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  1. #1

    Default Hamilton 971- swiss

    I currently have the opportunity to acquire a Hamilton 971, Swiss made type. It seems to be in good shape and its cost is well below other Hamiltons of the last era that I have seen in ebay.
    Being a newbie in the fascination for pocket watches, I would appreciate to hear your comments and info regarding the quality of this model, quantity and date frame of manufacturing, etc.
    Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer.
    floresco
    P.S. I live in Mexico City where the watch is being sold

  2. #2

    Default Hamilton 971- swiss (RE: Floresco)

    I currently have the opportunity to acquire a Hamilton 971, Swiss made type. It seems to be in good shape and its cost is well below other Hamiltons of the last era that I have seen in ebay.
    Being a newbie in the fascination for pocket watches, I would appreciate to hear your comments and info regarding the quality of this model, quantity and date frame of manufacturing, etc.
    Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer.
    floresco
    P.S. I live in Mexico City where the watch is being sold

  3. #3

    Default Hamilton 971- swiss (RE: Floresco)

    Hi Floresco:

    The 23-jewel Hamilton 971 is made by Buren. We can't really discuss the value of specific watches here. However, we can certainly share other information.

    From 1899 to 1932, Buren was the Swiss factory of H. Williamson, Ltd, an English company. Williamson, bought a watch factory in Switzerland and created the Buren Watch Company. Ads in the 1920's proclaimed Buren to be "The Perfect Watch" and boasted of the linking up of Swiss watch manufacturing with British Enterprise and Capital. This came to an end during the Great Depression and Buren came to be an independent Swiss firm. This occurred in 1932 when the employees bought the plant and it became The Buren Watch Co., Switzerland.

    The former Technical Director of the Buren Watch Co., and a principle in the 1932 buy-out from Williamson, Mr. Hans Kocher, reported that as early as 1935 Buren had furnished watches to H. Steele y Cia., Mexico City.

    Larry Treiman reported on the subject in the NAWCC Bulletin. In the early 1960's, Buren was providing watches to Servicio de Tiempo, a division of H. Steele y Cia. Servicio de Teimpo had the contract for time inspection services for the Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico (Mexican National Railroad). Servicio de Tiempo imported Swiss watches, with the Elgin name on them (possibly ordered through Elgin), from the Buren Watch Co. to serve as railroad standard watches. It is supposed that this was done to provide a less expensive alternative to U.S. made watches. Supporting information for this thought is that the watches had only five adjustments, presumably heat, cold and three positions. Watches such as these would be less costly than those adjusted to five positions. The Lever-set 16-size, 23-jewel, model, with 5 adjustments, was marked "Elgin 847." These had single-sunk, Montgomery dials with an inner ring of 18-24 hour figures.

    On March 1, 1966 Buren Watch Co. was acquired by Hamilton (which then became a part of SMH) and the Swiss factory became Buren Watch Hamilton. Mr. Hans Kocher become the General Manager. It doesn't take a very large stretch of the imagination to accept the concept that the Hamilton owners were not about to continue to supply watches with the Elgin name on them.


    So, the last of the lineage came into being, the identical movement to the Elgin grade 847, now marked Hamilton 971. The dials are also identical except that they now carried the Hamilton trademarks. This ended in 1972 when production ceased at Buren Watch Hamilton. Mr. Treiman reported that during a call on Servicio de Tiempo, after his 1972 visit, he was told that the Buren/Hamilton movements were only available from existing stock, which accounts for a Servicio de Tiempo ad with its 1973 calendar. This ad (less the calendar), showing the Buren-Hamilton 971, can be seen at: http://elginwatches.org/scans/elgin_..._971NoCal.html (you may have to copy this link and paste it in your address bar since directly linking to this website from the NAWCC Message Board is not possible)

    Ed Ueberall and I maintain a data base of surviving railroad grade pocket watches that have been seen at shows, in dealers mail-order lists, on the internet, or that have been reported to us. There are two groups of the Buren-Hamilton grade 971 watches. The first group is caliber 02-SX for which serial numbers from A1211 to A4181 have been seen. The second group is caliber 02-FR for which serial numbers from A4621 to A10711 have been seen.

    If you can do it, we'd appreciate it if you would describe for us the dial, the case and the movement markings of the watch you've seen. Also, you would do us a great favor if you could find out if Servicio de Tiempo is still in business and performing time inspection services.

    Good luck,
    Kent
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  4. #4

    Default Hamilton 971- swiss (RE: Floresco)

    Dear Kent,
    First let me say that I?m quite impressed by the depth of information you have provided, this was more than a reply, it was a cathedra! I really appreciate your effort and time devoted.
    About the Hamilton 971 it is 23 jewels, adjusted to 5 positions with plain polished plates and melamine dial, I have seen one like it at this site: http://www.oldwatch.com/Museum/ham97...s23jmovcu.html
    After your reply I?m ready to go after it next Monday and then I will be able to provide the serial number, I just recall it was a short number like 4 digits.
    Several of my relatives from my mother side worked for the national railroad but unfortunately they have passed away and I didn?t have the opportunity to learn their stories, anyway I will try to check with H.Steele what has been of Servicio del Tiempo. I?m familiar with the name of H.Steele y Cia; it is an old company familiar to households not only for watches and clocks but also for tableware, kitchenware and office furniture.
    Thanks again for your teachings and if you don?t mind, where did you learn about watches in Mexico? I would love to give a try and hopefully help someway to complete the picture.
    Regards
    Carlos Flores


    [This message has been edited by Floresco (edited 10-19-2002).]

  5. #5

    Default Re: Hamilton 971- swiss (RE: Floresco)

    I too am attempting to find out any additional information on a watch that has been in the family for years. I am interested to find out what year this watch was made and the current value. I attached two pictures of the watch. Thanks,
    Josh de Freitas
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P1010986.jpg   P1010985.jpg  

  6. #6
    Registered User Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Hamilton 971- swiss (RE: josh de freitas)

    Nice watch Josh.It has already been posted the information for the 971 Hamilton, and again we cannot discuss values here.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  7. #7

    Smile Re: Hamilton 971- swiss (RE: Kevin W.)

    Hi Josh:

    Welcome to the NAWCC American Pocket Watch Message Board!

    Thanks for showing us pictures of your watch.

    There isn't much more known now than there was over eight years ago when this thread started. Nevertheless, you can see what there is in the Buren Watch Co. Encyclopedia article.

    As Kevin mentioned in his post, I'm sorry to say that as it says near the top of this page, in the menu bar, "No Appraisals." However, knowing the proper description of your watch (Hamilton, Swiss/Buren-made, 16-size, 23-jewels) you should be able to use a Google Search to find similar watches offered by internet dealers, or on eBay, and see what they are selling for. Alternately, check the value in the Complete Price Guide to Watches, No 27, C. Shugart, T. Engle and R. Gilbert, Tinderbox Press, Mount Pleasant, SC, 2007. A new edition comes out each year in February, so ask for the latest edition. The book is available at libraries, at most major booksellers and online at the NAWCC Gift Shop (ask about the current edition). Condition matters! Also, a solid gold case instead of a nickel or gold-filled case will make a difference as well.

    You should have the watch serviced before running it very much. It may be helpful for you to read the Encyclopedia article on Watch Service and its related links, especially the one to the message board thread on the subject.

    Good luck
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  8. #8

    Default Re: Hamilton 971- swiss (RE: Kent)

    excuse me i have 2 hamilton watchs 971... it says 02-8x and a2988, i have photos im from mexico also i have 2 elgin pocket wacth.!

  9. #9

    Smile Re: Hamilton 971- swiss (RE: jorge_mx5)

    Hi jorge_mx5:

    Welcome to the NAWCC American Pocket Watch Message Board!

    We'd love to see the pictures of your Swiss Hamilton No. 971 watche. Please include information from the inside of the case.

    Also, we'd like to know about your Elgin watch, but please start another thread with it.

    Again, welcome,
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hamilton 971- swiss (RE: jorge_mx5)

    Quote Originally Posted by jorge_mx5 View Post
    excuse me i have 2 hamilton watchs 971... it says 02-8x and a2988, i have photos im from mexico also i have 2 elgin pocket wacth.!
    Saludos, Jorge! Bienvenido!

    [Now I'll go back to using English; it's easier for me and for the others on the message board.]

    If you look again at the calibre number, I believe you will see that, as Kent mentioned in post #3, it is 02-SX (not 8x); that indicates that H. Steele y Cia. imported the movements into Mexico.

    Kent also mentioned that later examples were marked as being calibre 02-FR. The FR indicates that those later watches were actually imported into Mexico by "Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexico" with the FR indicating Ferrocarriles. If I understood and recall correctly (it was back in the early 1970s), the Buren factory was about to be shut down, and before that happened, Buren (probably Mr. Kocher) offered H. Steele a "last chance" to order a large quantity of the movements, which at that time were the only NEW pocket watch movements available that met the railroad standards. The order would have been for many thousands of movements, well over 6000 movements based on the serial numbers Kent and Ed show in their data base with the FR calibre suffix. I believe H. Steele may have been understandably reluctant to tie up that much money, so the railroads themselves decided to import the movements themselves to assure a reliable supply of pocket watches for the forseeable future. When that supply was exhausted, the railways finally approved a Haste quartz wrist watch, with a dial patterned after the Japanese Pulsar Railroad Approved wrist watch, but with a Swiss quartz movement and, if I recall correctly, perhaps a case of Mexican manufacture(??).

    The last time I visited Mexico (by train), around 1984, that was the accepted standard watch. I was unable to get away for a while due to family responsibilities, and by the time I was free to travel, privatization of the Mexican National Railways had eliminated almost all passenger trains in the country, and eliminated my incentive to travel there.

    If anyone has an interest in H. Steele y Cia and their watches (and a reading knowledge of Spanish or a translation program), I strongly recommend the following thread on a watch forum based in Spain. It is mainly about the Haste and Steelco wrist watches, and the history of H. Steele, and unfortunately it doesn't get into their railroad watches. Here is a link to the thread on "Foro de Relojes:

    http://www.foroderelojes.es/showthre...teelco-Relojes


    Even if you don't read Spanish or don't think you are interested in the subject, I thought the illustrations were beautifully done and worth a visit. And if you are from a Spanish-speaking country and aren't familiar with this site yet, I think you'll especially enjoy taking some time to explore the whole site at www.foroderelojes.es/


    Enjoy!

    Larry Treiman

    [EDIT] At the bottom of the pages there is a place where you can select Spanish or English. I selected English to see what would happen; the instructions, certain headings and miscellaneous things come up in English but the titles and text of the post are still in Spanish. If things look familiar, it is because the site, like our NAWCC MB, is hosted by vBulletin.

    Larry
    Last edited by Larry Treiman; 03-25-2013 at 02:49 PM.

  11. #11
    Registered User rrwatch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hamilton 971- swiss (RE: Larry Treiman)

    Larry,
    Thanks for the additional chapters of the story.
    Ed Ueberall
    The Escapement Home Page - Vintage Watch Restoration

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