor...
The Hamilton Movement Number Listings Preserved by John F. Gelson
Your watch appears to be a nice example of the Hamilton 992. The Star case once held an Elgin looking at the other set of case screw marks. This is not unusual for a watch made almost 90 years ago.
Always wind your watches fully when in use and after they have undergone a "C.O.A." [COA- clean/oil/adjust] by a good repairman.
Jon and Buster,
Thank you for your detailed replies. I appreciate you taking the time to do so.
Buster- The information about factory cases is exactly what I have been looking for. Maybe I can find an Elgin movement in a Hamilton case and switch them.
I'm back with an issue and I hope IHC185 can give me some advice.
After carrying this watch a couple of times a week and sometimes daily I have a problem.
I think that the mainspring is broken. I can wind the watch but the balance wheel does not turn and if I keep winding I can hear the main spring "release" or unwind. I plan to send this watch off for repair to an IHC185 member of course.
My question is:
Do I do something wrong or is this a common issue? I read here that you can't over wind one of these movements but that seems to be the case. At least to a novice like me.
I would appreciate any and all conversation on this subject.
PS- I have acquired a 974 special movement with some beautiful damaskeening. Once I get some photos I will start a new thread.
|IHC Member 1357|
Brad,I think the mainspring broke.Not uncommon after years of use. I suggest Paul Davis(a member
here)to rectify this problem if you can't do it yourself. Look forward to seeing the 974 special.
|IHC Member 1291|
As Roger said, sounds like the proverbial "broke mainspring".
As to "over-winding", wind them babies up fully, if and when an old mainspring gives up the ghost cannot be predicted and certainly not caused by winding fully. This is quite common. Have your watchmaker install one of the newer "white unbreakable" mainsprings which should last quite a bit longer than the common steel old style springs. I have heard mainsprings break sitting on the desk after running great for days. I have even heard a mainspring or two break during a "booming-cracking" loud thunderstorm !!
There is no such thing as an "over-wound" watch as we sometimes see in a description on one of the selling venues. If the watch is fully wound and it doesn't run, it's because there's something wrong with it. Blaming the problem on an "over-wound" mainspring would be like saying a car won't run because it has too much gas in the tank. When you wind the watch, wind it all the way until it doesn't wind anymore. Obviously, you don't want to use terrific force or wind it using a pair of pliers to continue cranking it past the stopping point or you'll break something, but you don't have to be afraid of breaking your mainspring if you're hand-winding your watch. We would probably all be surprised at how many IHC185 members, if polled, are reluctant to wind their watches all the way, then they wonder why their watch won't run but for a few hours. If you wind it fully and at the same time each day, the watch will be prepared for most of the routine duties a timepiece goes through daily. Unless it has another problem or a mainspring gives out, it should keep time fairy well for the day as most old pocket watches were designed to run more than a 24 hour day even with out a motor barrel or some of the later "sixty-hour" capabilities.
Enjoy you're old pocket watches, wind them up fully at the same time daily and send them out for routine maintenance when required.
Thanks for the replies gentlemen.
Roger, thanks for the lead on Paul Davis. I sent him an email last night and he promptly replied with some very reasonable quotes to fix my watch. I will ship it off this week.
Buster, I took the advice of this site and have been winding my watch fully since I received it. This just seemed counter intuitive to me for some reason. Now that I know I did nothing wrong and that mainsprings fail I will continue winding them fully and just enjoy them.
I'm mechanically inclined which lead to my interest in pocket watches initially. My goal is to be able to install a movement in a case, install a dial, and install a set of hands. Any thing other than that in the immediate future will be farmed out.
I have been reading the "Helping Hands Tutorials" and have learned enough to know what my limitations are. I will slowly gather some basic tools and the 974 will be my first project.
Thanks again for your comments.
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