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.

Friday, October 11, 2013

1933 Putnam

I think some of my favorite models are the mid-1930's models.  The watches were larger and they featured all sorts of cool art deco-inspired aesthetics like tiered details, parallel lines, curves... you name it.

To me, one of the best examples of this classic 1930's look is the 1933 Putnam.  It was produced through 1935.

The Putnam is a very popular model and it's extremely hard to find in really nice shape.  It came in a gold filled case, either in yellow or white, and it almost always shows some wear through to the many corners of the bezel or along the sides of the flat rear cover.  The sides are stepped with slightly curving ledges that also feature rounded details from the side.  I always think of the Empire State Building when I think of Art Deco details like this.

Two dials were available, an applied gold numeral dial (called a raised gold figure dial at the time) or a luminous dial.  The RGN dial is complemented with gild hands in the "spade" style.

Tucked inside will most likely be a 17 jewel 6/0 sized 987F movement.  A 1935 example might have the 987E - with the E standing for Elinvar... the elastically invariable hairspring that Hamilton introduced around that time.

I've wanted a Putnam for "many moons" as my distant Cherokee-ancestors might have said.  They always sell well above my usual bid range unless they have so much case wear that they would cost a fortune to restore.

However, as fate would have it I was able to purchase a great example of a very generous fellow collector at a price we both could live with.

As you can see in the shots below, this RGF-dialed example is in excellent condition.  The dial is a refinish but it looks great.  The case is superb.  All it really needed was a spa treatment in the ultrasonic and a fresh mainspring.

My collection now has a new personal favorite!


  1. Very Classy, Stylish watch - even 4 this period! ;)

  2. I’m interested in this same model, Dan; what would a nice one set me back?

  3. I have a 1934 with the 979 movement, non-running and in need of a new crystal, any suggestions for a good repairman?