Help Identify This Watch

AmateurFixer

Registered User
Jun 16, 2021
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Hello,

I bought a watch lot a couple of months ago and found this watch, at first I thought it was a quartz watch but turns out it's a mechanical self wind. I did some research into this watch and found out it's a Hamilton Vantage 1970s Unisex watch, and I find this a bit to good to be true. The case back got the 'Vantage BILL BLASS' stamped to it and the watch got a 17 Jewel ST20A movement. If possible can someone please provide some more info to this watch?? It will be much appreciated

Thanks in advance

20210616_202434.jpg 20210616_202514.jpg 20210616_202641.jpg
 

John Arrowood

NAWCC Member
NAWCC Gold Member
Dec 14, 2001
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STC (Standard Time Corporation) was a venture during the time Hamilton and Buren were in business together. It's possible that the movements were assembled in the Virgin Islands. I have a watch in a square case that resembles your case. The case has a base metal bezel (gold tone) and a stainless back. The dial is marked Buren and original box says Buren, A Product of the Hamilton Watch Company. The original guarantee certificate no. 1710 and owners certificate is No.506526 are in the box. You might do an internet search for Standard Time Corporation and also search the Message Board for other posts. The guarantee has Hamilton in Lancaster, PA as the place to send the watch for repair and the address includes a ZIP code so the watch was made after ZIP codes were established.
 

roughbarked

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Dec 2, 2016
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Western NSW or just this side of the black stump.
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The Standard Time Corporation, located in the U.S. Virgin Islands, was owned by the Hamilton Watch Company. Standard Time made movements for Hamilton's Vantage line of watches in the 1960s. These movements were shipped to Pennsylvania where the Vantage watches were then assembled.

Quite a convoluted thing. It appears that Hamilton worked with Ricoh, Timex took over Durowe, Buren were also involved. Vantage sounds like a tax haven thing. Too many connections for my tiny mind. Very few if any of these made it into Australia.

All that aside the original design and parts for the OP's watch were from Seiko. Where they were assembled could be anyone's guess. https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/buren-standard-time.125339/

Quoted from elsewhere:
Ricoh are a well-known Japanese company making a vast range of consumer goods. They also made mechanical watches in the 1960/70s that often bear some similarity to Seiko and Citizen automatics of the period. Less-known is Ricoh's short-lived joint venture in the 1960s with the Hamilton Watch Co. to produce versions of Hamilton's pioneering Electric balance wheel watches mainly for Japanese domestic sale. The Electrics were the first production battery-operated watches in the world.

Production began in 1962 using components made both in the US by Hamilton and in Japan by Ricoh where the watches were assembled. The watches had dials marked "Hamilton-Ricoh". Although many watches were produced they could not compete successfully with Seiko. Production ceased in 1965 and remaining movements were case-up in Vantage watches, as in my example below. Vantage was Hamilton's economy line of watches produced to compete with other lower-priced watches that were appearing at the time such as Bulova's Caravelle line and, of course, Timex watches which were flooding the market offering very low-priced alternatives.

Again quoted from elsewhere(probably also a member here);
Vantage was a sub brand owned by the Hamilton watch company. Don Sauers wrote in his comprehensive "Time for America: Hamilton Watch 1892-1992": "Vantage had been created in 1962 in response to two competitive challenges: first, the continuing popularity of Timex-type watches (products described by Hamilton salesmen as 'throwaway watches' in their off the record comments), and second, the introduction by Bulova of the low-priced Caravelle line." He adds:"Both Vantage and Caravelle featured jeweled-lever movements, superior in quality to the pin-lever movements in 'dollar watches' and most Timexes. Vantage retail prices ranged from $11.95 to $29.95, definitely competitive, considering their quality. Prior to the transfer of some production to Pforzheim [West Germany] in 1968, Vantage movements had been made exclusively in the U.S. Virgin Islands, by Hamilton's newly acquired Standard Time Corporation. The watches were then assembled in Hamilton's plant in East Petersburg, Pennsylvania, a facility that had first served as a fuse factory and then as an assembly plant for automotive clocks." Sauers concludes, "After a slow start Vantage proved to be a winner, showing sales vitality into the mid-'70s. At its peak the line was sold through 9,000 retail stores nationwide and, eventually, parts came from Switzerland and Japan as well as Germany and the Virgin Islands" (pp. 196-197).
 
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