Will the real Hamilton "Electric Railway Special" stand up?

Discussion in 'American Pocket Watches' started by CentreKeystone, May 15, 2017.

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  1. CentreKeystone

    CentreKeystone Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 19, 2014
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    I recently obtained a second Hamilton 978 "Electric Railway Special." It is serial #1660685 (Mar 14, 1922) and the other is Serial 1669962 (June 21, 1923). That would be appropriate since the 978 was for electric railway service. The interesting thing is that I have been keeping track of other watches for sale with the "Electric Railway Special" dial. So far I have seen it on the following Hamilton models:
    956
    972
    974
    974 special
    978
    992 (2!)
     
  2. 179

    179 Registered User
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    Sep 16, 2008
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    I would suggest that the 956,972,and 992 models are the result of dial switching to increase perceived value.
     
  3. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Sep 21, 2002
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  4. CentreKeystone

    CentreKeystone Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 19, 2014
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    In an article on Lancaster's Experience with Time-Inspection System R. B. Hull General Manager of Conestoga Traction Company (Lancaster, PA) states that new watches should be Hamilton grade Nos. 948 and 978. "All new watches into the service must be equipped with safety numerical dials. This latter feature is one which has been very successfully used by the men on steam railways, for it tells at a glance the minutes after the hour." Attached was a notice dated May 1914 to employees to this effect.

    In the excellent article on Hamilton electric railway watches (July/Aug 2014 NAWCC) the authors state that the Hamilton "Electric Special Dial" was introduced April 21, 1922 and replaced by the "Electric Railway Special" June 20, 1922. Both were available with Montgomery Dials.

    Was the General Manager describing the Montgomery Dial or something else as the dates don't match?
     
  5. 179

    179 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Sep 16, 2008
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    Yes the Montgomery dial, the introduction predates 1914.
     
  6. CentreKeystone

    CentreKeystone Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Feb 19, 2014
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    There is currently advertised for sale on E-Y a 978 with a Montgomery dial with only "Hamilton" on the face which would fit the description of that qualified for Conestoga Traction.
     
  7. cjbrem

    cjbrem New Member

    Jul 15, 2008
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    Hello all,

    I've owned this watch since 2007, have read a few posts on these and have just came across this thread so I'll join in. Serial # 2419771 . I always believed the dial to be authentic as the watch seems to be in original condition. It does fit the time line. LWJMk3vtT9WY29tza3Fm3g.jpg s9AwQjh3QmmeOebV%CV+Vg.jpg zatviARlSkip3asuNyejkA.jpg Any thoughts?
     
    musicguy and viclip like this.

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