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.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

1972 Day 'N Date 6007

Sometimes it's not hard to spot a 1970's watch.  Often they have... well, bold styling is a nice way of describing it.  Another way to spot one is if it has a day of the week complication.  Although calendar models go back to 1954, it wasn't until the early 1970's that day and date models were introduced.  One of them was the 1972 Day 'N Date 6007.  It's also known by the model number on the back, 825004-4.

The Day 'N Date 6007 came in a gold electroplated case with a stainless steel back.  It has a dark brownish colored dial or a golden gilt dial.  Both options featured the quick change Q/C II movement.

I recently came upon a Day 'N Date 6007 and it caught my eye because of it's funky egg-shaped styling and because it also came with it's original dial.  1970's watches are becoming very fashionable so I was quite surprised when I won it for a very reasonable price.

If there's any doubt that the bracelet is original, it should be reduced by the big H on the butterfly clasp.  That doesn't mean the bracelet is original but it matches the catalog depiction too.

The back of the watch is unremarkable and shows evidence of at least one attempt to open it in the past.  The -4 in the model number means the watch is yellow gold plated (sometimes filled).  A -3 would indicate the case is stainless and there is a very similar looking stainless model with the number 825004-3, it's the 1973 Day 'N Date 5009.

This bracelet is made by Drema... in case you're looking for one.

A silicone ball makes for a great case opener, believe it or not.  It doesn't always work but it works most of the time.

The Q/C II movement is often the caliber 825, although I believe there are some other calibers too.  This is the one I've seen most often.  Two retaining screws hold it in place and then I can push the little detent to release the stem and crown.

There is a lot of detail in the design of this dial... wouldn't you say?  The hands and hour markers are black and gold and are very hard to photograph.

While things are being cleaned I will tape up the bezel and polish the crystal.  This way I won't accidentally polish away the brushed finish on the metal.

Everything is cleaned and ready to be reassembled.  There are a lot of parts to this movement, including a number of easy to lose springs.  So I will have to be careful not to lose anything in the process.

So far so good, them basic movement is back together and ticking away.

Not too bad... I can slow it down and improve the beat error fairly easily.

Well, the beat rate of +12 sec per day is where I want it.  The hair spring stud is up against a stop so I can't reduce the beat error any farther without loosening the stud.  I'd rather not goof up the hairspring for such a small adjustment so I'll leave it a 1.3ms.  One most watches that would be more than acceptable.

This is definitely a funky, chunky 1970's model, that's for sure.  It looks great though and the bracelet is a nice finishing touch.  I was able to get the gold on the hands and markers to show up too.  It's a sharp looking watch.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

1963 Dateline A-576 Calendar

The first Dateline models came on the scene in 1963 and there were there models introduced.  One was solid gold, one gold filled and the third was cased in stainless steel.  The stainless model was the Dateline A-576.  It was produced through 1965.

The model came on both a strap or a bracelet.  In 1963 the watch was pictured with it's strap and in 1964 the bracelet was featured.

If the model looks familiar it might be because I featured another example in September of 2017.  That one was in rough shape and a the real spotlight of that post was a European example later in the 60's or even '70s.

As fate would have it, I recently received another Dateline A-576 in need of a little TLC.  This one is in much better shape and is paired with a bracelet that is very close to original but not quite a perfect match.

If you look at the catalog depiction and the bracelet on the watch, both feature a florentine engraving but the catalog also features a non-engraved area on the ends of the links.  Of course, there's nothing to prove that this bracelet didn't originally come with the watch... who knows?  It's definitely a period-correct JB Champion bracelet and might even be correct for another model.

The crystal on this watch shows bite marks from a past removal (or installation).  I'll see if I can remove those when I clean the crystal and case.

Like my project watch from September, this model has a hole above the 12 to align the chapter ring so the bolder marks line up with the hour positions.

Oddly, there is no post on the chapter ring to complete the alignment.  So I'll have to be careful when I install the crystal not to move the chapter ring off center.

It's no surprise that there's a 17 jewel 694A movement behind the dial.  This is the principle movement used in the 1960's Dateline models.  This one is a little gummy feeling so it's good that it's being overhauled.

Everything is taken apart and throughly cleaned, including the bracelet.

The reassembled movement is now ticking away with good motion.

According to the timer its running a little slow and the beat error is a bit on the high side.  Both are easy adjustments.

There... I'll leave it running a little fast for now.  It will settle down eventually.  The amplitude and beat error are looking great.

With calendar models you need to advance the time until the date changes.  Then you know it's supposed to be midnight and can install the hands accordingly.  Notice the chapter ring isn't aligned properly yet.  I'll do that when I reinstall the crystal.

The chapter ring has a little spotting, as does the side of the dial nearest the crown.  Other than that, this watch looks fantastic.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

1968 Accumatic A-607

I've not been one to pursue vintage bracelets.  That's mainly because I think bracelets can often take their toll on the lugs of a watch.  Plus, I think a nice strap is more comfortable than a bracelet.

However, I know several folks who have been bitten by that bug.  There's good reason for that.  Hamilton did a lot to match bracelets to the design of specific watch models.  So much so that sometimes I wonder which came first, the bracelet or the watch.

That said, I must confess that it's hard to resist a project watch for sale when it has it's original bracelet.  I recently landed one, a 1968 Accumatic A-607.  It was only produced in the 1968/69 timeframe.

The A-607 came in a 10K rolled gold plated case.  If you wanted it on a strap you'd have to buy your own, as it only came on a Kreisler bracelet.  Tucked inside the A-607 you will find a 17 jewel 689A automatic movement.

I paid a little extra for this watch, mainly because it looked to be in excellent condition.  The seller told me after I purchased it that it was recently serviced and ready to wear.  I'm always a little skeptical when a seller claims a watch is serviced... I have found that the term can be used liberally.  Sometimes people just add a little extra oil and call it "serviced'.  I put this watch on my timer and it ran poorly with very low amplitude.  That's okay though, it was headed to the spa anyway.

This watch shows a few minor bumps and bruises but it really looks about as close to unworn as you can get.

One detail the seller conveniently left out of his listing was a photo of the case back.  Check this out! It looks like someone took a steel brush to the case and went right through the thin layer of gold plating in the process.  That's a shame, there's not much I can do to fix that.  Oh well, at least it's not visible from the front.

The 689A movement looks to be very clean, that's for sure.

Everything is taken apart and cleaned.  Time to reassemble it.

The partially reassembled movement is now running with good motion.  It's off to the timer to see how well it's ticking.

The photo is a little blurry but you can still see the watch is running fairly well.  I haven't wound it up fully yet though, which is why the amplitude is a little low.

This watch took about 45 minutes to put the crystal back on, believe it or not.  Every time I installed the crystal the watch would stop!  Maybe that's why the watch was running so poorly when I first tried it?  Talk about frustrating!  This watch has a yellow reflector ring that surrounds the dial and I found through trial and error that the crystal pushed the reflector ring onto the dial and that would somehow stop the watch.  Without the reflector ring, the watch would run just fine.  I finally switched from a 30.6mm crystal to a 30.4mm crystal and that corrected the problem.

Although the watch doesn't look that much better than what I started with, after a little extra spit and polish it really does look like it's fresh from the factory.  They don't get much nicer than this.  Too bad the back of the case has lost some gold.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

1960 Thinline 4000

The first Thinline model was actually the Thinline II from 1958.  That's a bit odd, don't you think?  What happened to the Thinline?  Apparently Hamilton wasn't sure that the work was ready for Thinlines, as the Thinline II only stuck around for a single year.

Then in 1960 several Thinline models were introduced.  One of them was the Thinline 4000 and it looked a lot like the Thinline II.  However the Thinline 4000's case was 10K yellow gold filled and not solid 14K gold like the Thinline II (the Thinline II also came in white as well as yellow gold).

The Thinline 4000 also came with two dial options.   One of them looks a lot like the Thinline II's dial.   However, the Thinline 4000 is noteworthy because it has a very unique, arrow-shaped hour hand.   I don't think I've ever seen the all-numeral dialed version so I don't know if it also has the same hands.

The Thinline 4000 didn't stick around for long.  By 1961 the catalog said it was "sold out".  That sort of begs the question, if it was that popular why not make more or continue the model?

The Thinline 4000 isn't ultra-rare but it tends to be popular with collectors since the hour hand is so unusual.

I recently landed a Thinline 4000 project watch and it has a few issues.  First, the second hand was installed too close to the dial at some point and it rubbed a circular mark on the dial.  Someone was a little rough getting the hands off in the past and dented the dial.  Also, there's some crackling by the 5 hour mark, probably related to the dial foot screw being under it.  Finally, the lugs have groves worn into them from a past bracelet.  Still, it's not a complete disaster and it is almost 60 years old after all.

It's clear from looking at the back that this is a one-piece case that opens through the crystal.

With the crystal out of the way you can see the dial a little better.  It looks a little wavier in the photo below than it does in real life.

This photo is a little blurry but the movement is a 17 jewel 676 grade.

This watch has been through the hands of many previous watchmakers.  There are about a dozen different marks inside the case back.

The main plate is stamped 4201 and was made by Aurore, one of the many watch companies owned by ESA (including ETA and others).  I wouldn't be surprised if the Hamilton relationship with Buren was the reason this model was short-lived.  Most Thinline models used a Buren movement starting in 1962.

Everything gets taken apart and cleaned.  The hardest part about taking disassembling the movement is the balance jewels are incredibly small - about half the size of the typical shock jewels I encounter.  You can barely see them in the photo below and they are very easy to lose.

This 676 just doesn't want to be photographed but it is running with good motion.  Let's see what the timer says.

Wow, the beat error is way too high and maxed out at 9.9ms.  Unfortunately this watch has a fixed hairspring stud so adjusting the beat error has to be done "the old fashioned way" - by removing the balance from the balance cock and rotating the hairspring collet on the balance staff.

In order to remove the balance I need to loosen the screw holding the hairspring stud and also free the hairspring from the regulator pins.  The regulator pins have a rotatable side that must be moved in order to free the hairspring.  This tiny soft brass part is very easy to damage if you're not super-careful.

Here's another shot of the regulator with the hairspring now freed.  At this point I can lift the balance away from the balance cock.

On my first attempt to adjust the beat error I must have moved the hairspring collet the wrong direction and made it worse.  Now I have to try again and go the other way.

Getting warmer, but I still have a long way to go.

My third attempt is a bit better but maybe the 4th try will be the charm.

Ah, that's much better.  Just a tiny tweak to the regulator index to speed the watch up a smidgen more and I'll call it a day.

A fresh crystal will be a nice addition.  Since this watch is so "thin" I will use a PK-style, low profile crystal in 30.4mm.

You can see below why this model is called a Thinline.

An unpadded alligator strap is a perfect accent for such a thin watch.  With a fresh crystal, the dial doesn't actually look too bad.  Although there's not much I can do about the dent and the crackled finish at the 5 hour position.

Still, for such an uncommon model this watch is a definite keeper until a better example can be found.