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  1. #1

    Question Hamilton 974 Help

    Hi. I am a new member and I hope you can help. I have just purchased a Hamilton 16 size 974 pocket watch. I have seen 974's before but this one has the word special just under the number 974. That is what drew my interest. It is a beautiful watch. Also, the dial has Hamilton Electric-Interurban Special on it.
    Does anyone have any information that can help me? Have I been suckered?
    Please help!
    Thanks.
    Ken Fields
    Last edited by nightstalker; 10-15-2008 at 07:26 PM. Reason: Wrong spelling

  2. #2

    Smile Re: Hamilton 974 Help (RE: nightstalker)

    Hi Ken:

    Welcome to the NAWCC American Pocket Watch Message Board!

    The 974 Special, adjusted to three positions, was marketed during the 1930s (and perhaps the late 1920s - starting around serial number 2,491,001). In a 1936 catalog, they'r listed as a "Traffic Special" although the dials weren't marked that way. Quite a few of these 974 Special watches have dials (frequently Montgomery dials) marked "Electric-Railway Special" or, in your case, "Electric-Interurban Special" They're nice watches, something that you can enjoy owning.

    Would you mind sharing the serial number on your movement? Is it lever-set? What case is it in?
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  3. #3

    Default Re: Hamilton 974 Help (RE: Kent)

    The original Hamilton 974 was not adjusted to positions and had a brass escape wheel. It was their most important medium grade watch.

    They also had a 978 which had a steel escape wheel and was adjusted to three positions (dial up, dial down and pendant up). This latter watch met electric railroad and interurban railroad standards. These were trollies. In order to decrease the number of grades they offered, they stopped making the 978 in 1924. As the stock of these finally was sold, they found the need for a replacement. Intead of re-releasing the 978 in 1928 they upgraded the 974 to the 978 standards and called it the 974 special. Now they had one watch that met the great demand for a medium grade watch and still meet interurban standards.

    It is a super watch and makes a great carry watch.

    Don

  4. #4

    Smile Re: Hamilton 974 Help (RE: Don Dahlberg)

    For additional information on these types of watches, see "Timing the Trolleys," Larry Treiman, NAWCC Bulletin No. 192, February 1978, pp. 3-19. This is available to members on loan by mail from the NAWCC Library & Research Center, Choose the Lending Library Form from the menu on the left-hand side of the page.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hamilton 974 Help (RE: Don Dahlberg)

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Dahlberg View Post
    The original Hamilton 974 was not adjusted to positions and had a brass escape wheel. It was their most important medium grade watch.


    Don
    I know this is an old thread but I was wondering what makes the 974 "their most important medium grade watch" ?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Hamilton 974 Help (RE: Donovan Martin)

    Quote Originally Posted by Donovan Martin View Post
    I know this is an old thread but I was wondering what makes the 974 "their most important medium grade watch" ?
    I can't speak for Don, but the 974 lasted the longest of all the 16 size movements (1896 to 1940) with a total sales for both the pendant and lever set, to include the 3-position model, of 335,232 movements.

    Robert

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hamilton 974 Help (RE: Robert Sweet)

    Looking at the 16-size grade 974 (and its hunting-case variant, the grade 975) from another point of view, for most or all of their long existence, the grades 974 and 975 were the lowest price 16-size grades in the Hamilton line. You might say they were the "entry-level" 16-size Hamiltons, just as the 18-size grades 924/925 were usually considered the lowest-priced, "entry-level" 18-size Hamiltons. The 16-size 974/975 were adjusted to temperature, and thus were a somewhat more expensive than the 18-size 924/925, which were unadjusted.

    Both the 924/925 and the 974/975 (all available as movements only) were around for a long time and met the needs of someone who wanted Hamilton quality at a reasonable price and who did not have to meet railroad inspection standards. The last version of the 974, the "974 Special" did meet the requirements of most electric street and interurban (trolleys on steroids) railways.

    Larry Treiman
    Last edited by Larry Treiman; 09-24-2010 at 03:33 PM.

  8. #8
    Registered user. Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Hamilton 974 Help (RE: Larry Treiman)

    Hi Larry.I am surprised to learn the Hamilton 925 is a unadjusted movement.Mine keeps great time and i really like it very much.I did not know the 974 is a better movement.Which i have 2 of, one lever set and one pendant set.Both great watches.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  9. #9

    Default Re: Hamilton 974 Help (RE: Kevin W.)

    What they said.

    Don

  10. #10
    Registered user. Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Hamilton 974 Help (RE: Don Dahlberg)

    Don uhh?
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  11. #11

    Default Re: Hamilton 974 Help (RE: Kevin W.)

    I know this is an old thread but I have a 1916 hamitlon,s16,17 jewels,adjuster,sn 1343445,1st case is keystone,2nd is J Boos 20yr,both numbers match case.
    The movement is 974,and was confusing with these numbers,are their many with 974.?
    you check the watch out here
    http://www.collectorsweekly.com/stor...-1916-hamilton

  12. #12

    Smile Re: Hamilton 974 Help (RE: GearPunk)

    Quote Originally Posted by GearPunk View Post
    ... I have a ... The movement is 974,and was confusing with these numbers,are their many with 974.? ...
    Hi GearPunk:

    Welcome to the NAWCC American Pocket Watch Message Board!

    Yes, as Robert Sweet posted up above, "... a total sales for both the pendant and lever set, to include the 3-position model, of 335,232 movements."

    You can see a catalog listing for the Hamilton Watch Co. grade No. 974 at the bottom of this 1926 catalog page.

    Please feel free to ask about anything that isn't clear to you.

    Good luck,
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  13. #13

    Default Re: Hamilton 974 Help (RE: Kent)

    Thank you for your help Kent!

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