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I'm hoping someone can help me with this Hamilton that's been in my family for about 100 years. Model #, year of mfg, that sort of thing. My dad said his great uncle bought it sometime in the early 1900s and it was given to him (my dad) by his great uncles daughter in late 50s. I've been doing a lot of searching on ebay and doing picture searches and can't find a watch that looks just like this one. I've been able to find the same style hands, or dial, or case but not all the pieces in one package so I don't know if @ some point in time before my dad got it there may have been a rebuild or overhaul of some sort. In my research I did read about some online databases of Hamilton serial #s and that the serial is on the movement but I'm unsure about how to open the back of the case to find it and don't want to mess anything up.


It also needs a service and I'm trying to find someone who can make it work properly again. The crown sticks and sometimes you can pull it out to wind but then something internal slips and it won't wind anymore. It's also difficult to set the hands to the correct time. My dad, being the cheapster he is, was talking about taking it to a mall jeweler and I told him "No way!" because in my experience most of those guys pretty much just change batteries and swap watch straps and I'm afraid they'll totally mess it up. I'm sure it will cost way more to get fixed than its worth but you can't put a price on family.

Thanks in advance.

FRONT.JPG BACK.JPG
 

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If you're going to get it serviced, the watch repairer can take a picture of the movement. The only way you can get an Idea of it's age is with the serial number on the movement. Hamiltons will most likely have a caliber number as well.

It's hinged, so there should be a place where you can stick your fingernail in there to pop the back open. Look for an indent or protrusion at the 2 or 10 o'clock position. From the pic it looks like something is there
 

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Hamilton's are usually in very good condition, and require just a Service and, perhaps, a mainspring...easy work for anyone who knows pocketwatches. Did you consider opening the case& making an image of the movement?...seeing what's inside always helps!

This Hamilton looks entirely original and correct...at one time, the usual way to buy a pocketwatch, was for the customer to specify the case & movement--and sometimes the dial...some folks wanted a high-grade movement, and selected a lower-grade case to afford it...others might prefer a gold case, and opt for a lower-grade movement. Many Hamilton's were supplied from the factory as complete watches, so it's not at all unusual to encounter one with a Hamilton-signed case...the larger sizes "18 size", "16 size" were usually gold-filled, while a number of "12 Size" cases were solid gold.

Looks like a good old watch. Enjoy!
 

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Definitely a great watch! Based on the dial font, I have a good guess about what's in there.

You could open the case yourself by gently inserting a thin pocketknife blade beneath the small lip. The back is hinged, and it will pop open with slight pressure. Enter the serial number at Pocket Watch Database and you'll learn a lot about the model, date, and parts.

You are right to be skeptical of the "mall guys." They'll simply outsource the job and mark it up for you. There are a lot of indie watchmakers who will do righteous work on high-grade pocket watches.
 

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Anyone want to make a prediction?

I'm calling 928 or 936.
 
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I'll go with 924 or 936. And: isn't it a bit telling for the bow to be entirely down to brass, and no brassing elsewhere ( the first photo seems to show only reflection on the pendant )...14K?!

Still: I expect YGF!
 

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There's a spot of brass below the crown on the pendant.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
I have an update! Sorry it wasn't sooner but I usually only visit my folks on weekends - even though they live 2 blocks from me - so I didn't have anything to report til now. Thanks to the tips I knew where to look to open the back and found it's a 974 movement in a Wadsworth Pilot case. It went to finishing July 2, 1908. What threw me off a little bit when I was looking @ photos was that the dial side of the case has the little lever notch for the lever set thingie but it's not a lever set movement. Here are some more pics:

974 details.jpg
20170312_162937.jpg
20170312_163058.jpg
20170312_163144.jpg
And here's a short video of it running. Ignore the ball game and my mom talking in background...
 

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Most cases of this period were made to accept both stem set and lever set movement. Thus, it's extremely common to find a pendant set watch in a case where there is a lever cut out, or to find a lever set watch in a case where the stem will "click" in and out.
 
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