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, March 3, 2019

1962 Montclair II

There are a few Hamilton models that you just never see in the wild and one of them is the 1962 Hamilton Montclair II.  It was only produced for a single year and it was expensive, so there aren't that many of them out there.

There's a very similar model called the Montclair that was introduced in 1959 and made for three years but if you look closely the lugs are slightly different, not to mention the hands.

The Montclair II came in a solid 14K gold case and was priced at $100 in 1962.  That's over $800 in today's dollars.

The Montclair II  looks a lot like later Thinline models and you might be inclined to identify it as a Thinline except it won't say SWISS on the dial.  The Montclair II has a 17 jewel 731 movement under the dial that was made in Lancaster, PA.

I recently landed a Montclair II and it's the first example I've ever seen, in the flesh or online.

The back of the one-piece 14K case is unengraved, other than with Hamilton and 14 Karat Gold.

The crown on this example is shot but you can just barely make out the H logo that was on it.

The inside of the case back has a watchmaker's marks inside so it's been overhauled at least once in the last 60 years.

The 17jewel 731 is an upgraded 730 movement, which was an upgraded 747 movement.  The only difference between the 731 and the 747 is the balance is shock protected and it's a Glucydur balance - so there are no timing screws on the balance.  Those are pretty significant differences though.

Everything is take apart and cleaned before being reassembled.

The reassembled movement is ticking away with good motion, so it's off to the timer.

Hmm... the amplitude is a little low at 190 degrees.  I'd like to see it well over 200.  I wonder if the barrel cover isn't seated properly?

Well, it wasn't the barrel cover or even the mainspring.  I changed both and the amplitude didn't come up.  Fortunately I have a spare 731 movement so I just swapped it out and it's performance is much better.

A new crystal is definitely in order and will make a huge improvement.

Check out this finished watch... good as new.  I replaced the crown with a new crown, it doesn't have an H logo but otherwise looks very good, I think.  This is a sharp-looking watch but it's not very large, maybe 31mm wide so it's could easily be worn by a woman with today's standards,

The green tinge by the 5 marker is actually a reflection of my case opening ball that happened to be in the light tent when I took the photo.


  1. Hi, I recently acquired an old working Hamilton watch. I looked at all your photos, but was unable to match exactly. Would you mind looking at it?

    1. Sure. Contact me through Etsy or by email by clicking the "clicking here" above my photo in the upper right.

  2. I actually have one of these - was a great great uncle’s work anniversary watch. Still works, though could use a service and new crystal. Runs fast. Glad I found your information on it —definitely a hard one to identify! Thank you.

    1. hmmmm...now that i look at my watch, it remains a mystery. The Hamilton logo on the dial is in the same spot, but it's the older 1950's-style print (not the italics of the 1960's). Also, the dial on mine isn't metallic pearl, but appears more of a "sand" texture. The case and lugs match the Montclair II perfectly, but the "14k Gold" and "©Hamilton" engraving are on the case itself -- not the case back, like yours. It is a "years of service" watch given to my uncle from General Motors, Locomotive Division, so I wonder if this was a run of watches specifically for them?? Crazy hard to ID.