Got sucked into eBay the other day and came away with two 60+ year old watches. Couldn’t help it. Price was right–less than what these retailed for in the 40’s when they were the modern day equivalent of a $500 watch–and these Hamilton timepieces were manufactured in Lancaster, Pa (my wife’s hometown).
Here’s the scoop on Hamilton Watch Co.:
The Hamilton Watch Company was established when the Keystone Standard Watch Company was forced into bankruptcy in 1892 and sold at a sheriff’s sale to a group of Lancaster businessmen whose “objective was to build only watches of the highest quality” … With quality being Hamilton’s primary goal, the company set out to manufacture “America’s Finest Watch,” and indeed they did. The first watch made under the Hamilton name was an 18-size 17-jewel pocket watch in 1893. Within the next six years, Hamilton had developed a reputation for creating pocket watches whose quality and accuracy exceeded the stringent “railroad pocket watch” requirements.
Hamilton went on to become the first advertiser in Reader’s Digest and stopped civilian production during WWII to focus on supplying the troops. The company is still around today but has long since stopped producing in America, joining the Swiss watch conglomerate that brings you Swatches.
I’m in way over my head on the technical specs but the gold watch pictured above runs like a champ. Got some work to do on the white gold one pictured below.
More photos after the jump…