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I am restoring a Hamilton 21 mounting box and associated carrying box; the internals are in great shape and just need to be cleaned and polished. However, the mounting box is missing the lid.
I know this is a long shot, but does anyone have an empty Hamilton 21 box that I could purchase either to replace my old one, or use the lid for mine?
I have sent a note to Gary Sellick to see if one can be made, but I thought I ask you folks for any help that you could provide.
This is for the Hamilton 21 I purchased from the "Pawn Stars." Everything is great, but the box is missing the lid.
IHC Life Member
Ken, Give us a picture so we will know what Hamilton box you are seeking.
I am looking for the/a lid for the inner box of the Hamilton 21 pictured. Or an empty box which I doubt anyone would have.
IHC Life Member
Hi Ken, I believe you could have a lid made. My suggestion would be to contact Eric to see if he was interested. He is a talented and good man.
I doubt you will find a loose, useable lid for one of these. Story goes that some years ago the leftover boxes were scrapped by the government, literally fed into a furnace. That left behind quite a number of the Model 21 movements in shipping cans but no inner boxes. Then Gary Sellick began reproducing both inner and outer boxes. Since Gary has everything set up for the work, I would recommend sending your inner-box and he could complete it for you for proper matching and fit. You will be very, very happy with his outstanding workmanship.
Phil is right that Eric certainly has the woodworking expertise to do it, but Gary is already set-up with all the jigs along with correct wood and most importantly the entirely unique hardware. Gary could do it easily whereas Eric would be starting into unfamiliar territory which would take far longer. I really think Eric would suggest going to Gary due to the fact he actually manufactures these on a regular basis.
Follow this link carefully... http://www.shipsclock.com/ ...call him on the phone.
And I really wonder why your lid is missing, that makes no sense to me!
Look closely at all the precision matching and special hardware required...
Lindell, You are right as always. I talked to Gary on the phone yesterday and we agreed that it would be best for me to send him the innter box and have him make the lid. I have no idea as to what happened to the existing lid.
And yes, I have seen his work and it is great! He said he used to make just lids, but there was just enough variation in the boxes, he got a lot of them back. Also, he said with the box in hand, he can better match the wood, grain, etc.
One finds out that in "clock smithing" there is more to it than replacing bushings and turning pivots. :-)
Gary will not disappoint you.
The lids on these boxes were routinely removed (and lost) for use at sea so they would better fit in the chronometer compartment, and for ease of visual use.
The inner boxes are truely works of art as compared to the outter boxes that were simply utilitarian, and not as well finished.
Note: The outer boxes were abandoned, for all practical purposes when the Navy modified the model 21 (against Hamilton's advice) with a balance lock. Once equiped with this lock, the chronometer and bowl were shipped to and from the maintenance facility, instead of the whole, double boxed kit.
As Matthew indicated, the lids were routinely removed to allow the chronometer to be easily visible through the pane usually found on the chart table on the bridge.
I do not remember any of the commercial ships that I sailed on which actually had the top lid installed on the chronometers. In many cases, you would find the lid somewhere in the wheelhouse, however, not always ready to re-install. There were some creative uses to this piece of "scrap" (a thought I cringe at now, but was oblivious then). I recall one vessel I sailed on where the lid had been converted into a coffee cup holder which was mounted on the forward bulkhead of the wheelhouse. Granted, these were all commerical vessels, I'd think you wouldn't see this type of disrespect on naval vessels.
As for the outer boxes, I don't ever recall seeing one of these on a commercial vessel. There was simply not room for this in the wheelhouse or under the chart table. We would never transport them away from the bridge, they were always under lock and key in the recess of the chart table. When we did remove them for shipyard periods and other less hospitable areas (think Africa/S. America, etc....) they were simply moved to the safe until underway again. When serviced, they were usually taken away by the ship's agent in that port, never to be seen again, simply replaced with a different one. I suspect that they were treated by the agents much like they were treated by the guy in Pawn Stars......
Although the saddest thing that I've seen done with these is for them to be taken off the vessel for serivce and then replaced with a quartz marine chronometer. I've seen one Master simply refuse the substitute and delay sailing until a mechanical marine chronometer could be found. He was not simply not going to trust some new-fangled contraption from Japan.... Funny enough, he was always the first one who'd stand around and wait for the satellite navigation system to provide a fix and be amazed that a box could do that. Keep in mind, this was when you might get a satellite fix once every 24 hours, where most of the time it could not even be trusted within 20 miles depending on the elevation of the satellite. Not anything like the GPS systems that are found today, even those in our iPhones. We used to have to study the quality and parameters of the satellite signals before we'd even attempt to plot the location, let alone put any trust into it. God bless celestial navigation.
However, I digress into sea stories, but perhaps this will shed some light on what happened to these things, at least from a commercial world perspective. As you might recall, I did conjure in a previous post about this chronometer that this one had most likely seen commercial service due to the lack of the top lid as well as the serial number (which we only caught a glimpse of, but looked like post-war), would be interested to find out what the actual number was.
Please keep us informed of how your work goes with Gary. I've got a Kirova movement that I've never received the boxes for that I might want him to make the boxes for (still in the mail).
Here is a photo of my model 22.The outer box is Gary's work.I also got a outer box from him for my Waltham chronometer he does great work you will be happy with it.Michael you made me remember all the time's I had to spend in the wheel house I did that in the Navy not the merchant marine I was a BM so I worked my way up from being in the watch rotation to being incharge of my watch team.
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