532 Mainliner dial

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Tref, Apr 20, 2017.

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  1. Tref

    Tref Registered User
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    Mar 28, 2005
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    Do we know when the glass enamel 532 DS mainliner dial was last used on the 2974B?

    I'm assuming that once production of the melamine 082 completely replaced stock on hand of the glass 082 and 532 dials that it would have stopped for sure, but is there an earlier date (ish) that is known to be the actual point when their use was ended?
     
  2. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Sep 21, 2002
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    Tref,
    I have some early 2974B with the DS 532 dials around K600 and haven't observed any after that.
     
  3. Tref

    Tref Registered User
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    Mar 28, 2005
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    Thanks Jim.

    The glass 082 SS factory replacement dial for the 532 appears to be the only one of the three factory SS replacements, (080RWS, 081RWS, and 082), which Hamilton continued with after their DS issues were resolved. I think that at some point early on (after December of '41 when the replacement dials were introduced), the glass 082 became the dial most often used on the 2974B up until the melamine variant became the norm.

    What I'm trying to do is to determine when the 532 stopped being "correct" on the 2974B, from the factory's perspective. We all know that Hamilton would do some non-standard things to sell watches at any time, and so there may not have been a certain date but rather the 532 stock was used until such time that stocks ran out, or what was left was set aside and maintained as replacement stock for the no longer produced 992E Mainliner.

    Has anyone else seen the 532 dial facing a 2974B on a serial number higher than the K numbers, as in 2K examples?

    Here's the dial type I'm referring to

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Robert Sweet

    Robert Sweet Registered User

    Apr 29, 2004
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    Based on my research of the Military Contracts, it appears that only the 082 single-sunk dials were used from 1943 forward. The image below indicates they were mixing the 082 and 532 in this contract. I don't believe there is a definite serial number cut-off when changing from the 532 to the 082.

    Robert
     
  5. Tref

    Tref Registered User
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    Mar 28, 2005
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    Thank you Robert, this pretty well matches up with what I was thinking so it's good to see some affirmation on it.

    It wouldn't surprise me to someday see a bill of sale for an odd lot that mentioned the 532, sold even later in '45 or '46, indicating that the factory did some further shelf cleaning and used up another "last batch of 532's". Not to say it happened that way but just that it wouldn't surprise me to learn that it had. For now though your memo indicates that they had at least started to run low on the DS dials in early '42, or even that they may have used the last of them then.
     
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