Marine: Hamilton 36 size Chronometers

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by Jim Haney, Jan 26, 2013.

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  1. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    #1 Jim Haney, Jan 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
    I have recently acquired a Hamilton 36 Chronometer in a 2 box set.

    There were a total of 970 of these produced from 1916-1943.

    They were in 2 runs,

    1260001-1260500 from 3-9-1916 to 7-20-1918

    1260501-1260970 no dates in the finishing records.

    This example is 1260941, the 931st one made. It is a KW/KS mounted in a non-Factory small gimbaled box to fit a Factory outer box. It has a spring loaded slide cover on the back to open for a key to be inserted to wind the movement. The movement has a extension on the winding wheel so the key will reach it.

    To set the time you must remove the front bezel and use a key in the traditional way.

    Little information is known or written on these last run models.

    See Lowell Halligan's notes on these in the link from another thread.

    My goal is to have a thread on these so that all known serial numbers can be posted and some references can be started for them.

    The big shock is that these later models don't have wind indicators on them.




    https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?58101-1915-Hamilton-36-size-Deck-Watch-ID
     

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  2. ben_hutcherson

    ben_hutcherson Registered User
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    Thanks, Jim for posting this and it was a pleasure to get to see this(and you) in-person last weekend!
     
  3. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    This is the non-gimbaled version made in the first run of 500 watches between 1916 and 1918.

    Serial number is 1260080 or the 79th one made.

    It is stem wind and pin set,visible to the right of the pendant.
     

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  4. Joseph Short

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    I find it interesting that the example from the later run does not have a wind indicator, while the older model does.
    Is this a common thing?
     
  5. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Joseph,
    That is the point of this thread, to find out by reported examples.
     
  6. John Cote

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    Very nice post Jim. I know where a couple of these live and I will take a look at the serial numbers.
     
  7. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Rhett,
    WOW! the 1st one.:excited: I guess you are going to keep it?

    Very nice and historic. What does the case say on the back?

    I am waiting for some in the 2nd run to start showing up to see if they all were minus the dial indicators.
     
  8. Rhett Lucke

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    #9 Rhett Lucke, Jan 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
    Sorry about the poor pictures, taken at haste with limited skills.

    Back of case is marked same as outside of box "386 - USSB"

    Also, SN 1260632. Mounted in gimbaled box with indicator.
     
  9. Rhett Lucke

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  10. Joseph Short

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    Jim, I too am trying to learn. Is it common to find so many differences within a series like this? I know the up/down indicator could be added on to some movements, but going from key wound to stem would seams far more complex to me. I would have expected such a lardge difference to merit it's own model designation.
     
  11. Jim Haney

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  12. John Pavlik

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    Joe,

    If you look at the key wind, it appears to be a pretty simple conversion.. I wouldn't doubt that the crown winding is still present under the dial.. Interesting on
    hairspring attachment on Rhett's.. not typical Hamilton
     
  13. strd34ford

    strd34ford Registered User

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    #14 strd34ford, Jan 27, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 27, 2013
    Hi Jim,
    As per our recent conversation I'll post some of the information I have on the Torpedo Boat Watches. The first is a copy of a letter sent from the late Marvin Whitney to Warren Neibling. Date of the letter is unknown, but it explains the circumstances on how some of the 36 size watches do not have winding indicators. As I told you in my email the winding indicator set up in these watches is very complicated and it basically came down to a lack of replacement parts, when the watches were sent in for repair, so the dials were plugged and th watches were returned to service minus the winding indicator.
    Regards
    Fred Hougham

    AMERICAN WATCHMAKERS INSTITUTE


    3700 Harrison Avenue Cincinnati. Ohio 46211 (513)661-3838 Mailing address: P.O. Box 11011. Cincinnati. Ohio 45211 Warren H.. Niebling 303 Suffolk. Rd .Flourtown Pa. 19031-5119


    Dear Mr. Niebling;
    I appreciate your kind remarks regarding the H. T, articles. The tvd watches described were "built, specifically for the Navy during W. W. I and were: known as their 36.size torpedo boat watches. Production was started in 19l6 with a production run of 966 instruments, 'being assigned movement numbers falling between l,260,001 and 1,260,970. Specifications stated that the torpedo boat watch shall be made to nm for not less than 56 hours, and on the dial an -up-and-down indicator shall be provided to show the state of winding. The watch shall be stem wound and pin set, and fitted in an open face silver case. The majority of these watches were fitted to this style case. However, some were- fitted to a weighted chrome bowl, swung in gimbals and mounted in a 3-tier chronometer style box. The silver cases were; made by the Crescent Watch Casa Co,Newark. N. J. Both the non-gimbal and gimbaled type were fitted with a winding indicator as noted in the specifications when they were delivered to the Naval Observatory. I have never seen one that was housed in a silver case with-out a winding indicator. However, with the mounted its been a different story. At one time I had three gimbaled pieces in my collection. One had the complete winding indicator mechanism, while the other two some parts were missing from the W. I. mechanism and the holes-were plugged. On one, the winding indicator numerals remained on the dial; on the other, the dial had been refinished and the only way you could tell is v/as plugged was to look at the underside. Daring my tenure at the Naval observatory in the early 40's, a few of these watches were still in service and from time to time were returned for an overhaul, However, we only had a limited number of replacement parts and most of those v/ere parts that seldom needed to be replaced, The winding mechanism was completed and consisted of eight thin steel wheels, two sets of friction springs, and a pivoted spring loaded arm which engaged and dis-engaged the mechanism. On those that came in for an overhaul that had missing/broken parts, the dial was plugged and refinished. You mentioned that the plug in your piece was rounded slightly. That job was not done at the Observatory for all of ours were finished flush with the dial. I know of no material list or parts numbers for this Jo's T.B.W. movement. The Observatory's parts department did not have any-such information, If I may be of any further help, please, feel free to contact me.

    Sincerely yours

    Marvin E. Whitney



    Marvin E. Whitney A NON-PROFIT CORPORATION DEDICATED TO THE ADVANCEMEN OF THE ART AND SCIENCE OF HOROLOGY




     
  14. strd34ford

    strd34ford Registered User

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    Jim,
    Here is an article that was written by my father and Bill Schroeder. I don't know if this was ever published.
    Fred Hougham


    HAMILTON 36 SIZE WATCH

    Fred C. Hougham and Bill Schroeder


    The origin and history of the Hamilton 36 size movement is somewhat of an enigma.

    Only 970 were made. Although some is knovn about this great watch, much is not. For

    example, this is the only known Hamilton watch without a factory number designation. It is just

    the "36 size ". In addition, there is no known material list or service instructions for the watch,

    much less the up-down mechanism. The watch runs for 70-72 hours when folly wound and yet

    the up-down mechanism only registers 56 hours. The winding indicator hand continues to

    function past the 56 hour mark until the watch runs down. Measurements of a representative

    group of parts show that the factory did not use parts from another Hamilton in this watch. This

    was a new watch from the "plates up". Serial numbers ran consecutively from 1,260,001 to

    1,260,970. The watches were finished over a period of years from 1918 until about 1945.

    The movement is described as follows:

    Pin setting, pendant winding watches or key wind-key set. Twenty-One ruby and

    sapphire Gold jewel settings. Double roller escapement. Steel escape wheel. Exposed sapphire

    pallet stones. Pallet arbor cone pivoted and cap.jeweled. Escape pinion cone pivoted and cap

    jeweled. Compensating balance, pivots running on rubies. Breguet hairspring. Micro metric or

    plain regulator. Adjusted to temperature, isochronism, five positions. Safety barrel with spring

    box rigidly mounted on bridge. Exposed winding wheels. Patent recoiling click and self locking

    setting device. Silvered double sunk dial with painted figures and numerals. Plates beautifully

    damascened and finely finished.

    It is not known if the Navy or War Shipping Board provided the specifications for this

    particular watch although it is known that about 1900 the Navy revised the specifications for deck




    watches/torpedo boat watches in general and allowed a 15 second per month time variance. At
    the same time they changed the nomenclature for pocket chronometers/deck watches to torpedo
    boat watches. Detailed specifications for these may be found in Marvin Whitney's book Military
    Timepieces on page 382. The "36 size" watch was made in two styles, a Ship's Watch which was
    key wind/key set swung on gimbals mounted in a mahogany box and a Patrol Boat Watch which
    was stem wind/pin set in a plain open face sterling silver 36 size ease.

    The first 200 of these were Ship's Watches 'and were to be billed to the United States
    War Shipping Board, Emergency Fleet Corporation, Washington, D.C. The requisition for 200
    watches was given to Hamilton July 10,1917 by the War Shipping Board. The watches were
    delivered by messenger to the Bureau of Standards in Washington for testing. They were tested
    there and payment was approved as follows: June 29,1918 - 66 watches; August 12,1918 - 68
    watches; February 26, 1919 - 66 watches; for the total of 200 watches. The watches were
    billed at $67.00 each and on February 26,1919 at which time billing was completed, an additional
    bill for $1,429.85 was rendered covering a premium which was allowed for "extra performance"
    as per the requisition contract. "60" was the mean standard for performance and 157 watches
    averaged 7 points higher than "60"and thus were rated premium. 47 watches averaged 3 points
    less than "60". It is not known what criteria was used to score the watches performance. The
    ship's watch description on the billing invoice read as follows:

    “36s - 21 J High grade watches complete and in accordance with the fall specifications for
    Ship's Watches of June 19,1917 - - - - -$67.00 Net.
    On August 29, 1923 a letter was received by Hamilton asking them to place a return value
    on a number of watches that were being held as surplus by the Shipping Board Emergency Fleet
    Corporation. Hamilton replied that "because orders had been canceled by the government, a
    number of these watches are in our stock and we do not feel that we can add to that stock."
    Patrol Boat Watches were to be billed to the Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C. as
    2





    follows:
    36 s Patrol Boat Watches fitted in Silver cases.
    There were two orders -
    Schedule - Requisition 158/18 - Charged at $56.50
    Requisition 123 - Bureau N.S.A. - Charged at $56.00
    These watches were delivered by messenger to the Bureau of Standards to be tested there. Those
    that did not pass the tests were returned to the factory for further adjustments. Bills were

    rendered as the watches were accepted. The bills listed below cover the larger items of sales
    traced from the factory sales records. The total - 259 - were traced as follows:
    1918 Oct. 2, 80-Requisition #123
    Nov. 23, 9- " #123
    Nov. 23, 39-' " #158/18
    1920 July 15, 47- " #158/18
    Oct. 9, 46- " #158/18
    1921 Aug. 3, 38 " #158/18
    After the war ended, a part of one government order was canceled but details are not available.
     
  15. strd34ford

    strd34ford Registered User

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    Jim,
    As I indicated, several years ago I sold a set of gears for one of these to one of the watchmakers ( name unknown ) and they sucessfully converted one of these back to winding indicator. I still have some of the gear train, some new hands, one new dial and one used dial, and some crystals. I do know that even with the gears train I supplied, they still had to hand make some of the parts, but I couldn't tell you which parts, but it seems to me to be one of the levers.
    Fred.
     
  16. Robert Sweet

    Robert Sweet Registered User

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    It appears from the Hamilton Catalog ad below that beginning abt. 1926 the 36-size chronometers were made available to JEWELERS whereas previously they were all dedicated for Gov't. use.

    This may or may not add to the discussion.

    Robert
     

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  17. strd34ford

    strd34ford Registered User

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    #18 strd34ford, Jan 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
    illustrate (4).jpg illustrate (2).jpg

    Here is a picture of the winding gear set up. Part of this gear train is friction drive and if I remember right its the upper gear set and it is difficult to get the friction set just right so the winding indicator hands move properly.
    Fred Hougham
     
  18. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Fred,
    Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to post this information. Your Dad may be smiling seeing his information and article published on the Message Board for all to learn from.
     
  19. Tom McIntyre

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    #20 Tom McIntyre, Jan 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
    I have an as found example of a 36 Size in gimblas with wind indicator and I'm going to try to post a few pictures of it that I just took with my iPhone so if that works out you will have pictures of an example with the wind indicator.

    Sent from my iPhone using Forum Runner
     

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  20. Tom McIntyre

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  21. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Tom,
    Thaks for the pictures. Both are from the 2nd run, so that shoots down my thoughts on the 2nd run were missing the W/I so maybe starting at 700-980 they were finished without the W/I.
    Also interesting that these models had no machining for a winding stem and the alighment pin to set the watch in the housing.
     
  22. strd34ford

    strd34ford Registered User

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    Look closely at the gimbals model and the pocket model. There is a glaring difference between the two.
    Fred
     
  23. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    #24 Jim Haney, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
    Fred,
    It is not glaring out to me?

    I found this accounting of the 36 size records in Halligan's notes.
     

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  24. Tom McIntyre

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    I presume he is talking about the hole for the winding in the "pocket" model that is missing in the gimbal model.

    If they were made from the same plates, the gimaled model would have the hole also.

    If they had produced all the plates originally for the flat model, there would have been no reason to redo them for the gimbaled model.
     
  25. strd34ford

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    #26 strd34ford, Jan 30, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2013
    Nah ! Its the dials. All of the pocket models I've seen have a rather unusual sunk dial. Whereas all of the gimbal models have a smooth flat dial.
    Unless sometime along the way there was a production change in the dials, and I've just not seen one reversed.
    Jim, I'm glad you added those records. When I scanned mine they came out gibirsh, and I haven't had time to try again.
    Fred
     
  26. strd34ford

    strd34ford Registered User

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    Jim, Just as a side note, not only are the dials different, but also the hour and minute hands. Since the gimbal models were key wind, key set the hour and minute hands were square cut to fit on the center shaft. The pocket model hands were round friction fit just like a standard pocket watch. Fred
     
  27. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Fred,
    You had me puzzled about the "Glaring Differences" and I am relieved that it was not some major thing I was staring at and couldn't see.

    Yes, the dials and hands are different for the oblivious reasons.Tom's point on the different plate holes for winding is more of what I was looking for.

    On close inspection, the Hands are identical except for the square and round holes in them.

    We need some more later examples in the 700-980 end production to see how many are W/I. Most likely NONE
     
  28. strd34ford

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    Jim,
    My double boxed model is # 838., and has a winding indicator. It would be interesting to see if your model has a plugged dial. That might tell us your watch was repaired and returned to service without the winding indicator or if came that way new.
    Fred
     
  29. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Fred,

    I pulled the dial and it is plugged and has the machined out areas for the W/I parts.

    I looked close at the front and if I knew that it was plugged i won't have had to pull it because no matter how good the job was it still shows through the paint on the front with a loupe.

    The pillar plate has all the machined out sections for the the W/I gears, etc, so we can assume that all of the dial plates were intended to be W/I watches.

    So why were some finished off as gimballed chronometers without the W/I?

    A parts shortage, doesn't seem likely because they could make whatever they needed or maybe that late in the production (1940's) they just got rid of what they had in inventory to supply the need for boxed chronometers for the war?

    According to Halligan's chart they finished out the last 100 or so from 1939 to 1946.
     
  30. Paul Regan

    Paul Regan Registered User

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    Jim, for your records,
    Non-gimbaled with W/I DS dial, #1,260,349
    Gimbaled with W/I flat dial #1,260,593
    Pics if you want.
    Paul
     
  31. Dave Chaplain

    Dave Chaplain Registered User
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    More M36 observations: 1260911 WI, flat dial, gimbaled
     
  32. Ralph

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    Here's another 36 Size, #1260661

    M361.jpg M362.jpg M363.jpg M364.jpg M365.jpg M366.jpg M367.jpg M368.jpg M369.jpg M3610.jpg M3611.jpg M3612.jpg

    Ralph
     
  33. Leigh Callaway

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    #34 Leigh Callaway, May 14, 2018
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    Here is another 36 size, this one SN 1260737. Came double boxed, freshly serviced and adjusted.
    If the serial numbers were assigned consecutively, using the table in Hal268 this would have been among the 38 produced in 1929. Not sure that's real good science, though.

    Hal0268.jpg [​IMG]

    Ham36 1929.jpg Ham36 three tier.jpg IMG_4345.JPG IMG_4343.JPG
     

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  34. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Leigh,
    Thank you for posting your very nice double boxed gimbaled #737,

    I will make up a chart of the ones we know of so far and post it later with another one I have.

    There is a lot of great information on the 36 size chronometer and you have got to love the nickname Torpedo boat watch.
     
  35. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    These are the examples we have seen so far in this thread and the old thread linked to in the first post.

    001-c
    080-c
    108-c
    343-c
    349-c
    558-g
    589-g
    593-g
    661-g
    711-g
    737-g
    831-g
    838-g
    911-g
    941-g



    It appears that the first run(500) were finished as the watches in the 36s Silver cases and the second run 501-970 were in gimbaled boxes.

    It is amazing that Hamilton carried these in their inventory for 30 years.

     
  36. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    This is example 1260831 in a gimbaled tub.


    DSCN6793.JPG DSCN6794.JPG DSCN6795.JPG DSCN6796.JPG DSCN6797.JPG DSCN6798.JPG


    Leigh, I contacted Gary Sellick and he will make a inter box with gimbals for $1500-1600, but is on vacation until the fall.
     
  37. Tom McIntyre

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    #38 Tom McIntyre, May 14, 2018
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    343 c WI previous list inner and outer padded box
    511 g WI box w/ lid
    711 g no WI previous list box no lid
    762 g no WI box no lid

    I don't see a picture of an outer box for 737?
     
  38. DeweyC

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    Jim,

    I suspect the reason Hamilton dropped the wind indicator after the USN contract was that it was an extremely poor design. It was Hamilton's first attempt and they left the RRW u/d wars to Waltham and Elgin.

    They probably did not have the space/time/profit margin to set up a line to make a proper planetary gear line required for a reliable up/down. Instead, it is a wheel based approach which always struck me as a Rube Goldberg setup. It requires friction slip and is easily deranged even with careful use.

    Since the post war product was geared (yeah, I did that) towards the jewelers, they most likey did not want bad publicity.

    This is my working hypothesis as a watchmaker with a keen interest in the history of technology. I have to plan a day to spend in the archives.
     
  39. Leigh Callaway

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    737 Outer Box 2.jpg 737 Outer Box 3.jpg 737 Outer Box 1.jpg
     
  40. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Dewey,
    Look at Fred H. Post 18 for the set up.

    Is this different from the Model 21 set up?

    It appears (geared) to me, Getting power from the MS barrel gear and transferring into a series of gears to get down to a ratio for the indicator scale.

    Where does the friction come from?
     
  41. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    Jim,

    The tradtional chronometer is a simple pinion on the fusee and an up/down wheel on a post. Simple gear ratio change.

    This cannot be used on a going barrel because the barrel can be in a different position from when last wound. A fusee is always in the same position when wound (stop bar).

    The traditional lever escapement u/d uses a planetary gear system driven by the barrel.

    The Hamilton 36 used a system of wheels and pinions with a pivoted lever that engaged a pinion. Without it in front of me, I forget how it came into play during wind and unwind. I should have a photo somewhere, will look in lightroom later. The up/down wheel itself had a friction mount on a second wheel. As in a canon pinion, but could not be that tight. Too loose and fails to carry. IIRC there is also spring washer involved. The U/d wheel even has a section of uncut teeth to prevent it from travelling 360 degrees.

    Way too complicated for reliability; but easier to make using existing setups, especially in the tooling dept. I will bet the USN order was for less than those produced and this was the one time Hamilton cobbled somethign together.

    Some of the letters related to production for the M21 and M22 have a tone that suggests "we are not going down another rabbit hole with you again; if you want us to do it here is how we are going to do it."
     
  42. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    DeLong's wind indicator for the McIntyre watch uses a similar set up with a friction clutch and spring. It also leaves 4 teeth uncut in the indicator wheel to ensure that the up/down always stays in the arc of the indication on the dial.The winding action uses a small planetary gear to engage the up/dn train.

    DeLong was given the run of the Hamilton factory in December 1915 to produce the DeLong escapement parts. Perhaps there were some conversations on the 36 size on the side.

    s39s3.png s39s7.png s39s11.png s39s12.png
     
  43. DeweyC

    DeweyC Registered User
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    Tom that is much more straightfoward than the Hamilton attempt. I never did take a photo but a colleague has one on his bench. I will ask him to take a shot of it.

    Very nice piece BTW.
     
  44. TJ Cornish

    TJ Cornish Registered User
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    #45 TJ Cornish, Apr 5, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
    Here's mine that I just picked up - serial 1260495.

    IMG_7260.jpg IMG_7264.jpg

    This box is plain - no markings, and it opens with a slide latch like my other Hamilton boxed watches.

    An acquaintance showed me his watch-style 36 that was in a totally different box style - key lock, no window, and a round metal plaque saying "U.S.S.B ShipWatch No. 356 Keep this ship watch invariably horizontal with dial up."

    I wonder if mine has a non-original box - possibly from a non-gimballed 22?
     
  45. Paul Regan

    Paul Regan Registered User

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    TJ, nice "36". The depression in the lower padding does appear to be for a Hamilton 22 deck watch.
    Paul
     
  46. Fred Hansen

    Fred Hansen Registered User
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    Info from some more ...

    1260012 - silver case with no markings to rear
    1260113 - silver case with US Shipping Board marking and serial number 412 to rear
    1260139 - silver case with US Shipping Board marking and serial number 342 to rear
    1260161 - silver case with US Shipping Board marking and serial number 356 to rear
    1260190 - silver case with no markings to rear
    1260260 - silver case with US Navy marking and serial number 5043 to rear
    1260294 - silver case with US Navy marking and serial number 5165 to rear
    1260312 - silver case with US Navy marking and serial number 5012 to rear
    1260321 - silver case with US Navy marking and serial number 5088 to rear
    1260375 - silver case with no markings to rear
    1260381 - silver case with no markings to rear
    1260415 - silver case with no markings to rear
    1260425 - silver case with US Navy marking and serial number 5123 to rear
    1260703 - gimbaled, winding indicator is present
     
    Leigh Callaway and Jim Haney like this.
  47. Dave Chaplain

    Dave Chaplain Registered User
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    Two more:

    1260157 - silver case with no markings to rear, winding indicator is present
    1260642 - gimbaled, winding indicator is present
    1260911 - gimbaled, winding indicator is present (previously reported)
     
  48. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    These are the examples we have seen so far in this thread and the old thread linked to in the first post.

    001-c

    012-c
    113-c
    080-c
    108-c
    139-c
    157-c
    161-c
    190-c
    260-c
    294-c
    312-c
    321-c
    375-c
    343-c
    349-c
    381-c
    415-c
    425-c
    495-c
    511-g
    558-g
    589-g
    593-g
    642-g
    661-g
    703-g
    711-g
    737-g
    762-g
    831-g
    838-g
    911-g
    941-g


    34 in Total


    Updated July 17,2019


    It appears that the first run(500) were finished as the watches in the 36s Silver cases and the second run 501-970 were in gimbaled boxes.

    It is amazing that Hamilton carried these in their inventory for 30 years.
     
  49. EdTilley

    EdTilley New Member

    Oct 15, 2013
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    I have 1260713...it is gimbaled, with working up/down indicator. Unfortunately, I am missing the top of the inner box.
     

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