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I have often wondered if anyone might have good research on when the War watch board went into effect. I know they banned 23 jewel watches and have felt that might be tied to the gold wheeled 950b's and the gold wheeled 992b's. I wonder when the rules on 23 jewel watches were lifted and if anyone has serial numbers from Hamilton that correspond to the end of the watch board rules.
Hopefully the two links below will be of some help.
Thank you for the information. I had heard that 23 jewel watches were banned and that the 21 jewel wathes could only be purchased by "certified" railroaders. Still wonder if any of this was tied to the number of "gold" wheeled 992b's and 950b's. I always suspected that the gold wheels went away after war production ended and civilian production started up again, at least for the 950b's.
In my opinion, the gold center change was a cost saving effort and not related to the WPB.
According to Hamilton 992B blueprints, the center wheel was only 24k gold plated.
After the war they also started using the melamine dials to replace the enamels for additional cost saving.
Below is the letter that temporarily stopped the production of the 950B until after the war.
Again, thank you. You are proabably right but the timing is also almost perfect for my suspicions also. Gold would have been a strategic metal right along with jewels, so that is why I suspected.
I knew the 992b gold center wheel was gold plated from the blueprints of Hamilton. Has anyone seen other than the advertisements by Hamilton on the 950b advetising "solid gold" wheels? I realize consumer protection/truth in advertising laws were nonexistent but it is hard to imagine something so easily confirmed not being challenged at that time by at least a competitor.
Still would love definite proof one way or another.
|IHC Member 665|
The omission of the capital letter "B" in three places following either 950 or 992 seems pretty interesting. Does this reflect a strong concept, in the minds of the sales staff, of continuities amongst the 16s 21J RR watches made by Hamilton, starting right back at the beginning of their production?
Yes, the practice of omitting the "B" following 992 goes back to the beginning of production in Nov. 1940.
The first labels placed on the 992B blue outer shipping box used the term "Hamilton Grade 992 Elinvar". This practice lasted for some time before being changed to "Hamilton Grade 992" and later changed to "Hamilton Grade 992B".
I suppose as the transition from the 992 Elinvar to the 992B proceeded, it would take a while to change all labeling and such to the new name.
In the case that you mentioned, the first paragraph mentions 950B and it would "assumed" in the later paragraphs.
Hope this may be of some help.
|IHC Member 665|
Thank you for those observations. They raise the further thought that it would be interesting to know why the letter "B" was chosen, above any other, for the 992B and 950B models. The use of "E" for Elinvar is quite obvious but I can't think what "B" might stand for - unless it is 'Balance"?
We may never know why they decided to use the "B". It was used with the 3992B, 4992B, and 2974B as well.
With respect to the Hamilton 992, 950, factory cases, they had used numerical designations from the beginning (with exception of the "Mainliner"), but with the introduction of the 950B, the "A" model case was used.
I have always been curious why the "A" was used as well.
It seems we are moving off topic. This would make a interesting new topic.
Below we have the "950" and "950B" from the 1940 and 1941 Hamilton catalogues.
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