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I recently found this watch in with some other stuff. I am not a watch collector but i do collect anything old and vintage. So i started researching the hamilton. My first question is about the ferguson dial, Is that standard with this watch or something that was added later? My next one is is this a real hamilton? The reason i ask is because every watch ive seen had the model number stamped to the right of the "21 jewels" Stamp. This one does not. The serial number is 369227, am i correct that is a 1904 watch? It doesnt seem that old to me. Any help from yall is greatly appreciated. I always enjoy learning from collectors of specific items. image1.JPG image2.JPG
 

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I owned one similar to yours. There is also the lack of the "Double Roller" markings. These were a very early model with single rollers. From what I understand, many of these ended up getting converted to a double roller at the factory and remarked as "Double Roller". There is not a very large population of these movements around. So yes it is real and correct to be lacking the markings.

That all said, dial, hands, and case are wrong I believe. The early ones were fitted in a very traditional looking case. Dials were double sunk with the Hamilton name in script. I believe that it would have been the full "Hamilton Watch Co." signature. The hands are mismatched and the hour hand is the one that would be more correct than the min hand.
 

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Well, I wouldn't say the dial is "wrong". It's says it's a Ferguson Dial patented for Hamilton watches. If you do a search for Ferguson Dial, it looks like they made dials for many different companies. On the other hand, like earlier said, the hands don't match. The hour hand looks right.
 

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Hamilton added more and more markings to watches the later they were made. Your watch is marked 100% correctly for the year it was made.

At the time, the 992 was priced and market positioned much lower than the 990. The early 992s-as yours-had a full brass train, composition jewel settings, and a single roller escapement. The 990, by contrast, had a gold train, gold settings, and a double roller from the start. As the 990 was phased out and the 992 grew in popularity, it gained a double roller, gold settings, and a gold center wheel.

The early single roller 992s-such as yours-are IMO and under-appreciated and not overly common watch. I'd enjoy it for what it is.

As said, the Ferguson is likely later than the movement, and the case definitely is. I'd expect the original dial to be double sunk and say "Hamilton Watch Company" or possibly just "Hamilton" in script(I'm not up enough to know when the change occured, but I think it was closer to 1910). The Ferguson is likely real(as in it's an original Ferguson, not a repro) but the condition is a real detriment and it doesn't add to the watch as is. I'd be inclined to put a correct dial on it. The spade hour hand is likely original, but the minute hand is likely a replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Y’all are on it. I never even noticed the different hands. I didn’t mention the crystal is missing and I know the dial is chipped. So it’s in need of a good bit of repair but the bright side is that it does work. I wanted to replace the crystal and hang on to it but considering it needs the hands changed, dial, and crystal I may just Give it back to the owner (I’m buying a collection of antiques from an estate, and the watch was in a box of stuff I’ve been sorting through). I prefer stuff all original so it doesn’t interest me as much as I thought at first. Thanks for everyone’s help and anymore info is still welcome.
 

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You can find a correct case. The dial is a 3 foot I think. The hands...I know a guy that can can supply a correct set, blued the old way and right. You could look at it as a restoration project. Case....$85-100. Dial $25-50. Hands $35-45. A restored watch....priceless. Well, maybe not priceless but at least a honorable effort.

Sent from my SM-G920R4 using Tapatalk
 

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As Ben said, the movement on your early 992 is correctly marked for the time period it was produced. I also agree with ben that these early 992's are somewhat under appreciated.

In regards to the dial, it is an original Ferguson dial. These dials were usually added by the jeweler and are fairly desirable in good condition. Unfortunately, your dial has some damage which significantly reduces its value. Being an early 992, your watch would require a double sunk, 4-foot dial marked Hamilton Watch Co. these dials are a bit harder to find in good condition and usually demand a premium over the later 3-foot variety (I would estimate a cost of $100-$125 for a damage free example).

As others have said, the case is much later than what would have been originally available when the watch was first sold.
 

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seth50...Hello. My opinion here: if the watch is available at much less than, say, $75, buy it. It'll need another dial, and matching hands. The case is good as it is.

I know there's currently a fascination with "Original"--and that's OK--but these old American watches were bought and used as tools, and not all that many of them show up unaltered or repaired or a bit different than the day they left the factory.

I reckon Ben has it 100%...enjoy it for what it is. And: I have worked on / owned several 992's...they are a Fine watch. Michael.
 

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The 2 Hamilton pocketwatches I carried during my tenure as an engineer were the 992b and the 950b
The 992b had the Montgomery dial (if any of you remember those) Its been a spell since I owned both
and can't recall the description of the 950b.

Bought the 992b in 1958 the 950b in 1060. Kept then til Dec 2016 when I sold them (tidy profit too)
But there's one sale I wish I had back!!!

Also owned a 1913 Size 18 "Biscuit" pocketwatch. Thing was so fragile I gave it to a Supv on the UP
RR.

You can take the boy away from the pocketwatch but you cant take the love of a pocketwatch from
the boy.

X Traindriver Art
 

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I will defer to Rhett(rrstd) on all things Hamilton.

I haven't kept up with dial prices lately, but the prices he lists for a 4-foot "Hamilton Watch Company" dial sounds right to me although if you are tolerant of one or two hairlines you can probably get that to the $50-75 range.

As a piece to resell, it would have to be awfully cheap for me to buy it(and $75 would be too much) given what it would cost to put right.
 

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Just trying to clarify what more knowledgeable PW people are saying. I have been looking to acquire a 992. The older 992's while not being as well made as later ones would still be collectible since not as many available? Would it be more preferable to find an older model in nice condition than a later model?
 

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Go with what you like.

There are pluses and minuses to early vs. late. I like the more elaborate demasceen pattern vs. the later striped ones. With that said, many folks like the look of the later factory cases and also prefer the "bolder" dials typical of the later watches.

I'm mostly out of the Hamilton game with the exception of PLs, but given the choice between an early and late 992 I say neither...get a 990 :)
 

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You have multiple time frames of "Older" 992's. The first being the single roller unmarked ones. Then the double roller marked with the "Fancy damaskeening" on etplates. Then the straight line dmaskeening with full markings. Then the 992E but these were not marked 992E but rather 992 with Elenvar under the balance. Then you get to the 992B and then the later 992B with 6 adj markings.

Technologically the last 992B is the best. Beauty wise....the earlier ones are better. Functionality...all met the RR requirements for timing.
 

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Technologically the last 992B is the best. Beauty wise....the earlier ones are better. Functionality...all met the RR requirements for timing.
Even at that, there is a difference in finish quality between 992Bs. All are excellent timekeepers-likely among the best mechanical watches ever made. Still, as the 1950s wore on, Hamilton looked for ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality where it mattered.

The earliest ones have a gold center wheel, some gold settings, an enamel dial, and are damasceened. As time moved on, they lost the gold accents and it the finish was changed to millisceening. The latter, to my eye, has less "depth" than damasceen even though the basic pattern is the same.

The biggest visual change, though, is the switch from enamel to melamine for the dials. Good condition melamine dials look okay, but time has shown the outer layer to be easily damaged. Some will have "splits" in the white, while really bad ones can have an overall crazed look or just be nearly illegible.

With all of that said, if you really want to dig into collecting there are some interesting ones to be had late in production. 992Bs were intended to have serial numbers starting with "C", and the first one was C001(its whereabouts are known). Late in production(think later 1960s), left over pillar plates from the 4992B(WWII era 24H sweep second watch) and 950Bs were used to "clean up" inventory. These could readily be finished as 992Bs, so watches with 4C(4992B) and S(950) serial numbers exist.
 
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Even at that, there is a difference in finish quality between 992Bs. All are excellent timekeepers-likely among the best mechanical watches ever made. Still, as the 1950s wore on, Hamilton looked for ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality where it mattered.

The earliest ones have a gold center wheel, some gold settings, an enamel dial, and are damasceened. As time moved on, they lost the gold accents and it the finish was changed to millisceening. The latter, to my eye, has less "depth" than damasceen even though the basic pattern is the same.

The biggest visual change, though, is the switch from enamel to melamine for the dials. Good condition melamine dials look okay, but time has shown the outer layer to be easily damaged. Some will have "splits" in the white, while really bad ones can have an overall crazed look or just be nearly illegible.

With all of that said, if you really want to dig into collecting there are some interesting ones to be had late in production. 992Bs were intended to have serial numbers starting with "C", and the first one was C001(its whereabouts are known). Late in production(think later 1960s), left over pillar plates from the 4992B(WWII era 24H sweep second watch) and 950Bs were used to "clean up" inventory. These could readily be finished as 992Bs, so watches with 4C(4992B) and S(950) serial numbers exist.
I always figured the ones with the most advancement in technical build but maintained the better quality design were the 992B models in the 1940's. Enamel dial as you said, gold jewel settings, gold center wheel, Elenvar hairspring, general fit and finish with the damaskeening. The typical BOC case too.

I have seen some of those melamine dials so cracked up and the pieces shrinking causing the cracks to be so ugly. I lucked out on a 950B I had with that kind of dial that it still looked good....I miss that watch. Speaking of a C serial 992B....I saw one on Etsy that was not running. The guy wanted $300 for it and claimed that in running condition it was worth $1300. Reality is different on his planet.

Now that I think about it....I only have 1 Hamilton pocket watch left in the collection. That 941 Extra 2 tone....that one is going to be with me for decades.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I appreciate all the help. After reading all the posts im thinking about restoring it now. Maybe just the dial and crystal for now. I am still in awe of all the knowledge here, and i appreciate everyone sharing it.
 

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I appreciate all the help. After reading all the posts im thinking about restoring it now. Maybe just the dial and crystal for now. I am still in awe of all the knowledge here, and i appreciate everyone sharing it.
I would agree - I have been reading lot of forum posts, but as I have just joined 5 minutes ago, this is my first post! The level of knowledge and ease of sharing is much appreciated and will help newbies like me get starting in a great hobby of collecting pocket watches (in my case). I have narrowed down a few options that I like and is at a price point I am willing to spend for my first one. I looking at a Hamilton 992, 992E and two 992B watches - one will be that "first" one that I imagine I will always remember, but as I know this won't be the last, I am trying to learn what I can and get one in my hand to begin the search for the next one. Interestingly enough one was sold out from under me, while I was contemplating (i.e. reading a lot more so I could learn), but rather than rushing to find the next one, I am taking my time to find one that I like! Thanks again for being here!
 
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