Hamilton Model 22 Chronometer Watch - Dial Question

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by grtnev, Feb 11, 2014.

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  1. grtnev

    grtnev Registered User
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    I recently acquired the Hamilton Model 22 Chronometer Watch shown in the pictures. It is ca: 1943.

    I have seen several of these that have discoloration of the dial similar to as mine and as can be seen in the first two pictures. Then again, you'll see these at times with almost NOS looking bright white dials.

    Mine looks like it has been used over the years. The carrying case (outer box) shows honest wear which I like.

    Just curious as to what may have caused the discoloration? If I understand what Ive read from other postings, these dials are metal - which is what it appears to be. Can it be cleaned? Should it be cleaned or left "as is"?

    Thoughts / opinions appreciated.

    Thanks

    Richard
     

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  2. Ron DeGenaro

    Ron DeGenaro Registered User

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    I would leave it alone. It shows the wear it should and is a piece of history.
     
  3. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Richard,
    As the discussion of cleaning metal dials suggest, you will ruin the dial.

    You can leave it as it is or have it refinished as new or buy a used one in good condition.
     
  4. grtnev

    grtnev Registered User
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    Is the discoloration due to sunlight or ....?
     
  5. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Paul,
    Most likely. Pictures are subject to lighting problems and the reflector ring loses it gold color towards the lower part of the dial and it would be hard to judge the dial unless it was pictured without the crystall and bezel on it.

    You can try plain water on a area and see what it does as to lighting the darker area.
     
  6. grtnev

    grtnev Registered User
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    Jim,

    Thanks for the responses - I am going to leave it as is - I like the patina if you will.,

    The serial number is 2F22218. The Hamilton Ledger page is attached.

    This Model 22 was finished on 7 Dec 1945 and sold on.......well that is confusing, at least to me. There are 12 (if I counted correctly) separate entries, 6 are scratched out, 6 are not (with dates varying from 1945 -1947). Not sure which one actually reflects when it was sold or to whom. For each date not scratched out, there are othe alpha/numeric values that follow. J91, J131, J810, J853, J89 individually follow five of the non scratched out dates, and after one date are the numbers 51-37-257. I am assuming these reference some sort of contract number, but I don't understand the multiple date listings.

    Any thoughts on how to properly interpret the Ledger entry?

    Thanks

    Richard
     

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  7. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Richard,
    My best guess is that, like the Hamilton Ledgers for the pocket watches, when the item was returned the original customer ( by then they used numbers 64-2544) were crossed out and the new customer was written in with the new sales date.
    I can't prove it but the company was set in the way they kept records.
     
  8. grtnev

    grtnev Registered User
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  9. burt

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    #9 burt, Feb 13, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014
    Are you sure that your dial is not silvered? I ask for two reasons. It looks from your pictures, to me anyway, like silver which has oxidized to a heavy degree. My second reason is that the "card in the lid" was supplied with "civilian" models as my own Model 22 which has a silver dial. Mine looked a lot like yours. I didn't view it's condition as wear but just dirt! They can be cleaned but you must be very careful. I used a very soft pencil eraser and then a soft "silver polishing cloth". If you decide to wash it with a detergent you may experience some discoloration but the cloth will take that away. Good luck, be careful, and perhaps yours will come out like mine did.

    2012-11-29 09.04.28.jpg
     
  10. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    The placard in your box suggests it was surplus item sold as a jeweler's regulator. A lot of these spent decades in jeweler shop windows where they got a lot of sun. It probably also got fairly warm in that sunlight. These dials were not intended to take such conditions. On a ship the dial would rarely if ever see the light of day.

    While it may not have fought in war yours shows the marks of a long period of service and I suggest you leave it that way.

    I suspect the ones with pristine dials were not put into jeweler's windows or otherwise exposed to high temperatures.

    My guess is the the ledger entry corresponds to a bulk buy by a surplus dealer, or possibly a watch maker supply house.
     
  11. Robert Sweet

    Robert Sweet Registered User

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    The image below might be on some interest!

    Robert
     

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  12. Robert Sweet

    Robert Sweet Registered User

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    ...........additional info.........

    Robert
     

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  13. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Robert,
    Thanks for the great technicial info on the dial.

    One word, CAUTION< silver plating is not silver and all the more reason to be very cafeful if you attempt to clean it.

    It would not not take much effort to remove some plating and ruin it.
     
  14. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

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    You might want to check Larry Crutsinger for a replacement dial. His info can be found at the top of the Watch Repair MB under parts suppliers. If he has a dial, then you might find yourself inclined to try to clean your existing dial. If you succeed, a quick, light spray of clear coat might help prevent tarnish in future. If you don't succeed in cleaning the dial, or if you make it worse, and if Larry has a dial, you have back up. However, if Larry has a dial, and if there is a serial number on the replacement dial, it won't agree with yours. If the replacement dial doesn't have a serial number, that might be less of a problem.
     
  15. burt

    burt Registered User
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    Jim and Doug,

    To clean or not to clean I guess is a personal decision. "That's all I have to say about that". I'm only replying as you fellows brought up some interesting points. I don't know really what Hamilton used to plate their "silver "dials. I can only say in cleaning mine it reacted just like any other silver I've ever cleaned. I would not use any silver chemical cleaner! Mine didn't have a number on the underside of the dial. I didn't clear coat with anything. This I would not do as some clear coat finishes, even those not lacquer based, can ruin the paint on the finished black numbers. I myself didn't experience any problems.Here is a picture I just took today and I cleaned the dial on 10-2-2010. No clear coat of any kind.

    That's my shadow in the picture.
     

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  16. Robert Sweet

    Robert Sweet Registered User

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    #16 Robert Sweet, Feb 16, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 17, 2014
    ........... Shipboard care, etc. for the Model 21 Chronometer.

    Robert
     

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  17. grtnev

    grtnev Registered User
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    Thank you all for your responses. Been very helpful and informative. The dial will remain as is. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    Richard
     

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