Thanks for visiting my vintage Hamilton watch blog. I like to restore US-made Hamilton wrist watches back to their original glory and share my experiences with other enthusiasts. Use the "Search" space below if you know what model you're looking for. Feel free to leave polite comments or questions in the spaces provided. Also check out my "watches for sale" on my Etsy site - the link is on the right, just below.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

1936 Norfolk - "Strong enough for a man..."

In 1936 Hamilton introduced a rather unique but short lived model - the Norfolk.

The model is unique in a couple of ways.  First, it 's one of a very few men's models to not offer a second hand.  In addition, it's the only men's model to use the 18/0 sized 989 movement more commonly found in ladies watches from the period.

It's a rectangular watch, sometimes referred to as a tanq (tank), and it's about the same size as many of the other rectangular models from the same time period.

It wasn't a very popular watch though and I've only seen it in the 1936 catalog.

There were two dial options available, solid gold applied numerals and a black combination marker and number dial.  It came only in a 10K yellow gold filled case.

Here are a couple of wrist shots of both models.

I like the Norfolk.  I think it's a sharp looking little watch, suitable for anyone's wrist, man or woman.


  1. Am thinking of buying a norfolk. What is the average price these go for? And not over the top in price ? As I can't find any on the Internet of pre sales. Thanks

  2. Funny - I'm actually wearing the watch at the bottom of this post today. Prices would vary based on the condition of the case and dial, etc. and if the movement is recently serviced. If everything is in good condition and the movement is recently overhauled, I think something in the $200 range is fair. The black combination dial is less common though and probably worth a little more than the AGN version.

  3. That's a coincidence,it's a nice looking watch, do you know why it wasnt popular ? Also is there alot of them about ? And lastly is one of yours for sale? As yours looks better than the one I've spotted and got the chance to buy thanks

  4. Also the one am interested in has a 989 e movement is that correct as the advertisement doesn't say E only 989
    And the one am looking at is 989E ? Is this a different movement inserted in to the watch? Thanks

  5. The 989 and 989E are identical except the 989E has an Elinvar hairspring - which was introduced in 1934-ish. The 989 was produced from 1928 until 1936. The 989's in the 1935/36 period would have had Elinvar hairsprings. So you'd expect to see a 989E in a Norfolk. It wasn't that popular because it's a little smaller than the 14/0 based watches of the time and there's no second hand. But since the movement stopped being made there weren't that many Norfolks to begin with.

    As for would I sell one of mine - you'd need to email me using the "click here" above.

  6. I believe I own the version without the gold numerals. It was my daily watch for the better part of the nineties, until it stopped holding a wind. I’ve recently had it overhauled and have worn it a few times as a dress watch. It’s amazing how much more comfortable a vintage watch is to wear.