First post and my Hamilton 992


New User
Nov 2, 2010
Please excuse my near total ignorance of pocketwatches, but I'd like to show you my grandfather's 992, and possibly gain a little information. He was a yardman with the Louisville & Nashville in Gadsden, Alabama, and I inherited his watch in 1982. I have displayed but not run it until last week when I had a jeweler look it over, who said it was in very good working order, so I plan to keep it running and wear it occasionaly.

It doesn't say Railroad on the dial, but has Hamilton Railroad on the top of the crown. Serial number 2570085, 21 jewels, Double Roller, 5 Positions.
Wadsworth case 0506469 (numbers arranged in a "V"). There are also several very small numbers hand-scribed inside the back and on the ledge where the back screws down; are these some kind of maintenance record?

What was the purpose of the bar over the crown? The story my mother told me was that he wasn't allowed to set the time, and had to be done periodically by a jeweler authorized by the railroad. Makes sense except for the lever set mechanism, so what was the point? The bar appears to be made of steel.

The fob key reads B.R.R.T. for Brotherhool of Railroad Trainmen. I don't know when the very crude repair was done, but it's part of why I like it. (The man was a railroader, not a jeweler ;).)

I'd like to know about when the watch was made, and perhaps what it might have cost at the time, along with any other interesting bits the knowledge base here may have. Thanks for looking.

Brian 75394.jpg


Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Gold Member
Aug 26, 2000
Hi Brian:

Welcome to the NAWCC American Pocket Watch Message Board!

According to records, Hamilton Watch Co. grade No. 992 movement serial number 2570085 entered the Finishing department on 3/1/30 and left on 4/1/30. Sold in the No. 2 case, it is as nice a railroad watch as Hamilton built, being widely accepted for railroad time service.

The case was made for Hamilton by the Wadsworth Watch Case Co. The bar across the crown was to prevent the crown from being pulled up (for which, being a lever-set watch, there was no reason) and to prevent the bow from coming loose. The hand-scratched numbers are Watch Repairers' Marks. By the way, it is true that on many roads railroaders were not allowed to set their watches.

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. You may also find the following Encyclopedia articles useful in understanding pocket watches and the terms that are used in discussing them:
Movement Type
Pocket Watch Dials
Pocket Watch Jewels
Pocket Watch Regulator
Setting Watch Hands
Watch Adjustment
Watch Case
Watch Grades
Watch Models
Watch Runs
Watch Size
Watch Chain

Having gathered and printed out information about a family watch, it is a wise idea to write out as much as you know about the family member to whom the watch originally belonged. Then, add the names and relationships of the family members who passed it down to the current holder. Make up a booklet with this and all of the watch information and try to keep it with the watch. This way, the watch has real family heritage instead of it just being an old family watch, the identity and relationship of the original owner having been lost in the distant past.

Please let us know if you have any further questions.

You have a nice heirloom, 75396.jpg
Last edited:


Registered User
Sep 13, 2010
They are wonderful railroad watches, I carry mine daily now .. You came to the right place. I am a beginner myself but all the guys here (not me) are the experts. They literally "wrote the book" on these things. Wonderful you have the history, please do write it down and welcome


terry hall

NAWCC Silver Member
Apr 12, 2001
Central North Carolina
I do believe the consumer price for this watch was 60 dollars.
White gold filled and Green were 2.50 more IIRC

the bar was a steel screw with a gold filled tube covering it.

it appears the joint for the bow is still in good shape, but be sure to examine for thin areas if you wear it a lot.

from the numbers you provided, think this combination of case and movement were as from factory.
the dial is what would have been designated on the box as HG (heavy gothic) and commonly used on these watches.

great heirloom with history... and welcome to the board
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Hamilton Grade No. 947 Reported Examples by Kent