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Hamilton 917 Flieger Wrist Watch Conversion "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Member 1736
posted
Hamilton 917 Flieger Wrist Watch Conversion

What great fun. I've always been interested in these. I stumbled in to the Tourby watches a year or so ago and have been fascinated with the idea since.

I picked up a distressed 917, performed a full COA and chased out a couple minor bugaboo's she had. Gummy click and spring, unseated main spring.

I landed an estate sale case (most likely hong kong) with a nicely done brushed stainless body, polished bezels and nice glass front and back. It's number 117/1000 if that means anything since I can't identify the maker.

The dial and hands are straight off the auction site and I have to say, I was really pleased with the quality of the fit and finish of both the dial and the hands.

I did have to modify the stem to accept the smaller thread pitch of the crown and had to toss the spacer ring that came with the case and fabricated one from some shim stock I had here at the house.

Many thanks to Chris Abel for making a high end band available at a very forgiving price.

The watch isn't really as big as my 6-3/4" wrist makes it look.

 
Posts: 2032 | Location: San Diego, California in the USA | Registered: August 30, 2012
IHC Member 1736
posted
nice Hirsch band

 
Posts: 2032 | Location: San Diego, California in the USA | Registered: August 30, 2012
IHC Member 1736
posted
The money shot. Now if I could get off my wallet and land a 921/923...

 
Posts: 2032 | Location: San Diego, California in the USA | Registered: August 30, 2012
IHC Member 1736
posted
And, just for the fun of it. Taking a picture this dark is asking a lot of my cell phone... the auction site has a great photo and the item lives up to the billing.

 
Posts: 2032 | Location: San Diego, California in the USA | Registered: August 30, 2012
Picture of Peter Kaszubski
posted
great work .
and not to hijack your post few watches and hi end straps I made Big Grin

 
Posts: 4395 | Location: Arizona in the USA | Registered: July 23, 2011
IHC Member 1736
posted
I'm digging those bands/straps... I love the old school (Indiana Jones) look.

I might need to make an Arizona run for a quick lesson in strap making...

I bought this old Wittnauer for the strap... turns out, it runs like a champ and is real fun to wear.

 
Posts: 2032 | Location: San Diego, California in the USA | Registered: August 30, 2012
IHC Member 1736
posted
I had a couple others, but they rotted off my wrist or failed at the pins due to a hundred years of sweat and neglect.

I like the single, large leather keeper and the simple old school leather. No tooling, no unnecessary stitching, no soft suede backing... all purpose, no frills.

I'm certain this one was hand stitched as well.

 
Posts: 2032 | Location: San Diego, California in the USA | Registered: August 30, 2012
Picture of Dan Carter
posted
Paul, did you have to modify the dial, or did the feet line up? Also, the seconds area, looks like it matched pretty easy too (or is it an aftermarket dial made to fit 917s anyway)?

Love the look. I put one together with an asian 6798 and must say I like that dial and look, but having a nice Hammie would be pretty cool! Thanks for the posts!
Dan
 
Posts: 407 | Location: Northern Virginia in the USA | Registered: October 08, 2011
IHC Member 1736
posted
Dan,

It turns out the dial and hands are purpose built after markets made to fit the 917/921/923.

The dial feet dropped right in and accepted the retaining screws perfectly.

The Hour and Minute hand dropped right on and gripped perfectly... the nicest thing is that the heights are perfect, I did not have to mess with adjusting clearances between the hands to clear each other on their sweeps.

The paint and lume were durable enough to tolerate installing them with my stainless steel Anchor-Titan #17 spoon with out chipping or cracking.

I did need to run a micro broach through the seconds hand tube to clear the paint clogging the entry. This broach also doubles as an acupuncture needle. I did this hand held because I was afraid to clamp the paint/lume hand in my tool.

These cases come available from time to time. This case is an estate case with no pedigree... I can say it is not a Tourby second and is most likely Hong Kong. The hands and dial are straight up Hong Kong.

If I can land a 921 or 923, I will spring for a Tourby "second" case and probably go for the Goulage (-2 spelling) dial.

Next project is to build a bluing block...
 
Posts: 2032 | Location: San Diego, California in the USA | Registered: August 30, 2012
Picture of Dan Carter
posted
Thanks again for the info. I have been trying my hand at dial feet re soldering and am batting .500 now (ok, only two dials, but I'll keep trying ).

As for the bluing block. Here is the little blueing machine I put together with the help of one of the posts from our sight. Here is an example of some screw and wheel bluing on an ETA 6498.

 
Posts: 407 | Location: Northern Virginia in the USA | Registered: October 08, 2011
IHC Member 1736
posted
I really like the blue wheels... never considered that before.

I pulled up the bluing block site last night after I finished the Hammy conversion and realized how monotone it all looked compared to the high end offerings from the exotics.

I'm also considering some sort of plug or accent for the empty case screw holes that no longer have a purpose.

Bluing block question... so, after we get to 570 degrees and sit there for a few minutes for the color to take... what's next??? pull it off and quench it? Let it sit there and ride down in temp with the block? How do you lock in the color???
 
Posts: 2032 | Location: San Diego, California in the USA | Registered: August 30, 2012
Picture of Dan Carter
posted
Thanks! As for cooling, I have always dropped the part into water to cool it down and usually if the part is going to change, it will show signs pretty quick (either the change to yellow or brown or even purple). If it either does not change or goes to a grey or a patchy blue, then the part is not polished / smooth enough.

As for the empty screw holes, maybe you could add a small removable plug with a flat top / head (maybe copper, or glue in a screw that has smaller threads so as to not require an actual screw driver to remove). The reason I say that is because you don't want to cause any damage to the movement even though you don't want to use the original case screws. Ok with that said, a flat cap or plug and then add lume paste to the top so you would have that little something extra on the back of the movement. Looks clean, but also has some zing if you charged up the lume.
 
Posts: 407 | Location: Northern Virginia in the USA | Registered: October 08, 2011
IHC Member 1736
posted
What a difference a little color makes

I did the click and wheel screws deep blue, the plate screws are all matched at a much lighter blue.

 
Posts: 2032 | Location: San Diego, California in the USA | Registered: August 30, 2012
Picture of Peter Kaszubski
posted
wow looks good I have 921 coming my way guess what?
Paul do you have the link for Hamilton dial site?
 
Posts: 4395 | Location: Arizona in the USA | Registered: July 23, 2011
IHC Member 1902
posted
Can anyone tell me the size of a Hamilton 917.
I have seen them described as a 10sz and a 12sz.
 
Posts: 575 | Location: Walsall in the United Kingdom | Registered: December 19, 2013
IHC Member 1736
posted
Mike,

The 917, 921 and 923 are 10 size. These are going for a premium right now because after market wrist watch conversion parts are readily available.

900, 902, 904, 910, 912, 914, 916, 918, 920, 922 are 12 size.

I remember it as an odd/even thing.
 
Posts: 2032 | Location: San Diego, California in the USA | Registered: August 30, 2012
IHC Member 1902
posted
Thanks for the info Paul.
Mike
 
Posts: 575 | Location: Walsall in the United Kingdom | Registered: December 19, 2013
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