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Help dating a Hamilton Model 22 "Click" to Login or Register 
posted
I just bought a Hamilton Model 22 in wooden case (interior and exterior cases intact). It could best be described as NOS - it was purchased by a jeweler in WI direct from Hamilton after the war and he never sold it. Acquired from his estate intact, and I just bought it. It is literally like new. The wood is barely scratched. The leather strap is in great condition. There are no marks on the case, crystal or movement. It even has the original shipping carton it came in from Hamilton! Keeps time to less than a second a day.

There are no markings on the rear cover - probably expected since it was never issued to the military.

Serial number is 2F28450 - here is the first disappointment, since Hamilton records on the another site end at 2F28400.... at least this dates my watch at 1947, maybe 1948 latest based on the dates of the last run of 100 of these.

Serial number of the base metal case back is 18760

The 4 digit number on the watch frame is 8465

There are no serial numbers on any of the boxes - again to be expected since it was never used by the military.

So on to my questions:

1. Are there any other records that might pertain to this watch?

2. I assumed the frame number digits should match in part or whole with the case serial number, but they seem closer to the movement serial number. Either way, nothing matches, which is odd. Which should match which? If any?

3. I have seen many military watches where the case numbers do not match up, presumably because they were cleaned and repaired in batches and once finished, any old back would do. Given this is pristine, new out of the factory, why would the numbers not match? Or are they just not intended to on this model?

4. Any other info anyone can give me about this watch?

Thanks in advance


Bob Walder
 
Posts: 152 | Location: Austin, Texas USA | Registered: February 18, 2016
posted
Wood is perfect - leather strap is perfect


Bob Walder


 
Posts: 152 | Location: Austin, Texas USA | Registered: February 18, 2016
posted
Case and dial


Bob Walder


 
Posts: 152 | Location: Austin, Texas USA | Registered: February 18, 2016
posted
Dial


Bob Walder


 
Posts: 152 | Location: Austin, Texas USA | Registered: February 18, 2016
posted
Box rear


Bob Walder


 
Posts: 152 | Location: Austin, Texas USA | Registered: February 18, 2016
posted
Movement


Bob Walder


 
Posts: 152 | Location: Austin, Texas USA | Registered: February 18, 2016
posted
Watch in interior padded case.


Bob Walder


 
Posts: 152 | Location: Austin, Texas USA | Registered: February 18, 2016
posted
Hi
Pocket watch ,dates movement 2F28450 1941
 
Posts: 132 | Location: Warren, Oregon in the USA | Registered: May 28, 2008
posted
PoGrade: Model 22


USA Naval Chronometer.


Manufacturer: Hamilton
Manufacturer Location: Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Movement Serial Number: 2F28450
Grade: Model 22
Model: 22
Estimated Production Year: 1941
Run Quantity: Unknown
Total Production: 999,999
Size: 36s
Jewels: 21j
Movement Configuration: Openface
Movement Finish: Nickel
Movement Setting: Unknown
Plate: Bridge Plate
Adjusted: Yes
Adjusted # of Positions: 6
Adjusted to Temperature: Yes
Railroad Grade: No
Wind Indicator Available: Yes
Wind Indicator Present: Yes
 
Posts: 132 | Location: Warren, Oregon in the USA | Registered: May 28, 2008
posted
PWB is flat out wrong on this one Smile

Watch is 1947-48 based on Hamilton ledgers. and they made 28127 of them, not 999,999. I am grateful PWB makes a stab at it so we can enter details of these watches on the database, but it is not definitive. I suspect that more than 28127 of them were made too, given that official records ended before my watch was made.


Bob Walder
 
Posts: 152 | Location: Austin, Texas USA | Registered: February 18, 2016
IHC Member 1291
Picture of Buster Beck
posted
I am doing an "ongoing" investigation of your watch. I am concerned as I had intel saved and believed that #28,400 was the last one made. The last record I have is of #28,400 which was finished and sold 11/29/1946.

The info posted previously showing 999,999 being produced and #2F28450 being finished in 1941, I find that to be in error.

For anyone following this thread "2F" is Hamilton's code for the Hamilton Model 22.

I will continue researching and report back what if anything I may find.

regards,
bb
 
Posts: 6360 | Location: Texas in the USA | Registered: July 27, 2009
IHC Member 1291
Picture of Buster Beck
posted
I'm about through my research and here is what I can post;

Yours appears to be a Post War surplus example. The treaty in Europe was signed May 7, 1945 and in Japan Sept. 2, 1945 officially ending WWII. There were 420 Total produced for the Army Air Force and most likely that contract was prior to 1945. Your box has the same plaque that would have been on the Army Air Force ones.

By 1956 Hamilton had made a total of 28,773 of the Hamilton Model 22's. Watches under contract and made for different military branches and during WWII totaled 22,189.

That concludes my "saved' intel and I will continue my search for the latest info on the web.

regards,
bb
 
Posts: 6360 | Location: Texas in the USA | Registered: July 27, 2009
posted
That is great info - thanks Buster. Anything else you have I would be most grateful for!

Any thoughts on why the frame and rear case numbers don't match?


Bob Walder
 
Posts: 152 | Location: Austin, Texas USA | Registered: February 18, 2016
posted
One possibility on the mismatched numbers might be that yours is a parts watch made up by Hamilton of the remaining parts that they never used in fulfilling their military contract - rather than scrapping the parts? I would think that by assembling a batch of civilian watches with the surplus parts would have given Hamilton some extra cash by selling them to civilians.
 
Posts: 862 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
IHC Member 1291
Picture of Buster Beck
posted
Thanks. These watches such as yours which was actually made for the Army Air Force would have only come in the inner box. They were the "flat" model non-gimbaled and meant probably to be set stationary and not on a sea going or air vessel and were likely meant to compare and set such watches like the 4992B that were in the metal housings "can" cases etc. Some of the U.S. Navy and I believe all of the Maritime and Canadian Navy issued ones would have had the inner and outer boxes like yours.

Your Keystone case should have matching case numbers but as you said they don't, and such as it is.

Of the 22,189 Model 22's that saw service or were contracted during and for WWII, here is the breakdown;
11,636 mounted versions for the U.S. Navy (gimbaled)
9,815 un-mounted versions for the U.S. Navy (pocket watch style)
420 un-mounted versions for the Army Air Force (pocket watch style)
313 mounted versions for the Canadian Navy (gimbaled)
5 mounted versions for Maritime com. For Russia (gimbaled)

The U.S. Army Air Forces went out of existence on September 18, 1947 and a new independent branch of the U.S. military was created - the U.S. Air Force - which absorbed that part of the Army that had formerly been the U.S.A.A.F.

Post War surplus models such as yours were sold for years at $30-60 as they were surplus and were sold at various auctions etc. Don't we wish we could have a few cases of them at those prices !!

As surplus and having 70+ years to sit around in their different boxes and configurations it is amazing to find one in the shape as yours.

We had a new guy back 3 years ago on IHC that came across a small hoard of these in N.O.S. condition and he was going to start selling them here. That deal never materialized and we never knew what happened to them ?? His membership expired 2 years ago.

I think that's about all I can add to what you already know, hopefully some of it will be useful.

I will defer any other forth coming information to the more knowledgeable experts.

regards,
bb
 
Posts: 6360 | Location: Texas in the USA | Registered: July 27, 2009
posted
That makes sense Buster. Thank you. Why exactly are you so sure this was a USAAF contract watch?

Another guess on the back is that maybe the watches were marked up with the military markings ready for issue, and when it was sold off for civilian use Hamilton was required to remove those marks?


Bob Walder
 
Posts: 152 | Location: Austin, Texas USA | Registered: February 18, 2016
IHC Member 1291
Picture of Buster Beck
posted
The instruction plaque like yours was on the AAF models. I believe if it was altogether and not pieced together from parts later, it was likely made as inventory for AAF. Someone could have pieced it together from parts and it does look that way perhaps.....

I doubt Hamilton would take it off, it may not have been engraved with any nomenclature yet as surplus or as parts.

regards,
bb
 
Posts: 6360 | Location: Texas in the USA | Registered: July 27, 2009
posted
Feedback from the research department:

"During the war, chronometers and chronometer watches were sent out in matching number cases. When the chronometer was return to the Navy repair center for routine overhauls, they were separated from their cases and when finished where put back in whatever case was handy. So it is rare to see matching numbers even with military versions.

After the war, Hamilton no longer was required to keep records. Some of these chronometer watches did go into military service, but we do not know which ones. Hamilton also advertised them heavily to jewelers for display so that customers and watchmakers could set watches to the correct time. Hamilton was just trying to get rid of this extra stock of completed watches and watch parts after the war ended. The attachment is from the 1948 catalog.

I do not know if Hamilton bothered to match the cases after the war. They wanted to get these things out of stock. Regardless a matching case and watch is the exception more than the rule."

So given that we know this watch was finished in 1947-48 after the war's end, and that it was definitely sold to a jeweler who never sold it, I think we can assume it was made up as a display model from surplus parts


Bob Walder


Page from 1948 Hamilton catalog
 
Posts: 152 | Location: Austin, Texas USA | Registered: February 18, 2016
posted
One more question....

I also have a gimbal Model 22, serial number 2F19377. This was finished in 1945 according to the Hamilton ledgers.

Any way of finding out if it ever saw service, and if so where?


Bob Walder
 
Posts: 152 | Location: Austin, Texas USA | Registered: February 18, 2016
IHC Member 1291
Picture of Buster Beck
posted
quote:
I also have a gimbal Model 22, serial number 2F19377. Any way of finding out if it ever saw service, and if so where?


No I don't believe we will ever know. Nomenclatures on the watch case itself, if any could help us with assuming of course. All that we know for sure is that it was finished and sold 3/20/1945, possibly to fulfill a Government contract, but it was cancelled and sold again to a different party 5/28/1945.

With anticipation of Germany surrendering it could be possible the ongoing urgency to fill a contract might have been cancelled along about 3/20/1945, and then after "V-Day" someone else or perhaps another ongoing Government contract that hadn't yet been cancelled, it could have been shipped to fulfill that contract. All purely speculative mind you !!

"That's a wrap for me, Next !!"

regards,
bb
 
Posts: 6360 | Location: Texas in the USA | Registered: July 27, 2009
posted
Forgot to mention, bottom of the gimbal brass watch case is marked:

MTD WATCH
BUREAU OF SHIPS
US NAVY
N10554-1943


Bob Walder
 
Posts: 152 | Location: Austin, Texas USA | Registered: February 18, 2016
posted
Well then the case, at least, was initially intended to be used for a delivery under a Navy contract and not an Army Air Forces contract.

I doubt that anyone would have gone to the trouble of grinding and polishing the data from the back of the case so I would guess that the case itself was never marked. This adds to my thought that this is a parts watch made by Hamilton after the war to use up old stock and make some money rather than either store or scrap otherwise perfectly good and useful parts.
 
Posts: 862 | Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA | Registered: September 20, 2004
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