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Sunday, May 10, 2020

1955 Lloyd

Happy Mother's Day.

If you're a mom, I hope you had a nice day.  If you're not, I hope you've helped make a mom's day nice.

Mother's day always reminds me of the childrens' picture book "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch.  It's a very touching story with the refrain...

"I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
as long as I'm living
my baby you'll be"

If you haven't read it, or heard it, do a little googling and you should be able to find it.

My watch for this post is a really interesting and rare find.  It's a one year wonder from 1955 called the Lloyd.

The Hamilton Lloyd came in a 10K yellow gold filled case and it features an interesting case design with flourished dimples in the corners of the bezel.  It came paired on it's own bracelet or on a strap.  I have to say, with the bracelet it's not the most appealing watch, at least to my eye.   It's no 1954 Kenmore, which is arguably the ugliest watch in Hamilton's line up but on the a strap, I think the Lloyd is actually a sharp-looking model.  

Other's must have thought the Lloyd was nice looking too, as it was reissued a few years ago by today's Hamilton as a chronograph.

I found my project watch on Instagram from a fellow collector who was selling it.  I was really happy to get is since I think it's only the second time I've seen a Lloyd online and I've never seen one in person.

As received, it was in very nice shape.  The only thing it appears to need is a fresh crystal, this one has a small chip in the corner and on the side.

The back of the case is a little dirty but otherwise unremarkable.

The sterling silver dial features solid 18K numerals.  This one appears to be original and shows a few age spots but nothing too distracting.

The movement inside is a 22 jewel 770.  Being a 1955 model, I wouldn't have been surprised to see 753 movement inside, as the 770 came out in 1955.  This one may look bright and shiny but you can tell by the grime around the winding wheel that it's been a while since this movement was last cleaned.

The inside of the case back clearly identifies the name of the model.  That's not always the situation but it happens a bit in the 1950s.

Everything gets completely disassembled and cleaned before being reassembled with fresh lubricants.

The reassembled movement is ticking away with good motion, let's see what the timer thinks of it.

Hmm... things look pretty good but the beat error of 2.9ms is just below my upper spec of 3.0ms.  The beat error is a measure of how far the balance swings to one side versus the other.  If the balance swings equally from side to side the beat error would be zero.  Adjusting the beat error on this style movement requires removing the balance from the balance cock and adjusting the position of the hairspring on the balance staff.  Adjusting the beat error is a roll of the dice... you might make it better but you might also goof up the hairspring.  Hmm... what to do?  Although 2.9ms is within "my specs", I'd feel a little guilty if I didn't try to improve it.

There... 1.1ms is much better.  It's not perfect but it's not worth tempting fate by trying to lower it further.  Now I can tweak the regulator and speed it up a smidgen.

My finished watch looks a little brighter than what I started with but it wasn't too bad to begin with.  The Lloyd is actually a nice sized watch by vintage standards and is about 28mm wide, without the crown.  I'm sure it will look even better once I replace the crystal.