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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

1960 Flight II

Some collectors like art deco models.  Other collectors like Electrics.  Still other collectors prefer only solid gold models.  There are definitely plenty of themes to go around.  One very popular genre are the asymmetric models.   Asymmetrics span art deco, electric, automatic movements, and all case materials as well!

Some might question the art deco statement but I'd invite you to check out the Spur, or possibly the Brooke.

The late 1950s and early 1960s was the golden age of asymmetric models though and there are no finer examples than the Flight I and the Flight II.  Both models have very similar designs that differ in case material - solid 14K gold vs 10K gold filled and by dial pattern.

The Flight I was introduced in 1960 and made for two years.  The Flight II was introduced at the same time but made through 1962.

Most baby boomers or Gen X'rs might be reminded of George Jetson after looking at the Flight.  You might even be tempted to believe the Jetsons inspired the Flight models.

Would you believe that the Jetsons was produced for only a single season and that season was in 1962?

It makes you wonder who inspired who?

Both the Flight I and the Flight II are very popular.  The design oozes coolness and they each run a mechanical movement inside - so they are easy to maintain as well.

I recently received a Flight II that was due for an overhaul and it was great to finally get my hands on one.  It's a sizeable watch and wears a bit larger than you might expect but it's certainly not large by today's standards.

The bracelet that came with the watch is a nice pairing but it's not original.  Flipping it over you can see the maker is Speidel, and that maker was not original equipment for too many models with the exception of some early 1950 watches.

You can see the case back is clearly marked Hamilton and 10K gold filled.

The dial of the Flight II is a brushed gold.  This makes it one of a few models to have a gold colored dial.  The numerals and markers are solid gold as well, but the hands are plated.

Tucked behind the dial is a 22 jewel 770 caliber.  This model is unique in that there is no second hand.  So the 4th wheel has a shortened pivot and there's nothing for a second hand to attach to.  Otherwise it's a garden-variety 22 jewel movement and very easy to maintain.

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

The reassembled movement looks pretty much the same as the before shot, although it's noticeably brighter now that's it's been cleaned.

Nothing to complain about with this performance.  The beat error could be closer to 0.0 but 1.4 is well within my personal specs.  To get it much closer would require only a small adjustment but it would also risk goofing it up.

The owner of this watch found the crown a bit too small and too smooth to comfortably wind.  So he asked me to change it out. Fortunately I had a nice example of a slightly larger (and new) crown that looks great.  This will make a huge difference.

The finished project looks fantastic.  I can see why these models are so popular.  You would definitely get comments from everyone in the room if you walked in sporting one of these.  It was a real treat to work on it.

1 comment:

  1. A fantastic watch and indeed one of the very best of the asymmetric Hamiltons. As always an interesting post which really shows your in-depth knowledge of these watches.
    I inherited a Flight II from my late father, in very good condition but with a brushed silver dial. I believe they came in black as well. Or maybe it was the Thor only?
    Anyway, thanks a lot for sharing your work.