Picked up a Hamilton 978

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by Paul Raposo, Apr 11, 2017.

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  1. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    Promised myself I would not buy anymore watches for a while but then this one popped up and I couldn't resist :$

    All original save the plastic crystal which has yellowed and needs to be replaced. Came with the original chain which has some wear but polished up well enough.

    The triple hinged Faheys case held up well over the decades with no wear and has a family engraving.

    I've wanted a nice 16 size watch but since the railroad grade watches have become so expensive this one is a nice alternative.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    nice!


    Rob
     
  3. Robert Sweet

    Robert Sweet Registered User

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    #3 Robert Sweet, Apr 11, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
    Paul,

    Thanks for sharing your really nice 978 and beautiful case. The 978 was "Made up, particularly to meet the demand for a watch to be used by Street Railway men, - it qualified for Street Railway Inspection Service wherever such service was maintained" per the Halligan movement records. It may have also qualified (in open-face case) on some Railroads that would accept a 17J, 3-Position movement during its production lifetime, i.e. 1912-24. The 978 was always sold as a movement only.

    Your particular movement was made in 1912. The first ship-out was made on October 28, 1912 of 154 pieces. There were 24,991, 978's produced from 1912-24. It was only made as a open-face movement. At serial number, 891601, the dial was changed from 4-feet to 3-feet. The change from a 2-screw winding hub to one-screw was implemented in 1913 at serial number, 1076701. In 1924, the 978 was used to replace orders for the 974, lever-set at the same price.

    The 978 had a retail price of $12.50 in 1912 and $18.50 in 1922.

    Robert
     
  4. Mark UK

    Mark UK Registered User

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    Nice one Paul! Added bonus is that those Fahys permanent cases were advertised as having a solid gold bow and I believe that the durability of the gold case is equivalent to a 25-30 year case :)
     
  5. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    Thanks Rob :thumb:

    I didn't know this about the bow Mark, thank you for that. And I'm glad the seller didn't know :whistle:

    Massive amount of great info Robert, thank you :coolsign:

    I understand they were accepted for use on trolleys and electric trains but I didn't know they may have been accepted in railway service.

    I asked the seller about the history of the watch and all he could tell me was it handed down to him from a relative, but not he original owner.
     
  6. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    I have some frustrating news about this watch.

    I ordered a new crystal and glued it in and as I was doing this I decided to remove the hands and dial to check for corrosion. The hands had corrosion because of the old plastic crystal, but I'm happy to report there is none on the cannon pinion, or anywhere else.

    As I was putting the hands back on I mishandled the minute hand with my tweezers and dropped it. When I finally found it the tip was bent. As I started to straighten it, it just came off, I didn't even hear a snap. I guess the minute hand was more corroded than I thought.

    So now I need a minute hand for this watch. I'd prefer the moon style and if possible a pair, but just the minute hand would be good.

    I spent time online looking but can't find anything other than an ebay listing that closed on the 13th of this month.

    If anyone has a hand or can direct me to an online place to buy one please let me know.
     
  7. s. smith

    s. smith Registered User

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    Paul another nice Hamilton you can buy cheap is the grade 972 adj. 5 postions and railroad grade made in both lever and pendant set.
     
  8. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    Thanks s. smith :thumb: Hamiltons don't come up for sale around here very often so I keep an eye out. Saw a 940 in an antique mall and the seller was asking $500 CAD plus tax.

    Also, hamiltonrrwatch, thanks for your PM.
     
  9. musicguy

    musicguy Registered User
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    Sorry to read about your woes, good luck finding a hand

    Rob
     
  10. John Cote

    John Cote Registered User
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    There is so much to love about this watch Paul. The case is a gem. The dial is a thing of beauty. I feel your despair because your hand story is one I share with you...and I am sure a few others.

    Let's all look for a moon hand for Paul. This watch is worth fixing.
     
  11. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    Thank you Rob and John, appreciate everyone who has reached out with ideas and suggestions :thumb:

    I was pointed to an ebay listing by fellow member hamiltonrrwatch and contacted the seller, our own MartyB and have purchased a set of moon hands.

    I'll post a pic when they arrive and I've installed them.
     
  12. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    The hands I ordered from Marty101 arrived today and they really are nice quality and an excellent fit. As promised a pic showing them installed as well as the new crystal. The watch looked beautiful before and with the new hands and crystal it looks even better.

    I want to say thank you to Jim Haney, hamiltonrrwatch and Marty101 for all the help they gave me with this. Very much appreciated guys and a big thanks to everyone here too :thumb:

    [​IMG]
     
  13. hamiltonrrwatch

    hamiltonrrwatch Registered User

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    You're welcome! That is a beautiful watch Paul; and I am envious :clap:
     
  14. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    Thanks much hamiltonrrwatch :thumb:
     
  15. John Cote

    John Cote Registered User
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    What a pretty face. Congrats...glad you were able to put it all together.
     
  16. Paul Raposo

    Paul Raposo Registered User
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    Thanks John :thumb: I saw it listed on Kijiji about 30 minutes away and after looking at the three small pictures decided to check it out. It was definitely worth the drive.
     
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