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, January 1, 2022

1959 Golden Tempus II

Happy New Year!  May your new year resolutions be successful, and may you find peace, purpose, and prosperity in 2022.

My first project of 2022 is one of my own projects that I picked up a while back.  It's a unique model that you don't see everyday.

It's a 1959 Golden Tempus II.  It was produced for only two years.

As you might suspect, there was also a Golden Tempus introduced in 1957.  It was similar to the Golden Tempus II but cased in solid yellow gold with more dramatic lugs. The Golden Tempus II was cased in 14K gold fill.

The model is unique in that the case, dial, markers, etc are yellow but the hands are silver (rhodium plated).  That's not a very common attribute for Hamilton models, typically models are one color or the other.

Tucked inside the case is an 18 jewel US made movement and post 1955, that would imply a 735 movement.  

My project watch arrived in fairly good condition and showed wear and tear consistent with being 60+ years old.  The second hand is yellow but the hour and minute hands are white/silver.  I suspect the second hand is a replacement.

The back of the case could stand a little polishing but is otherwise unremarkable.

The yellow chapter ring is integral to the bezel and the dial is actually a smaller circle that fits inside the ring.  

The 8/0 size 735 movement is essentially the same as the earlier 748 movement other than the addition of shock jewels at the balance.

There are several prior watchmaker's marks inside the case back.  So that shows this watch had a lot of use and was well taken care off - but it may have some mileage on it as well.

Everything is cleaned and thoroughly dried before being reassembled with fresh lubricants.  I also installed a new crystal to brighten up the outside of the case.

Reassembling the 748 and 735 movements can be a bit daunting.  Most of the wheels have very long axles and getting all four wheels to line up at the same time takes a bit of finesse.  I don't tend to sweat it now but in my earlier days I would usually think twice before taking one apart.  I also filled in the black enamel on the Hamilton lettering on the train bridge.  It looks much better now than when I started.

It's running a wee bit fast according to the timer but I should be able to adjust it.

Looks like the regulator is pushed toward fast so I'll back that off a bit.

There... that's a lot better.  I'll leave it running a smidgeon fast as it may settle down after a while.

My finished watch looks much better, don't you think?

I searched my stash of parts and found a silver second hand that fit the post of a 735 so now it's closer to what it would have originally looked like.  This is a very unique and stylish watch with a lot of sparkle!


  1. Just beautiful. The way the crystal appears to go to the edge it has a look of the Elgin Horizon models.

  2. I was lucky enough to just purchase one of these. They really sparkle

  3. Great job on this one. I've got an earlier Golden Tempus with a 735 movement and the "bowtie" lugs to service. Do you happen to know the sweep second hand hole size for a 735? I've heard both 0.20 and 0.21mm but can never find clarity online. Thanks!