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, August 29, 2015

1963 Lord Lancaster A

The Lord Lancaster line of watches was introduced in 1963 and was comprised of various models that all featured diamonds on the dials.

Diamonds were first offered on dials in the 1940s as special features added to otherwise plain models but it wasn't until the Lord Lancaster line came along that diamonds were the principle feature of the model.

One of the first Lord Lancaster models was the Lord Lancaster A.  It was produced through 1965.

If the Lord Lancaster A looks familiar, it's could be because it's based on the 1962 Gary.  Most, if not all, of the Lord Lancaster models had a non-diamond dial sibling.  One of the features that makes the Lord Lancaster line unique is the models usually came in white gold, gold filled or rolled gold cases.  However, there are few yellow Lord Lancaster models too - so there's an exception to every rule.

The Lord Lancaster A came with a 10K white rolled gold plated bezel and a stainless steel back.

Tucked inside the case is a 17 jewel Swiss-made Hamilton 686 movement.

You see a lot more Garys than you do Lord Lancaster As.  They are few and far between but not necessarily rare.

I recently purchased a Gary project watch.  In fact, there were two different watches sold within a day or two of each other and I was fortunate enough to snag one of them.  As it was received, it was in very good shape.  Unfortunately the minute hand was out of position and the tip lightly rubbed the crystal, leaving a slight circle on the inside.

The stainless steel back is unengraved and looks almost new with a light brushed finish.

The 686 movement is based on the A. Schild 1200.  This one is a little dirty but otherwise looks unremarkable.  It's a very simple movement and very easy to a adjust so fine-tuning it is a breeze.

Everything has been cleaned and dried.  I was able to polish the inside of the plastic crystal and buff the circular scratch out.  So now it's just a matter of putting it all back together with fresh lubricants.

Everything is back together and the balance is swinging with good motion.  Now it's off to the timer.

Right on the money... nothing to do with this movement but put it back in the case.

The dial on this example shows it's age but my camera makes it look worse than it really is.  It has a few light spots but otherwise looks pretty good.  The Lord Lancaster models usually came with black suede straps but I think this black croc-grain strap looks just as good.


  1. I have this watch, in excellent condition. I bought on eBay and had it cleaned. It works like a charm.any idea of the value? I think I spent about $300 on it.

    1. If it's a super nice example then $300 is in the ball park. It could be had for less and in a retail setting you could probably find it for more.