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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

1949 Clinton

Hamilton first introduced stainless steel in watches with the Lexington in 1941.  Other manufactures offered watches with steel alloyed case backs before Hamilton but Hamilton's quality-oriented lineup typically matched case backs to case bezels and didn't cut costs by substituting a less expensive material.

However, stainless steel does have it's advantages - first and foremost is durability.

In 1949 Hamilton introduced another two all stainless models - the Raymon and the Clinton.

The Clinton was produced for 4 years.  It's the second model to bear the name.  There was an earlier Clinton (aka Greely) that was introduced in 1931 but wasn't shown in catalogs.

There are actually a variety of Clintons out there.. all four have sterling silver dials.  One dial has rhodium plated numerals and dots (to appear silver) on a silver butler-finished dial. Two all-numeral dials have solid gold applied numerals that are rhodium plated or black painted and came on black finish or a silver butler finish, respectively.  There was also a luminous dial with glow in the dark hands and numerals.

I have never seen the black figured dial with matching black hands... I think that might be the rarest variety.

Behind the dial is Hamiltons 8/0 sized, 17 jewel 747 movement, which was introduced in 1947.

Although stainless steel is extremely durable, I have found that you often see Clintons for sale with missing lugs.  I guess the weld that held the curved lugs to the case could fail over time.  It can be repaired though.

I've only had one Clinton, the luminous version.  It's a decent looking watch, I suppose.  However, it's a bit on the small size by today's standards.

With the hands set to 10:12, the usual time that Hamilton displayed its watches in advertisements, the luminous hands look like cat's eyes peeking out of the dial.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Dan,

    I see here a Clinton with rhodium plated numerals and dots on a black dial. The subdial seconds don't look like they do in the catalog. Refinish? Otherwise, is this dial and dots/numerals combo one of the possible varieties or is this a complete redial?