Much like the American Waltham Watch Company before it, the Hamilton Watch Company evolved over a period of years. In 1874, the Adams & Perry Watch Manufacturing Company was formed, and the first watch was produced in 1876. By 1877 the company had turned into the Lancaster Watch Company. In 1886 the company was bought out by a gentleman named Abram Bitner who renamed it the "Keystone Standard Watch Company." The business was then sold to the Hamilton Watch Company in 1891, and Hamilton officially sold its first watch in 1893.
Hamilton produced many fine pocket watches of all sizes and grades, and some of their models were considered the main "workhorses" of the railroad. In 1941 they won the contract from the U.S. government to produce marine chronometers, and these are highly prized today as some of the finest timepieces ever made. Hamilton eventually became part of a Swiss watch conglomerate, and the last American-made Hamilton was produced in about 1969.
-- from The New Collector's Guide to Pocket Watches, © 2000 Barry S. Goldberg
If anybody has some additional information or questions about these watches, please send me an e-mail and let me know!
|18 Size Hamilton Ball Model #999 with 17 jewels, made by the Hamilton Watch Company specifically for the Ball Watch Company. Stem wind and lever set. Nickel swing-out railroad case. Ca. 1901.|
|18 size, 23 jewel Hamilton "946" railroad grade and railroad approved pocket watch. Stem wind and lever set, adjusted to five positions. Nicely engraved triple-hinged gold-filled case. Ca. 1906.|
|Hamilton "992" railroad grade and approved pocket watch in a factory made Hamilton display case. Size 16, 21 jewels, adjusted to temperature & 5 positions, gold center wheel. Stem wind and lever set. Gorgeous Montgomery dial! Ca. 1911.|
|16 size, 23 jewel, Hamilton "950" prestige pocket watch. Stem wind and pendant set, adjusted to five positions. Gold screw-down jewel settings and a solid gold train. Housed in an especially fine gold-filled case. Ca. 1912.|
|Hamilton "992" railroad grade and approved pocket watch in a "bar-over-crown" railroad style gold filled case. Size 16, 21 jewels, adjusted to temperature & 5 positions, gold center wheel. Stem wind and lever set. Ca. 1929.|
|This is a Hamilton Model #21 Marine Chronometer. These were used by the U.S. Navy as ships timepieces and were basically the most accurate timepieces ever designed. In good running condition, these can keep time to within a few seconds per week! The Model #21 has 14 jewels, an oversized fusee movement and an up-down wind indicator. The serial number on this one is 6019 and it dates to about 1945.|
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