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Monday, October 10, 2022

1980s Khaki Pocket Watch

 Military watches always seem to be popular.  I've posted quite a few times about them.  

I'm always surprised by what the Mil-W-46374B will sell for, considering it's essentially a disposable watch with a 7 jewel movement made by Standard Time, which Hamilton owned.  Personally I wouldn't waste my money on them and instead I'd save it for a Mil-W-46374D which is FAR superior to the B version.  The D variant is a little harder to find but you can always find a GG-W-113  for sale.  The GG-W-113 used a Hamilton 649 movement and that same caliber was used by Hamilton in the 1980s for their "Field Watches".  In Hamilton's catalog they started the Khaki line but you'll see the same models with LL Bean, Brookstone, or Ovis branding as well.  They are all essentially the same.

You'll also see that LL Bean had a pocket watch version.  I recently realized that Hamilton also made a Khaki pocket watch - I think they are much less common in the wild.

Like a lot of collectors, I seem to be a sucker for these field watches and I will make a run at pretty much everyone I see that isn't already priced out of my bottom-feeder range.  I recently scored a Khaki pocket watch and I was excited to get it.

As received, the crystal was a bit beat up and my photo doesn't do it justice.  I was glad to see the luminous material on the hands wasn't broken up, missing, or faded.

The case back snaps on and is marked just like the LL Bean version with the model number 916580.

Tucked inside the case is a 649 movement based on the ETA 2750.  I've noticed the markings on the train bridge of this caliber varies over the years and in this case the little circle has extremely small print with the caliber details.  A large movement ring secures the movement inside the case.

A gasket inside the case back provides a good weather-proof seal.

While the movement is in the ultrasonic getting cleaned, I'll prep a new 36.2mm high dome crystal for installation.

Everything is cleaned and dried.

The reassembled movement is ticking away with good motion.  The 649 has a higher beat rate than the usual vintage watch of 18,000 BPH.  At 21,600 BPH, the ticking is noticeably faster.

The beat rate is right on the money but the beat error is 1.2ms.  On a vintage Lancaster-made movement I'd call this great, but the beat error is so easy to adjust on these Swiss ebauches that I'd feel embarrassed to leave it this high.

Adjusting the beat error is easy to do but it's very precise work and you have to go the right direction or you'll make it worse.  I'm down to 0.5ms, which I'd be delighted with in most cases but I can do better.

There...0.1ms.  I could try to get to zero but that would take some luck.  If I tried to change it again I'd likely just make it worse again.

The new crystal made a HUGE improvement and a good cleaning makes this durable field watch as good as new.

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