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AMERICAN BRITISH HAMILTON MILITARY WATCHES

Categories: TRAINING

AMERICAN BRITISH HAMILTON MILITARY WATCHES

Hamilton Military Watches

NOTE THIS IS NOT DEFINITIVE OF ALL hAMILTON mILITARY wATCHES
THIS PAGE WAS PLACED ON OUR OLD INFO SITE BY AN INDIVIDUAL WHO PERFORMED THE WORKS BASED ON WATCHES HE HAD AND SOME BASIC RESEARCH.. ADDITIONAL INFO WILL BE ADDED.

American Hamilton Wrist Watches

British Hamilton Wrist Watches

Other Hamilton Wrist Watches


American
Hamilton Wrist Watches

Pre WWII

There was a need for timekeeping in WWI, but wrist watches were not in use during that time. While pocket watches were used extensively, some officers found a need for faster access to the time. There are watches that are often referred to as “officers’ watches”, that are small pocket watches or pendant watches that had been converted to be worn on a leather strap. These are sometimes seen with shrapnel guards designed to protect the glass crystals.

WWI WAS IN FACT THE  WAR THAT DELIVERED WRIST WATCHES INTO POPULARITY.
AND THOUSANDS WERE PURCHASED BY THE BRITISH AND AMERICANS FOR OFFICERS. THOUSANDS….. IN FACT MANY ARE HALLMARKED BECAUSE THEY WERE NEW, THE BRITISH DID NOT MARK THEM AND IN FACT DURING WWII MILLIONS OF WATCHES WERE ISSUED BY ALL PARTIES TO THEIR SOLDIERS SAILERS PILOTS AND NOT MARKED STAMPED

AA-TRENCH-KIT.jpg (117867 bytes)

HERE IS A NOTICE HAND OUT FOR OFFICERS WW1 NOTE THE WATCH///

 

Current wisdom has it that these were not supplied by the government, but were purchased by individual officers. Therefore, they have no US Government markings. Since Hamilton was a popular maker of watches of the time, Hamilton
watches were used for these “officers’ watches” along with many other American
manufactures’ watches.

TRENCH_WATCH_PICTURE.jpg (300530 bytes)

HERE IS A PIC OF ROCKS SHOWING TONS OF WATCHES FOR 4 BUCKS EACH AND STRAPS FOR 10 CENTS

WWII [including Canadian and Russian]

In the early stages of WWII, there were government issued watches that had no markings. The Hamiltons contained 987A  movements, and usually were supplied with a dust cover over the movement. They were contained in generic cases that were plated over base metal, and usually had a stainless steel snap back cover.

In 1940, the Ordnance Department published the requirements for military watches. The list includes pocket, wrist, and stop watches. Note also, that there was a provision for watches produced before 1940 to be retroactively
marked if they were serviced.

Cases can be found with a variety of configurations. The center watch has a parkerized case, and the other two are plated and showing wear. The
first has no markings, but has a 987A movement with a dust cover and a screw back. The last has a snap back and is most likely later than the first.

The 987A has sub-seconds, and the later 987s and 2987 both have center seconds. The center seconds was more desireable simply because it was easier to read. None of these variations had the hack function found on later watches.

 During WWII, Hamilton suppliedwatches for the US Army, Navy, and Marine Corps [the Air Force was the Army Air Force]. Hamilton also supplied some watches for allies in WWI, specifically for Russia, and for the Royal Canadian Air Force [RCAF]. There were a total of 168,560 made by Hamilton during WWII. It is believed that this does not include pre-1940 production.

Fortunately, some records were kept that let us know the production for the Hamilton watches and their variations.

Hamilton WWII wartime
production figures

NOTE THESE FIGURES ARE LOW.

Part No. Grade Jewels Manufactured From – To Quantity Service
27014 987A 17 1942-1945 110,336 Army
27016 987A 17 1942-1945 3,000 Russian Gov’t
39038 987S 17 1940-1945 2,000 RCAF
39054 987S 17 1940-1945 22,410 Navy
39054 987S 17 1940-1945 15,888 Marine Corps
39102 2987 18 1943-1945 12,000 Navy
39102 2987 18 1943-1945 2,926 Marine Corps
  Total 168,560  
  987A 17 1942?   BuAero US Navy
R88-W-800 987A 17 194?   Navy

As a note, there was a standard established for watch production called the A-11. Elgin, Waltham and Bulova produced many military watches under this standard, but Hamilton never did. They did make 87S and G-2987 movements, and left the type A-11s for Elgin, Waltham and Bulova. Also, the USMC received them too, only they had white dials instead of black for the USN.

Apparently those with the 2987 movements would typically be marked on the back “R88-W-800 / MFR’S PART NO. 39108 / HAMILTON WATCH CO. /
K-H-3″. Canteen Watch

Many of these old Hamilton military watches were later recased into more civilian friendly cases. One of my favorite watches is a recased military movement with inner dust cover from WWII. It is a true “Frankenwatch”,as it has the movement and case [remember, recased] that I got, a NOS dial, and hands offof another Hamilton watch. So, it is possible to find these revived relics as they surfacefor a new life. They are of course no longer of much military interest, but can make avery nice watch.

Post
WWII

GG-W-113

June 6, 1967 the Military Specification for theGG-W-113a were established, for the USAF. These were issued to pilots, usually with a black one piece band, and look very much like the field watch MIL-W-46374 that was issued to Army personnel. The watch was even more legible becasue of the slightly larger size,and the removal of the radiation warnings on the dial. The early GG-W-113s are one piece case designs. The movement is removed from the front after removing the crystal. In 1982 or 1983, the GG-W-113 was made with a two piece case. DTU 2APMIL-W-38188 [1965]

 Hamilton Post WWII US
Military Watches

WE HAVE MOST OF THE ORIGINAL CONTRACTS. THEY ARE AT GSWW AND VINTAGE TIME REMADE IN AMERICA,THEY SHOW PILOTS WERE NOT THE ONLY MILITARY PERSONAL RECEIVING THE 1131

Spec. Grade Jewels Date Hack? Service
OF 747 747 17 1946? No hack USMC
GG-W-113 649 685 17 1967 Hack USAF
Type 1 684 17 1970 Hack USAF, RAAF
MIL-W-46374   17 1964/5? Hack ARMY
MIL-W-46374A   17 1968? Hack ARMY
MIL-W-46374B 447ST 466ST INT-7420/3 7 7 1976? No hack Hack ARMY
MIL-W-46374C   17 1983 Hack ARMY
MIL-W-46374D   18 1986-88 Hack ARMY
OF 747 A curiosity is the
USMC marked “OF” followed by a serial number, and “747” on the
reverse. It is marked like the war models, but not listed as being part of wartime
production. The 747 movement was introduced post-war by Hamilton in 1946. Note that the
back shown below indicates no serial number because it was never issued.

 

Type 1In 1970, the Air
Force came out with a slightly larger pilots watch, the Type 1 Navigation Watch. This
watch was also issued to the Royal Australian Air Force. Inside, the screw down caseback
features a nice Swiss 17 jewels Hamilton Grade 684 manual wind movement with hacking
device. It is shielded by an antimagnetic dust cover. The dial layout is very similar to
the GG-W-113 and the British Mark XI, but has “Swiss” at the bottom. The case is
about 36mm in diameter (excluding crown), and 47mm lug to lug, with 17mm lug width with
solid fixed bars. the American model is marked as a FAPD 5101, although collectors refer
to this watch as the “Type 1 Navigation”.

 

MIL-W-46374, MIL-W-46374B,
MIL-W-46374C, MIL-W-46374D Mil Watch 463748 1983. April 15, 1983 the Military
Specification for the MIL-W-46374C(AR) were established. October 10, 1986 the Military
Specification for the MIL-W-46374D were established. The US Army got the 17 jewel,
hackable movement in their MIL-W-46374 in 1987. It was the equavalent to the USAF GG-W-113 at this point. From what I can tell, the last Hamilton US issue watch was in 1988.

 

British
Hamilton Wrist Watches

6B

Many refer to the 6B as the Hamilton Mark XI,
becasue it was issued at the same time and to the same specifications as other watches
designated Mark XI. It occurred in two marking variations, both for the Royal Air Force:
the 6B-9614045 pattern seen here and a 6B-9101000 marking pattern. It also appeared in two
dial variations: one with “Hamilton” on the dial and the other without it.The
movement is a Hamilton 8758 based on the ETA 2390. There is a 75 and probably
“S” marking the movement.

 

6BBGS and
Tropical Hamilton G.S. [“General Service”] watches were specifically made for
the UK’s General Services. They were actually issued to Government personnel, that were
not Military. These watches were used by a number of Government agencies overseas, Foreign
and Commonwealth Office aid groups helping with education and health stuff like that from
the mid 60’s to the late 70’s. They also acted as a cover for a number of former military
men who helped nations organise their own security and law enforcement on behalf of HM
Government. The G.S. Tropical seems to have been a specially sealed series of watches for
use in tropical climates. They are marked “Tropical” on the stainless steel case
back, These are rarer than the standard G.S. watches. The case and movement appear to be
the same for both watches. The Tropical does not have the broadarrow found on military
watches of Great Britain.

 

6BB – Royal Air Force
W-10 The W-10 is a tonneau
shaped British Army issue watch. Caliber 649, 17 jewel unadjusted.

 

0552 Chronograph The watch has a heavy asymmetric case stainless steel case with recessed winder, fixed bars, heavy screw back and round waterproof pushers. The rear of the case has the British Broad Arrow and the issue numbers, showing its date of issue. It has a 17 jewel ETA 7733 movement with Incabloc shock protection, the movement is signed Hamilton on the main bridge. The watch was a product of the Swiss Hamilton company after its purchase by SMH and is not an American Hamilton.

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