• Important Executive Director Announcement from the NAWCC

    The NAWCC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Mr. Rory McEvoy has been named Executive Director of the NAWCC. Rory is an internationally renowned horological scholar and comes to the NAWCC with strong credentials that solidly align with our education, fundraising, and membership growth objectives. He has a postgraduate degree in the conservation and restoration of antique clocks from West Dean College, and throughout his career, he has had the opportunity to handle some of the world’s most important horological artifacts, including longitude timekeepers by Harrison, Kendall, and Mudge.

    Rory formerly worked as Curator of Horology at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, where his role included day-to-day management of research and digitization projects, writing, public speaking, conservation, convening conferences, exhibition work, and development of acquisition/disposal and collection care policies. In addition, he has worked as a horological specialist at Bonhams in London, where he cataloged and handled many rare timepieces and built important relationships with collectors, buyers, and sellers. Most recently, Rory has used his talents to share his love of horology at the university level by teaching horological theory, history, and the practical repair and making of clocks and watches at Birmingham City University.

    Rory is a British citizen and currently resides in the UK. Pre-COVID-19, Rory and his wife, Kaai, visited HQ in Columbia, Pennsylvania, where they met with staff, spent time in the Museum and Library & Research Center, and toured the area. Rory and Kaai will be relocating to the area as soon as the immigration challenges and travel restrictions due to COVID-19 permit.

    Some of you may already be familiar with Rory as he is also a well-known author and lecturer. His recent publications include the book Harrison Decoded: Towards a Perfect Pendulum Clock, which he edited with Jonathan Betts, and the article “George Graham and the Orrery” in the journal Nuncius.

    Until Rory’s relocation to the United States is complete, he will be working closely with an on-boarding team assembled by the NAWCC Board of Directors to introduce him to the opportunities and challenges before us and to ensure a smooth transition. Rory will be participating in strategic and financial planning immediately, which will allow him to hit the ground running when he arrives in Columbia

    You can read more about Rory McEvoy and this exciting announcement in the upcoming March/April issue of the Watch & Clock Bulletin.

    Please join the entire Board and staff in welcoming Rory to the NAWCC community.

Hamilton 4992B Military Watch

J

jmk@izzy.net

Greetings -
I've had a 4992B Hamilton navigation watch for a while and was told by a fellow nawcc member that these watches were fitted in special cases for use in airplanes. Does anyone have more information about them and where might I finds such a case? I've never seen one of these watches in anything but its own case.
Regards,
John Kosmalski
 
J

jmk@izzy.net

Greetings -
I've had a 4992B Hamilton navigation watch for a while and was told by a fellow nawcc member that these watches were fitted in special cases for use in airplanes. Does anyone have more information about them and where might I finds such a case? I've never seen one of these watches in anything but its own case.
Regards,
John Kosmalski
 
L

Larry Jones 98326

John,

I've seen these in two types of carrying cases, one is a relatively flat wood box with a window. I haven't seen one for a while but I think the case has some black foam rubber to cushion the watch. The other is a gray metal "can" with a cover that rotates to the side to expose a window over the dial. In this metal can, the watch is held in a metal bracket, suspended by springs.

These can be found, like gold, wherever you find them. :biggrin: eBay's convenient, otherwise NAWCC regionals.
 

Greg Crockett

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I have one of the "can" type cases. I'm not at home to look at it now, but I remember it has a brass plate on the side which says it was made by a company in Tecumseh, Michigan, a small town I have visited a few times. I think these cases were made by another company as well. My case is still packed in the original cardboard carton, but the label is gone (it looks like bugs enjoyed the glue!). The steel case opens by giving it a turn and, as noted above, it has a multi-fingered clamp arrangement to hold the watch which is suspended inside the case by springs. The watch clamp has a felt pad in the center, but there is no felt on the fingers which clamp around the watch. I worry that my watch might get scratched if I put it in this box unless I place some cloth on the clamp first. The watch can be seen inside the case through a glass window on top, which is protected by a metal plate or shutter. The window shutter swings out of the way on a large brass bolt to look inside. The entire arrangement is well made. There are no mounting screws or clamps of any kind on the outside of the case, although I have heard that there was a place for this box on various WWII U.S. aircraft.

A long time ago, I heard from someone that each air-wing of bombers had a watchmaker responsible for checking and setting these watches prior to each bombing run. They did not let the navigators do it because they did not always set it exactly the same, in spite of being present during the hacking motion of the commander. After setting the watches, the air-wing watchmaker would place each watch in one of the above cases and then issue one to each air navigator.

A 1945 dated U.S. Navy manual states that both wooden and soft iron cases were used to protect the 4992B Navigation Master Watch. By 1945, the 4992B was referred to as the Type AN5740 (?AN? stood for the combined Army/Navy stores code). A box was recommended to protect the watch inside aircraft. The manual states: ?A soft iron box is used sometimes and serves to shield the watch from any magnetic fields generated by stray electric current from generators or other electrical equipment of the airplane. Where this factor is not important a wooden box with shockproof mounts is used. An opening in the cover enables the watch face to be seen.? I have not seen the wooden boxes, but at least we know that they had shockproof mounts and a window on top.

Good luck finding one!

Greg.
 
J

jmk@izzy.net

Thanks Greg - That was most helpful. I live near Tecumseh ( Saline ) and would like to know just who made them. Perhaps they are still in business doing something else and one might find one of these case left lying around - who knows. Any chance you could come up with the manufactures name? I'll start checking with the local antique shops - they may have seen one.

Regards,
John
 

Greg Crockett

Registered User
Apr 13, 2001
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John, the brass label on the side of the iron case states as follows:

CASE, CARRYING, WATCH
NAVIGATION
U. S. ARMY A. C.
GEO H. ADAMSON
TECUMSEH MICHIGAN U.S.A.

Good luck with your search.

Greg.
 

Jeff Hess

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Just found some communicaton in the form of a letter from George Adamson to Sidney Ball asking him to keep this confidential and for his eyes only etc "As a third party in case it should be needed".

This system of military timekeeping he called "The Adamson System" and indeed involved teaching individuals to help keep time across the nation in an emergency situation when wire and radio time were compromised.

Letter head is from TIME LABORATORY Tecumseh, Michigan 1938.

(This is an old topic but I thought I would add this new info for posterity and to perhaps rekindle the subject a bit)

Jeff Hess
 

grtnev

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I have also been looking for a case for my 4992B as well.

Attached PDF file contain some pictures that I keep for reference. As best as I can make out, the nameplate data on the case in the pics in the PDF file is as follows:

CASE NAVIGATIONAL
NAVIGATIONAL WATCH
AN Part No. AN5838
Mfr. Part No. GA-1950
Stock No. 6201-GA-1950
Contract No. AF3310381-26433
TIME LABRATORY, INC
TECUMSEH, MI
U.S. PROPERTY

I believe this case is ca 1950 and the 4992B that is shown in the case in these pictures was air force issue, ca 1952.

Good luck.

Richard Thomas
Minden, NV
 

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DrTime

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I collect 4992B's - although I have a few other pocket watches, including Hamilton, this is the only type I specifically collect (so far! :) I have both a wooden case, which looks more like a display case than a functional unit, and one of the "cans." I am at work now so I can't post pictures.

I want to post a WARNING regarding these "can" cases:
I once purchased a very nice 4992B with a can case on ebay. The seller shipped the watch in the case, which I suppose seemed like a good idea since it is a shock mounted case. Unfortunately, one of the springs broke in shipment. The force of the remaining springs must have slammed the watch into the opposite side of the metal case, and the watch then bounced around in the case for the rest of transit. By the time it arrived, the crystal was broken, the glass observation window of the case was broken, and the hands were bent. Luckily the seller took responsibility so I lost no money, but the greatest sadness was the damage to a beautiful vintage watch. I have since acquired another "can" for completeness of my collection, but I would never place a 4992b in such a case. Even if they operated well when new, the springs are now 50 years old. The risk is too great. Plus, the metal claws that grip the watch may scratch the watch case.
 

HUDD

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I have a couple of 992B's, one in the aircraft carrying can as described, but the brass plate says ....... AN 5838-1 6645-342-4115 A8385 DA-36-038-AMC-22406A Phila Watch Supply Co. US Property
I have never seen one made by this company before, and I'm not sure if it is of early or late production. It house my 1942 992B

Hudd
 

webpilot

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Hamilton 4992B. I have acquired a 4992B with a dial that is to me unusual. It is a 12 hour dial but, at the outer seconds ring instead of all of the numbers being black, the 5,10,15,20, etc., numbers are red. There aren't any military markings nor contract numbers.

Thank you for responding.
 
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rmw

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The wooden box with a window was the standard (British) Royal Navy deck watch box. I am attaching a couple of quickly taken photos. In fact this one has the Elgin equivalent watch in it (based on a B W Raymond) which is somewhat rarer, but probably no better.
 

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Jim Haney

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Hamilton 4992B. I have acquired a 4992B with a dial that is to me unusual. It is a 12 hour dial but, at the outer seconds ring instead of all of the numbers being black, the 5,10,15,20, etc., numbers are red. There aren't any military markings nor contract numbers.

Thank you for responding.
If it is a 12 hour dial it is a conversion which also included having to change the hour gear under the dial. A picture will help in ID'ing the dial, but most all that I have seen are not Military.
 

Jim Haney

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Thanks for the picture.

I have seen these before . They are metal and painted on. They were conversions kits for these watches after the war,because of all of thewatches the boys kept and brought home.
Also, they were still being sold up until the 50's and it was easier to read a standard dial than a black 24 hour dial.

Some went so far to put regular Hamilton dials and used a 4th gear with pinion and that way they had a small secont hand. Some left the sweep second hand in place and some removed them.
 

musicguy

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This is an old thread but Jim, Jeff and Richard are still active here if that's what you are asking.


The heavy metal can shaped cases for the 4992b are fairly easy to find(but can be expensive).




Rob
 
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Andrew Dale

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I’ll have you know this thing was in my ladys garage with clutter and treasures that have been there since the 70s so from personally experience it was a nightmare to find hah here’s a photo of the brass plate please could you tell us more about it.. no timepiece it’s the casing only or can I should say

B58C06DE-15A2-434F-950E-1518D0A81C4E.jpeg C4888B45-42D6-4515-BABF-EFAC579E2E27.jpeg
 

musicguy

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Case, Carrying, Watch, Navigation U. S. Army A. C.
These were manufactured for the US ARMY A. C. in accordance
to U S Army Spec for use in Airplanes to hold a Master Navigation Watch.
They were used from the WW2 era into the late 1950's(that is my understanding).
They protected the Master Navigation Watch from vibration and shocks on the Airplane.
These watches were a very valuable(and expensive) tool that needed protection.

1C05C11D-28F6-4180-BBAA-686A1823D75B.jpeg 1B497F42-B19F-407E-B26C-A149BCD868E1.jpeg

4AB2ACA5-571C-4B7A-BE72-000EDA6FDDC0.jpeg E1F3EFE1-E6BE-41DE-9427-1A3161D9AE4F.jpeg

IMG_6243 (2).jpg

Some links with more info:
National Watch & Clock Museum
Unusual WW2 USAAF US Airforce Bomber Armoured Holder for Hamilton Model 23 Watch
Watch, Pocket - 2000.8


Rob
 
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grtnev

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I’ll have you know this thing was in my ladys garage with clutter and treasures that have been there since the 70s so from personally experience it was a nightmare to find hah here’s a photo of the brass plate please could you tell us more about it.. no timepiece it’s the casing only or can I should say

View attachment 559337 View attachment 559338
The AN 5838-1 designation on the nameplate of your case probably indicates post WW2. Hamilton made the 4992B through much of the 1960’s. The “AN” refers to Army Navy joint resourcing which was a post WW2 occurrence.

The two I have were made by the George H. Adamson Co. and are marked U.S. Army Air Corp which dates them prior to 1947 when the U. S. Army Air Corps became the U.S.Air Force.

These cases were used to protect the master navigation watch during flight from shock, vibration, & stray magnetic fields.

Attached pics are the two I have. One on the left holds an Elgin A-13, one on the right a Hamilton 4992B.

Richard

4B086B2B-2663-4C1E-A822-FE4D9AF68C41.jpeg E34DA578-9E55-41AC-A318-DBF169870202.jpeg
 
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Andrew Dale

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You guys are very knowledgeable I appreciate the kind words I guess I’m curious now as to what I could be looking at value wise for something like this because we have no time no pun intended and I don’t think me and her are in the right place to be investing in watches right now Also the remake recommend cleaning it or keeping it in its original state that was found in
 

musicguy

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I guess I’m curious now as to what I could be looking at value wise for something like this
We do not talk about value in this particular section but if you go here:
(Even though it's not a watch I would post it here).
What is this WATCH worth?
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