Just got a Hamilton 914 in a nice, interesting case.

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Doc Mark, Sep 10, 2012.

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  1. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Registered User

    Mar 24, 2004
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    #1 Doc Mark, Sep 10, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
    Greetings, All,

    Whilst working up in Alaska these past two weeks, I chanced upon a nice old Hamilton 914, which looked very interesting to me. After some consideration on my part, and some price negotiations, I bought this watch and even though I may have paid a hair too much (my own fault), I like it, and am glad I purchased it.

    This watch is in a swing-out case that I've never seen before, in that one of it's features is being two-tone, or of two different metals. I think the gold part of the case is GF, but the inner part of the back case is either sterling silver, or stainless steel. Since the watch dates to 1922, I'm thinking it's sterling. From what I've learned, these watches were sort of an upgraded 910, and were made to be used as "presentation" watches for special occasions. Mine is engraved ""FWB" on the outside rear of the case, and the inscription on the inside of the case reads, "Presented to F.W. Boshart, by WEST TECH FACULTY, 6-8-22". The case serial number is 150787. The movement, which is in fairly nice condition, but not perfect, is 1,901,338. The dial appears to be of the double-sunk type, and the hands and numerals look art-deco (to me) in form. Someone has replaced the original crystal with a plastic one, which is faded and yellowed.

    But, the watch runs with a nice strong beat, and keeps fairly good time, too. Of the 17, it's visible jewels are set in gold and screwed into place. The case, like the dial and movement, is not perfect, but in very nice condition. I'm hoping one of you very knowledgeable Gentlemen can tell me a little more about this watch, and it's interesting. I'll take and post some photos in just a bit. Thanks, very much, for any information and suggestions you can share, and I'll post the photos as soon as they load. Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    P.S. OK, here are the photos. Not as nice as I'd like to take, but for quick snapshots, they do show the watch: the good, the bad, and the ugly!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Registered User

    Mar 24, 2004
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    Hello, Again,

    Just wanted to say that, it appears to me that someone tried to pry the movement out of this case at sometime in it's past. I note the dents in one side of the case, which do not correspond to dents on the opposite side, almost as if someone used a small implement as a tiny pry bar. Bummer, but that's part of the history of this particular watch, so I guess that's just the way it goes. Again, all comments and information will be gratefully appreciated. Thanks, again, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  3. crsides

    crsides Registered User

    Mar 5, 2002
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    I can't add much to what you already have stated, except the yellow crystal is a sign of the plastic deteriorating. It gives off a gas when doing so, and will rust any steel parts in the watch. Usually the hands are attacked first. So get that crystal replaced as soon as is practical.

    I don't think I have seen a two tone 12s hamilton case before. The back is marked Hamilton Quality Permanent which suggests that the back and bezel are white gold filled.

    Charlie
     
  4. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Registered User

    Mar 24, 2004
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    Good Morning, Charlie,

    Many thanks for the additional information, and your caution about replacing the plastic crystal. I will be doing that as soon as I can. So far, there is no rust on the hands, which is a good thing, and I keep my watches in a nice, dry safe, which should help a bit, too. But, I'll be taking this little guy down to our watchmaker/repairman, and let him give it a good going over and lubrication, as well as replace the crystal with a proper one of glass. Due to the odd size of this case, I hope he can find a crystal that fits correctly, but I do trust him to do it properly and know he will do just that. Thanks, again, for the information, Charlie. I'll enjoy carrying and using this little Hamilton, just as I do all of my pocket watches! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  5. skippp66

    skippp66 Registered User
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    Aug 29, 2010
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    Kudos to cr for excellent advice. Beware the yellow!!!! In this case, it may just be the photo lighting, but if it is yellow to the eyeball, get that plastic crystal off of the watch pronto or you will see corrosion develop. It is just a matter of when, not if.
    Skip, that Hamilton Nut
     
  6. Squite

    Squite Registered User

    Jun 26, 2012
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    Doc,

    Did you happen to get that watch in Anchorage? I got a couple of nice watches while living there from an antique shop near the Captain Cook Hotel on the west side of town that specialized in Native Alaskan Tribal Art. They did have nice jewelry and watches too, but since it wasn't their specialty, they gave me a pretty good deal on them. Just wondering...
     
  7. richiec

    richiec Registered User
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    Feb 24, 2007
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    The E. W. Boshart of your watch was the principal of West Technical High School in Cleveland, Ohio in 1917, maybe he retired or had some kind of anniversary in 1922.
     
  8. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Registered User

    Mar 24, 2004
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    Evening, Squite,

    No, but I did see some fine watches up there. I bought this one at a small antique store in Juneau, and as I say, probably paid a bit too much for it. I can only blame myself, as I really liked the kid who owned the store, and had a fine time talking to him about watches, and other interesting things. He had it priced way higher than I paid, but asked me to make him an offer, and to tell you the truth, I appreciated that he told me he really didn't know anything about this watch, and after looking at it, I offered what I thought was a fair price, or maybe a tad higher than fair. Turns out it's not worth the price I paid, in the Blue Book anyway, but I still liked supporting a kid who was getting ready to close his little shop for the Winter. So, my own fault, if I paid way too much.... I'd move to Alaska in a heartbeat, IF we could run our business from up there without breaking the bank for coming and going. Thanks for your reply, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  9. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Registered User

    Mar 24, 2004
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    Howdy, Richiec,

    Many thanks for that bit of info! Using what you shared I now know even more about Mr. Boshart. Seems he was a Principal in NY before his time in Cleveland, and also that he did, indeed, retire from West Tech HS in 1921, or thereabouts. The West Tech HS 1922 annual is dedicated to Principal Boshart. Looks like he began to substitute teach after that, at least for a little while, in another school. I'll keep digging, as I really want to know more about this man, especially after having seen a photo of him in that 1922 annual!! Thanks, VERY much, for that lead, Sir! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     

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