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Hamilton Model 21 serial number N379. Considered "early"?

MrRoundel

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Dec 28, 2010
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I own the above-noted chronometer. Unfortunately, the staff pivot broke and it is obviously inoperative. I may end up getting it serviced professionally, as I messed up a staff last year trying it with basic watch tools, and I'm trying to figure out if there's anything special about it, thereby enhancing the value. This would help my bullet-biting when it comes to shelling out a lot of money for a service and repair. Any help is appreciated. Cheers.
 

DeweyC

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If it has the original key lock box I would say you are good to go. The initial order was for around 400 which came in that box. then it comes down to is it configured as it was when it left the factory (steel detent, one piece roller, balance wheel hub clamp, etc). These are the other things someone could be looking at.
 

MrRoundel

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Thanks, Dewey. I bought it w/o a box, just the shipping container. Later I bought what I believe is a Russian inner and outer case. The roller is a two-piece. I don't know of the types of hub-clamps there were, but it looks like the one shown in my parts blow-up. So here I sit, on the fence-post of uncertainty, at least as far as whether a repair is practical at this point. You did work on this one quite a few years ago, and it did great whenever I ran it, until it didn't. They are a bit temperamental it seems. Either that or someone got to it when I wasn't looking. Thanks again for answering my "early" question. Cheers.
 

DeweyC

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Because they were "copied" from the Nardin, the Nardin box is the closest (exact actually) to what Hamilton used for the first 400 boxes. Including the subspecies of the mahogany. But, and many are unaware, the box maker stamped individual numbers for each lot under the hinges so the box sections would not get mixed up in production. I know Gary Sellick stamps his with "Sellick".

These do require service every five years; USN and other Navies required 3 hears. The lubes dry out. I have seen them seize at the center wheel or fusee after 8 years or so. And once the oil dries the escapement pivots start to wear and cause mislocking or even get worn right through resulting in catastrophic failure (whizzing seconds hand and minute hand).

So, it all depends on what you get out of it. My rule for me is that once I stop touching something at least once a month it might be time to move it to someone else. If you like it and do not run it, no harm no foul. If you want to run it, then.....
 

MrRoundel

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No reason for me to run it, other than to consider it running. Thanks for the information, Dewey. Cheers.