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.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

1956 Transcontinental "A"

Hamilton introduced three very innovative models in 1956 with unique hour hand configurations that allowed you to tell the time in several different locations by referring to references on the dial.

One of the models was the Cross Country with a manual wind movement.  The other two models were automatics… the Transcontinental "A" and Transcontinental "B".

The Transcontinental "A" was produced for two years.

The Transcontinental "A" shared a 10K gold filled case with the Automatic K-455 from the same year.  It also shared the same movement, a Swiss-made Hamilton 661 17-jewel grade.  But the dials were certainly different.  The "B" model shares the same dial and movement but came in a solid 14K gold case with different lugs.

I've had the opportunity to see a Transcontinental "A" first hand and see how it works.  Like the Cross Country, the hour hand has a dial plate mounted below the hour hand on the hour wheel.  The hour wheel is the part that the hour hand normally attaches too.  

As you can see on the photo below, you can rotate the dial plate to set the hour hand according to the map on the plate… the four US time zones or Greenwich, England, as indicated by triangular makers.  I suppose you could do Hawaii too - although that's not on the dial.  As the hour hand moves, the dial plate rotates too.

As you can see, this watch is set to Central Time, just like the watch in the catalog ad.  It's a very interesting watch, isn't it?

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