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.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

1957 Paxton

In the early 1950's Hamilton re-introduced the Illinois brand that they owned from purchasing the Illinois Watch Company in the 1920's.  The new Hamilton Illinois branded watches featured Swiss-made movements of various ilk.  The reintroduction only lasted a few years - at which point Hamilton just used Swiss-movements simply branded as Hamilton.  However, they still had a lot of leftover Illinois-branded movements and they used them in a variety of models with "-B" designations.

One example is the Paxton.  In 1956 it was the Paxton B.   I posted on the B model in March... You can see it here. The non-B Paxton was introduced the following year and made for two years.

1956 Paxton B advertisement

1957 Paxton ad

Now, not all "-B" designated watches involve Illinois watches.  The designation was used whenever there was a formal movement change when the model continued to be produced.  But in the 1956 /57 timeframe my personal observation thus far is that most of the B models had Illinois branded movements and the non-B models had Hamilton branded movements - and the movement makers might be different.  For example the Illinois model might be an ETA movement while the Hamilton-branded movement an A Schild.

Anyway - the two models are identical from the outside and come in a 10K rolled gold plated case with a stainless steel back.

I just picked up a Paxton project watch.  As received it was very dirty and the crystal needed to be buffed - which I did prior to taking the shot below.

Inside you will find an A Schild 1200 movement, known in Hamilton parlance as a 17 jewel 673 movement.  This one was very dirty but would run - which was a good sign that all it needed was a cleaning.  You can say what you want about the Swiss movements Hamilton used... they're not the same quality as the US-made movements - but they are still very robust movements in my opinion.  And they are very easy to work on (excluding the Buren micro-rotors - I'm not a fan of those).

This watch had a broken "set lever spring", also know as a "set bridge".  It serves as a detent and holds the stem out or in when setting the time or winding.  As you can see, the one on the right is the broken one - I happened to have a spare.

And here's the finished product, all cleaned up and on a nice croc-grain leather strap.  The white finished dial has an interesting patina forming around the circumference and the numbers.  I might have been able to clean it off but I kind of liked it's authenticity and didn't want to risk losing the crisp printing in the process.  A dial is only original once, you know.