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Why was the Hamilton 23 built?
We all know the 4992B is a navigation watch, but what was the intended purpose of the model 23?
A shot from the hip....
I guess they were used while fire the gun (artillery) fire.
If used by the airforce, maybe for bombing or for personell on the ground guiding the fire for the aircraft.
....but maybe the method of human ground guidance for the airforce were in use when the Hamilton 23 was in service!?
This is a good question. Why so many time pieces? I sense a high degree of redundancy in the issue of timepieces on military aircraft, such as bombers. The instrument panel had a clock, often with chronograph function. There were excellent wristwatches for each member of the crew, the 4992B in a special box, at least one stop-watch and the Model 23, which was a chronograph.
Given that the Model 23 is a chronograph or “Navigational Stopwatch, Type AN 5742-1", as it was known had as many uses as a stop watch or a pocket watch might posses. I would imagine that during the useful life of the Model 23 it may have served various purposes.
However, on board aircraft, the Model 23 was often set to GCT and mounted in a special bracket upon the octant of the aircraft. An octant is similar to a ship’s sextant, used to measure angular elevations of celestial bodies in conjunction with the horizontal plane, etc. The stop function of the Model 23 enabled the user to mark the time of his observation. The 4992B or similar master navigation watch was kept in a special box and was not normally removed during flight. At any rate, I suppose a time-only watch was not considered as convenient as a chronograph when attempting to use the octant for air navigation.
For some pictures and a better explanation of the Octant MK III and MK V, see Whitney at pp 345-48.
Thanks Greg! I searched in Whitney but didn´t find anything, until now, thanks.
So it was for navigational use. Did they serve on smaller fighting units or larger bombers or air freight flights, or both? It says army air force. What kind of units have they got, or did have?
These would have been used by U.S. Navy and Army aviators. Also used by the U.K. Transport/cargo and bombers.
I inherited a Wakkman (Breitling) navigational-stop watch from my uncle, a sea captain. It was given to him by another uncle that worked at an air force(US) base. My uncle was in the British "merchant marines" during WW11. This Wakkman is the Swiss equivalent of the Hamilton model 23. This is itThose smudges on the dial-aren't, just the lighting.)
This is the watch that started it all for me. One look at the movement blew me away into watch h***, (or heaven! )
Silver, gold, ruby jewels, spinning wheels and a cool historical context. How can one not get hooked on such a massive over dose of "eye candy"? Thanks for the pictures.
These were issued and used the same as the Hamilton.
Thanks Greg! When I finally got the back off( was done by a pw guy), I watched the movement while running for some hours, clicking on the timer/accumulator several times to see how things functioned. And soooooo pretty! And soooooo addictive!
Back in the 1970's, I let one of my hippy co-workers see the inside of my Illinois 19J railroad watch - After looking at it for a long time, he admited that my old pocket watch was cool after all, and that he was getting real-high from watching it work! (the last part was more likely the residual effect of whatever he had been using the night before, but I took it as a compliment anyway).
What a great image of the 23. Thanks.
Matt and everyone,
Here is additional Hamilton Model 23 information and images...
|IHC Life Member|
Not the greatest pictures, but they show how the " 23 " was mounted on two different sytles of octants.
|IHC Life Member|
This watch is known as 6B/2421 in the RAF and was used by the RAAF.
Did the RAF and RAAF use these watches in an Octant?
|IHC Member 163|
Sorry, old thread I know, but how does one determine manufacture date of these model 23's?
|IHC Member 163|
I'm figuring mine must have been late in the war if Samie's 4 numbered version mentioned in another thread was at the very beginning.
|IHC Life Member |
I had one that I sold here that had the original box, it was P21168 & according to the box & the Hamilton ledgers it was made March 7, 1945 so I would guess yours was earlier than that.
I still have the ledger page for mine & it covered from P21101 made 10/10/45 to P21199 made 3/7/45. Looking at the page they were not finished in numerical order, such as P21152 was finished on 02/27/45, P21153 01/09/46, P21154 02/27/45. So for whatever reason the 53 was not finished for almost a year between the other two.
|IHC Member 163|
Thanks Tom! That gives me a ball park figure of 1944/45 as the manufacture date then.
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