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, June 5, 2015

1965 Dateline A-677

Hamilton's first calendar watches arrived on scene in 1954 but there weren't very models with a date complication.  In the 1960's there were a lot more date models to choose from.  Folks looking for a day and date model would need to wait until the 1970's for movements with those features.

One of the 1960's models with a date window was the 1965 Dateline A-677.  It was produced through 1969.

The A-677 came with the choice of a bracelet or a strap.  As you might surmise from the model number, being a 600 series model it came with a 10K RGP bezel and it has a stainless steel back.

Tucked inside is an ETA-based Hamilton 694A automatic movement.  From the back this movement looks like the 689 movement from the same period but the date complication makes it unique.

I've had an A-677 in my collection for a long time and I never got around to overhauling it.  Movements with date complications are more tricky than other grades and I don't tend to look forward to tackling them.  However, I noticed this one's case had toned oddly around the lugs - almost as if it was burned but it's just tarnish.  So I figured it was time to give it a trip to the spa.

The crystal in the A-677 has a reflector ring so it takes something special.  I'll probably have to order a GS EverTite (ET) crystal with a yellow ring once I get a measurement.  However, I might be able to polish the blemishes off the crystal... you never know.

The case back screws off and it's pie-pan shape tells me that this has an ETA movement inside and not a micro-rotor like what was used in the Thin-o-matic line.  Micro-rotors are much more complicated than the ETA grades - so if you think an ETA movement looks tough, don't even think about tackling a Buren micro-rotor.

Here's a slightly blurry perspective of the 694A.  It has a nicely designed movement ring to keep everything snug inside the case when the back is screwed on.

With the movement removed from the case, I can pull off the hands and dial next.  That reveals the business-end of the date wheel and the myriad parts needed to make it move one index every 24 hours.

Everything is cleaned and dried before being reassembled.

Reassembly takes part in three phases.  First you assemble the watch like any manual-winding movement.  Once it's running, like shown below, you next install the date wheel and other parts on the front.  Finally you reinstall the oscillating weight assembly.

The movement is running a little fast.  The beat error is great and the amplitude is a little low because I haven't wound it fully yet.

A few minor tweaks to the regulator slows the watch down to a beat rate approaching 18,000 beats per hour.

With the movement running.  I'm going to re-locate to my light tent to reinstall the tiny spring used to index the date wheel.  This spring is so small that it usually "disappears" at least once when I reinstall it.  To save me the 30 minutes it usually takes to find it again, I have learned to do this part in a confined space like the white light tent I use for photographing my projects.  I normally can find it very quickly if it flies off in there.

The empty space next to the 24 and 25 is the destination for the spring-loaded lever.  Then a cover goes on top and a screw holds it all in place.

Now you can see the lever and spring in place.

Everything is back in place so I can reinstall the dial.  With this movement I have to set the time until the date changes - then I know it's midnight and can reinstall the hands accordingly.

The last thing to go on is the oscillating weight, aka the rotor.

With the watch fully wound and completely reassembled, I'll put it on the timer for another check.  The watch is running slightly fast but I tend to leave them running a smidge fast.  The amplitude is over 200 degrees now, just as it should be.

The watch gets a new lizard strap to complete its restoration.  Polishing the crystal improved it considerably but if the light hits it just right I can still see some scratches.  However, for the most part, this watch turned out great.  It's a good size too... not as big as today's watches but very reasonable nonetheless.


  1. Please contact me please. I have one of these I really need refurbished

    1. Not sure I can do that but you can email me through Etsy or by clicking the "click here" link above my photo in the upper right

  2. I believe I have this watch. My grandparents gave it to my father when he graduated medical school in 1967. The crystal is cracked and was wondering where to find a replacement? Thanks, Paul

    1. Any watch parts house can supply one if you know the dimensions. Your best option is to have it serviced by a watchmaker and have them replace it.