Hampden Railroad Watches

Tom McIntyre

Technical Admin
Staff member
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Ruby Member
Sponsor
Golden Circle
Aug 24, 2000
85,183
2,914
113
86
Boston
awco.org
Country
Region
We seem to be having a Hampden fans convention this month.

I mentioned I was fond of the New York Watch Co in another thread but I think they also made some very good railroad watches.

I think the two best grades are the 104 and 105 but since the 104 is a 23 jewel watch I picked up a OF and HC version of it.

Here is the open face with an oversized boss on the jeweled barrel.
5015E8C4-7F5D-41F3-A978-4D28F0C71D7F.jpeg FEF44D6C-F916-41E1-B0E9-A7D46D84CA79.jpeg D8CACBD9-2BE0-438D-9FA9-DF304B48467B.jpeg FFFB3D6D-B2C9-4E48-9F42-09EAA360DC5C.jpeg 9D53CD72-8854-4556-97C7-6394B5430891.jpeg F4D6C252-F972-46A3-9AAE-E43BDFF2721F.jpeg

Here is the rather earlier hunting case.
6BE28363-B351-46A4-AC4F-B1EC955FF2E3.jpeg 749E5684-6325-4581-8207-1F1FD6AF71E5.jpeg 730CF81F-CFFE-4D44-8355-7F1BC659381D.jpeg 7D998C13-B8E6-4545-9D42-F083AB19DFD7.jpeg A805557C-330F-4368-98E8-6B49F5CD022D.jpeg 5D98B8A6-2E6F-4C2F-B1F6-8AD29871DA8C.jpeg E97E553E-1783-4900-BF9D-9130A48E60C0.jpeg 8D535149-3906-4143-A9C4-A7BD5EA96006.jpeg
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,963
7,420
113
New York State
Country
Here is a watch I don't own anymore(sold it) but it was a beautiful
looking Hampden RR watch.

railway 2.jpg


Rob
 

ben_hutcherson

NAWCC Member
Jul 15, 2009
3,202
426
83
Kentucky
Country
Region
Not much of a Hampden guy, but here are two pieces from my PL collection-the first a Springfield "Railway" where someone unfortunately buffed the plates, and the second a two tone "D Star in Flag."

I didn't appreciate how good of a watch the D Star in Flag was, but Bob Arnold seemed favorably impressed when I showed it to him(missing regulator spring not withstanding).

IMG_0456.jpg

IMG_3681.jpg
 

Rick Hufnagel

Just Rick!
NAWCC Member
Oct 25, 2018
3,097
5,290
113
38
Pittsburgh pa
Country
Region
I also love all the Hampden talk!

First one I showed in another thread..
Grade 107 d star model 1!


The next one is arguably rr grade. Actually I'd love someone to argue it because that would mean you know how it's adjusted ... And I don't. But it's 17 jewels 18s adjusted Menlo Park. It's just a nice watch. It's out for repair and ive been crossing my fingers. 1157167 is the serial. Sorry pics aren't that great it was taken with my old phone.

The grade 35 keywind I showed in the early Hampden thread is supposedly railroad grade too. The databases all say it's adjusted. Once again to what, I haven't a clue. But for 1879-1880 I'm under the impression it would fly.

I also have a 108 d in flag model 2 but it's not marked adjusted so it doesn't fly, so if looking at a d in flag make sure it says adjusted! I wouldn't call it a mistake, I still think it's a great watch.

Have a good night!

IMG_20181129_153411693.jpg IMG_20181016_172044244.jpg IMG_20181016_172031672.jpg
 

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Gold Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,656
2,458
113
Country
Here are some other Hampden watches that were accepted into Railroad Time Service.

For those who may be unaware of the fact, models 4 and 5 grade No, 105 movements are the 'nameless' version of the 21-jewel models 4 and 5 Wm McKinley grade movements. They are identically described and priced (see upper right-hand corner of the 1917 catalog sheet, below).

pg_DH03_Hampden_16S_RR.jpg comparison_15j_vs_17j-jpg.jpg 16S_19J_Rwy_2931618_Mod_4_KLS.jpg 16S_19J_Rwy_3312081_Mod_5_KLS.jpg 16S_21J_No_105_3027705_Mod_4_KLS.jpg 16S_21J_No_105_3394962_Mod_5_KLS.jpg 16S_21J_WMK_HC_1790260_Mod_4_KLS.jpg 16S_21J_WMK_3381541_Mod_5_KLS.jpg
 

vintageguy

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Oct 27, 2013
331
551
93
59
Minnesota
Country
Region
I think this one is really cool - 16S John C. Dueber # 2466147.

I do need to ask about the dial, though. The color of the sunk portion with the signature is lighter in color than the rest of the dial, which indicated to me that the dial may have been repaired. Does anyone know if the dial on this watch should be signed "John C. Dueber"?

Pic 1.JPG Pic 2.JPG Pic 3.jpg
 
Last edited:

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Gold Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,656
2,458
113
Country
I think this one is really cool - 16S John C. Dueber # 2466147.

I do need to ask about the dial, though. The color of the sunk portion with the signature is lighter in color than the rest of the dial, which indicated to me that the dial may have been repaired. Does anyone know if the dial on this watch should be signed "John C. Dueber"? ...
On a number of Hampden watches the enamel of the seconds bits of the dials have aged to a slightly different color than the other dial parts. This may be attributed to the fact that the seconds bits were created and fired separately from the center and/or hour chapter. However, this is only speculation on my part.

Regarding the dial signature. I believe that only the earlier 15 and 17 jewel John C. Dueber and John C. Dueber Special grades were fitted with dials having that signature.
 

Lee Passarella

NAWCC Member
Jul 8, 2015
513
953
93
Country
Region
I'm glad you posted your watch, luvsthetick. The movement is great. And I notice that your dial is similar to the one on my New Railway, though mine is missing your red numerals for the seconds. It's a slightly strange one, with the tiny second-hand area, not to mention the Roman numerals and 24-hour marks below them. I wondered if this kind of dial might be mean the watches were for the Canadian market. Anybody know if this is true?

Also, as I said, mine is a New Railway. Anybody know what the grade would be? Or if it even has a grade? In fact, any additional information about my watch would be helpful. The databases estimate it was made in 1901. When I got it, I didn't even know it was designed for the railroad; I just thought the dial was cool. So I was pretty naïve that point in my collecting career. In fact, I just looked at the movement because of this thread and was surprised to find it was a New Railway. Surprised because I just bought one the other day not even knowing had one in my collection! Just call me the proverbial fool who is easily parted from his green stuff. Or was. I'm sadder and wiser now than I was when I bought my FIRST New Railway.

IMG_0417.JPG IMG_0421.JPG
 

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Gold Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,656
2,458
113
Country
... mine is a New Railway. Anybody know what the grade would be? Or if it even has a grade? ...
New Railway was the grade. It varied at times with the Special Railway grade as to which one was at the top of the line.

1896_A_C_Becken_Cat_Pg_02_Hampden_18S.jpg pg_DH02_Hampden_18S.jpg 1898_JanHampden_JH-SR.jpg
 

MrRoundel

Registered User
Dec 28, 2010
2,102
674
113
Country
Region
I once had an interesting Hampden pass through my hands. It was a Lafayette Special with a mere 15 jewels. I kind of wish I had been smart enough to keep it. I bought a couple of watches from an older lady who lived down the street from me in the early 2000's. Either that or I sold them for her? I just can't remember which. :confused: It had a very nice dial, as well as a cool train engraved case. I somehow doubt there are a lot of these out there.

LaFayette1.jpg Lafayette2.jpg Lafayette3.jpg
 

luvsthetick

Registered User
Mar 31, 2010
1,030
1,873
113
Georgia
Country
Region
I have to agree with Mike's statements in post #20 concerning Hampden's damaskeening.

Here is a Hampden 3-ball. I bought it for its damaskeening and case.
Since it rates a line by itself in the fat book, I thought I would give it a post in this thread.

DSC_0011a.jpg DSC_0008a.jpg
 
Last edited:

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Gold Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,656
2,458
113
Country
... It is an early 16s, 17j, tu-tone Special Railway (SR in flag). ...
This is perhaps a good time to bring up the point that; although Dueber-Hampden may have meant for people to make the connection, they have never referred to the 16-size, Nos, 104 and 105 movements (those having the "SR" of "NR" in flags on the movements) by the "Special Railway" or "New Railway" names in any of the literature (catalogs, advertising, etc.) that has come to light to date.

While I'm at it; although I posted a picture of the 18-size, 21-jewel "Dueber Watch Co." grade movement in my post #9 (above), and although it seems to have the attributes of a Railroad Watch (being lever-set and marked "Adjusted Five Positions" and "Double Roller"), no Dueber-Hampden literature has come to light advertising or referring to it as a railroad watch. Even the 1917 Oskamp-Nolting reproduction of the Dueber-Hampden catalog page in post 15 above has three 18-size movements in the top row (the New Railway, the Special Railway and the John Hancock) below which is written "Above are Railroad Grades". The 18-size, 21-jewel "Dueber Watch Co." grade movement is shown below that in the second row. Thus, the 18-size, 21-jewel "Dueber Watch Co." grade movement may not have been accepted into railroad service on all that many railroads.
 

okiejohn

Registered User
Nov 22, 2013
107
384
63
Country
Region
Here's my favorite Hampden, a 23 jewel "Special Railway" beauty I inherited from my grand uncle, who I was named after. It's the watch that got me started in this maddeningly fulfilling hobby! Includes my grand uncle's original fob/chain with compass. SN 1201272

abd11e461f0660a491c2c9e5a6f84789.JPG 1c48d22712fd4b2481695a597f9d2340.JPG
 
Last edited:

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Gold Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,656
2,458
113
Country
Here's a 16S 17J Wm McKinley grade Hampden.
Stan:

You've put up pictures of some nice railroad watches!

However, by the time that the Wm McKinley grade was introduced (late 1902), and especially when the model 5 showed up years later, railroads were no longer permitting watches only adjusted to temperature (which the 17-jewel Wm McKinley was) to enter service.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mark Kauzlarich

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Gold Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,656
2,458
113
Country
17 jewel John C. Dueber from about 1889.
David
David:

I love the watch, but it probably dates to no earlier than the Fall of 1891.

1891_Oct_Hampden_JCD_Spcl.jpg
 

StanJS

Registered User
Sep 20, 2006
858
571
93
North Andover, MA USA
Country
Region
Kent said:

>> You've put up pictures of some nice railroad watches!

Thanks. That's all the Hampdens I own. I haven't had much money for watch collecting and Hampdens tend to be cheaper than other makers. (Confession <hangs head>: I have been collecting other art in addition to watches. <realizes this admission is blasphemy>)

>> However, by the time that the Wm McKinley grade was introduced (late 1902), and especially when the model 5 showed up years later, railroads were no longer permitting watches only adjusted to temperature (which the 17-jewel Wm McKinley was) to enter service.

I stand corrected. Thanks for the information.
 

artbissell

NAWCC Member
Dec 4, 2009
3,867
515
83
Boulder, CO Foothills
Region
Comment appreciated. Bill Tapp was owner and probably its only servicer. He may have added the demo case, although I saw old advertizing sales of it with movements. artb
 

Greg Frauenhoff

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Aug 25, 2000
5,258
3,617
113
Back to Hampden railroad watches.

The famous 15 jewel Railway, which began with New York and was continued by Hampden, was made almost exclusively with nickel plates. But there were a few of them made in gilt as well. I discovered one example after Hernick & Arnold published their terrific Hampden book so this rare variant didn't make it into their publication. And I don't have a pic of the mvt (that I can find anyway). Based on info in one of J. C. Perry's memo books the gilt Railway was sold for a short period in early 1888 (see below, original in my collection).

img562.jpg
 

Rick Hufnagel

Just Rick!
NAWCC Member
Oct 25, 2018
3,097
5,290
113
38
Pittsburgh pa
Country
Region
There's allot of Canton going on in this thread, just wanted to spread around a little Springfield. Here's a few from the past year while learning about Hampden grades.
The Perry has some scratches, but I learned allot from it. He's also in that "grey area" serial number range that I enjoy. It still needs a good servicing. It is slow train, just like my early model 2 J.C. Perry.

The Woolworth model two runs like a new watch, it's been completely serviced with a new mainspring. It makes it out of the house pretty often. Hard to beat a good 15 jewel adjusted Gilt workhorse.

This railway is just beautiful.. I can't take a picture well enough to truly show it off. I'd love to think it's original to that case, and I haven't proven its not yet. Really pretty Dueber "Anchor and serpent" case. Unusual for me to spend money on a nice g.f. case, but it was worth it.

Ran across this thread and just hoping to stir up some more involvement from all you great collectors. Always a good topic to learn about.

Have a good day!

fb2769617873c1892111b634328bd90e.jpg e0e20780f63346bebb88b03dd447b928.jpg f4ea229fda6ba2d0490913330e0d7352.jpg
 

viclip

NAWCC Member
Jul 20, 2018
939
726
93
Country
Jeepers, I'd completely forgotten that I've got a couple of Hampden railroad grade watches queued up awaiting servicing . Both watches are fully functional but were last serviced probably decades ago, so I don't want to run them pending being overhauled.

Today I'm posting my 16-size Grade 105 with 21 jewels, complete with its yellowed plastic crystal:

Hampden Gr105 Dial.jpg Hampden Gr105 Mvt.jpg

Hampden Gr105 caseInfo.jpg Hampden Gr105 caseBack.jpg

The "Fully Insured" 25-year yellow gold-filled case by The Mutual Watch Case Co. is interesting, can't say I know anything about it.

I can make out the name "J. Stone" on the case back. However the initials below that name are indecipherable to me & I don't know whether they were those of another owner or perhaps signified an organization or some designation or other. Learned &/or best guesses welcomed!

I'll post my other RRG Hampden subsequently.
 

viclip

NAWCC Member
Jul 20, 2018
939
726
93
Country
Here's my 18-size Hampden "John C. Dueber Special" of railroad grade, with an interesting mix of fonts on its dial, & sporting 17 jewels in its full plate movement ~

Hampden Dueber Spec Dial.jpg Hampden Dueber Spec Mvt.jpg

Hampden Dueber Spec caseInfo.jpg Hampden Dueber Spec caseBack.jpg

Judging from the amount of brassing on the case, this watch wasn't acquired for "show and tell" rather, it was actively carried.

Not only is the "Special" designation displayed on the dial, but it's repeated twice more on the movement itself. I'm sure that that designation had some significance albeit unknown to me.
 

Rick Hufnagel

Just Rick!
NAWCC Member
Oct 25, 2018
3,097
5,290
113
38
Pittsburgh pa
Country
Region
I think the difference between the John C Dueber, and the John C Dueber Special is the finish of everything.

I just read another catalog listing on page 39 of the Hampden blue book from M.C. Eppenstein 1890-95.

The Gilt trim, double sunk dial, moon hands, extra engraving and damaskeen, these seem to be the "special" part.

Don't forget the "Hampden back action mainspring". Still haven't figured that one out.. haha.
 
  • Like
Reactions: viclip

viclip

NAWCC Member
Jul 20, 2018
939
726
93
Country
Thanks Rick for this info.

I see that the Special version of the John C. Dueber is said to have an "adjusted compensation balance" & that the movement is "Specially guaranteed to be the best time-keeper in the world for the price, and superior to any other full plate watch made outside the Dueber-Hampden factories."

The non-special version is said to have a compensation balance adjusted to heat and cold.

I suspect that the Special version might have been adjusted to more positions &/or to tighter specs.
 

Lee Dickens

Registered User
Jan 7, 2020
30
17
8
53
Yorkshire
Country
Hi does anyone know the part number for the hampden grade 105 balance staff.ive done some searching but can’t seem to find. There are Afew different part numbers on eBay. Kind regards lee.
 

49stude63

Registered User
Mar 21, 2009
1,291
92
48
Michigan
Country
Region
Two of the nicest Hampdens missing in all the postings is the model 5 New Railway 21j and the model 5 23j Special Railway with the sun-ray dmk effect. Was lucky enough to pick up a 16s 21j model 4 McKinley hunter with the serial number 1,580,003 and also picked up a 16s 21j Ohioan hunter where most Ohioans are OF and the OF tend not to show up all that often either. Some very nice watches posted.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
177,470
Messages
1,555,301
Members
53,580
Latest member
Jakes
Encyclopedia Pages
909
Total wiki contributions
3,053
Last edit
Ptolemy's Course of the Planets displayed by CLockwork by Tom McIntyre