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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

1966 Seaman II - a tale of two cases

The 1966 Seaman II is either a one-year wonder or a two-year wonder, it's hard to say for sure. 

The models is only shown in the 1966/67 catalog.  There is no 1967 catalog that I'm aware of.

 The Seaman II is the second model to bear the Seaman name, the earlier version being a one-year wonder from 1962,  The Seaman II was an entry level model priced at $50.  That's about $450 in today's currency and that's about what you'd pay for a similar entry-level model in today's Hamilton lineup.

I posted a Seaman II in 2018 and it featured different hands than the catalog image.  That wasn't too unusual as sometimes the factory would use similar hands during busy times of the year in preparation for graduations or Christmas.

I recently received a Seaman II in need of some TLC and it's an exact match for the catalog image.

Tucked inside the one-piece case is a Hamilton 688 movement based on an ETA ├ębauche.  Open up a modern Hamilton Khaki Mechanical and you'll see Hamilton still uses very similar movements made by ETA - although with definite improvements made over the last 50 years.

The dial was a bit loose on the movement and looking at the back I can see why.  It's missing one of the two dial feet.  So only one foot is securing the dial to the movement.

Everything gets disassembled and thoroughly cleaned.  Now it's ready to be reassembled with fresh lubricants.

The movement is clean and bright and ticking with a good motion.

The timer shows it's running pretty well.  These ETA movements are very easy to adjust (and very easy to goof up without a timer).  I should be able to dial it in nicely.

There... pretty much right on the money.  I'll leave it running a smidgen fast as I've found freshly serviced movements tend to settle a bit over time.

I'll use a couple of "dial dots" to secure the dial in addition to the one remaining dial foot.  The tan circles will be removed and reveal the clear two-sided tape that will hold the dial.

The owner of the watch provided a second case so I get to chose the one to use.  Notice they have different serial numbers but the same model number.  The one on the left must have had a bracelet as the lugs have slight grooves worn into them.

Looking at the backs, the one on the left (with the grooves) is unmolested while the case on the right is personalized with a name.  Which one would you use?  Leave a comment below to let me know your opinion!

The finished project looks much better with a fresh crystal and it now runs great too.  With the dial secured it should stay that way.

It may be hard to tell which case I used with the strap installed but I went the non-personalized route.  Personalized cases don't really bother me but if you have no connection to the original owner then non-personalized case is probably more appealing, even with slightly damaged lugs.

What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm. I think I'd opt for the personalized case. No one looks at the case back, but I can definitely see the grooves in the lugs!