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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

1953 Foster

In the early 1950's Hamilton replaced it's 14/0 sized movements that were introduced in 1935 with new 12/0 sized movements that were slightly wider.  The 17 jewel 980 was replaced by the 17 jewel 752.  The 19 jewel 982 was replaced by the 753.   Finally, the 982M was replaced by the 754 - which only went in solid gold models.

One of the new models introduced along with the 12/0 models was the 1953 Foster.  There's also an earlier Foster from the late 1930's - but it's a solid gold model.   The 1953 Foster was produced through 1955 but apparently not in 1954.

The Foster came in a 10K yellow gold filled case and was outfitted with the 752 movement.  The sterling silver dial has solid 18K gold numerals.  The case has "hidden" lugs so you can't see how the strap attaches (from the front, anyway).   The matching bracelet blends right into the case bezel.

The 1955 Foster has a different dial pattern

I recently received a Foster in need of some love.  I was delighted to see that it was still outfitted with it's original bracelet.

In fact, if it wasn't for a slight chip to the side of the crystal - this watch was in extraordinarily nice condition... except, of course, for the whole not running problem it had.

With the back removed from the bezel, the dial and hands are near perfect.   It looks pretty original to my eye and there are no notches on the side to indicate it's been redialed - but I'll look on the back to be sure.

Here's a shot of the 17 jewel 752 movement.  If it looks like a 22 jewel 770 to you - well, it should.  The 770 would be introduced in 1955 and replace the 752, 753 and 754 movements.  The four grades share many of the same parts too - which is nice to know when you're looking for something.

Here's the back of the dial.  There are no marks to indicate the dial was redone - so I'm 100% sure this is an original dial.  That makes sense since everything else looks new old stock (NOS) as well.  I wonder what the recessed circle near the second hand hole is... it's very odd that it's not centered.  Note that the other side of the dial has a recessed secondhand too - so this dial is fairly thick.

I will spare you the blow-by-blow details of the overhaul.  You can look at the overhaul examples in the menu on the right side of the screen if you're curious to see how it goes.

Once I reinstalled the balance the watch took off running as it should.  Based on my timer is was running about 34 seconds per day fast.  I can do better than that.

Here's a shot that shows me tweaking the regulator and slowing the watch down.  As the lines become horizontal it's approaching running exactly 18,000 beats per hour.  It's really amazing how watch timers can "hear" what's going on in a watch and tell you what it's doing.

And here's the "HandyDan Pillow Shot" of the finished project.  You can still see the little chip on the right by the 2 but otherwise this watch looks fantastic.  I doubt there are too many Fosters out there in better shape - that's for sure!


  1. Beautiful watch. I have a 1952 in similar condition, but with a leather band. Original band is in rough shape. Replaced the crystal with NOS and polished her up. Runs great.

  2. Dan, I recently acquired a 1955 Foster with a 770 movement. Do you think this example was given a unoriginal movement?

    1. The 770 came out in 1955 so there's nothing out of the ordinary