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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought this Hamilton off ebay about 10 years ago. I remember when I got it, how amazed I was with the condition, its almost like new.
I don't know anything about it except that I paid $75 for it at the time. Since its marked "Selfwinding" I figure its from the sixties but don't
really know. Since it runs well and keeps good time, Ive never had the back off so I don't know the caliber. Can anyone give me any info from
the photo? TIA.

hamiltonselfwinding.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
maybe I will get adventurous and take the back off (I'd hate to scratch it ) and take a photo or two of the movement to shed a little more light....
 

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Beautiful watch.
You have a Hamilton Dateline, Model A-577.
Without the serial number, engraved on the movement, it is hard to tell how old it is, as the A-577 was manufactured from 1964 until 1973, but with MINOR styling variations along the way. Your particular example was limited to 1964,'65, and '66. The movement was Hamilton's 694-A (while later models used the 69-A with four additional jewels in the movement.

And I would let a professional take the watch apart. To get to the movement, you have to remove the crystal, lift up the movement and dis-assemble the two-piece stem. Re-assembly is the reverse order, AND MUST BE DONE WITH CARE SO THAT WATER-RESISTANCE IS NOT COMPROMISED! This is a job for trained pros.
And the watch does NOT have a quick-set feature. Resetting the date must be done the long way.

On a personal note- Since yours is an out-the-front loader, I would take it to a watchmaker to have the watch serviced and checked for water damage (again, the thing about crystal moisture-seal integrity).

A-577.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Beautiful watch.
You have a Hamilton Dateline, Model A-577.
Without the serial number, engraved on the movement, it is hard to tell how old it is, as the A-577 was manufactured from 1964 until 1972, but with MINOR styling variations along the way. Your particular example was limited to 1964,'65, and '66. The movement was Hamilton's 694-A (while later models used the 69-A with four additional jewels in the movement.

And I would let a professional take the watch apart. To get to the movement, you have to remove the crystal, lift up the movement and dis-assemble the two-piece stem. Re-assembly is the reverse order, AND MUST BE DONE WITH CARE SO THAT WATER-RESISTANCE IS NOT COMPROMISED! This is a job for trained pros.
And the watch does NOT have a quick-set feature. Resetting the date must be done the long way.

On a personal note- Since yours is an out-the-front loader, I would take it to a watchmaker to have the watch serviced and checked for water damage (again, the thing about crystal moisture-seal integrity).

View attachment 169066
thank you for your detailed reply. based on what youre saying, I wont mess with it. I checked the back and its not a screwback. its either solidback or a pressback. I'm not sure its worth getting serviced (my watchmaker charges $100 for mechanicals) yet. What would be the sownside of using the watch until it gives me a problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
P.S. If I recall correctly this had a leather band on it when I got it, I switched it to nylon years ago and to silicone rubber recently.
 

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thank you for your detailed reply. based on what youre saying, I wont mess with it. I checked the back and its not a screwback. its either solidback or a pressback. I'm not sure its worth getting serviced (my watchmaker charges $100 for mechanicals) yet. What would be the sownside of using the watch until it gives me a problem?
As CometHunter pointed out, your watch is a 'front loader'. That means it is not a screwback or pressback, it is a solid one piece case. The crystal needs to be removed and the movement is taken out thru the front of the watch. If you are not familiar with how to do this, as CometHunter again pointed out, you should take it to a watchmakr and have it checked. Who knows when it was last serviced?
 

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Averaged out, $100 for a servicing is not an unreasonable cost. Whether or not it's a reasonable expense is entirely up to you. Don't strain your budget on something that's not your main time keeping device.

The down side of waiting to service the watch is difficult to address without knowing the service history. But it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the watch now could have a minor problem which, if you wait too long, will turn into a major repair expense that will take 2 or 3 months to complete (if replacement parts need to be located). It's the same with ANY piece of machinery's preventative maintenance...do you take care of it now for $100, or tempt fate and hope you don't need to spend $500 or $500 later on.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
While I would love to have my watchmaker open it up and inspect the movement for obvious problems, if there are none, I don't think I would go for an overhaul
as I am a strong believer in "if it aint broke, don't fix it" philosophy. Because the watch looks, sets, selfwinds, runs, and keeps accurate time like new, I'm very
hesitant to do anything at all with it at this time...
 

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The watch will run fine without a service driven by the power of the spring. All the time, the pinion tips will be grinding dry against the jewel with all the dirt and grit eroding the pinion and jewel until they are unusable. At that point, the watch will stop and you will need new pinions and jewels. When you consider how many beats per minute and how many turns a pinion makes in a day, there is a lot of time for friction to eat away at dry watch parts. A properly cleaned and lubed watch will reduce this friction and wear enough that the watch will be usable for decades.

I suggest that this watch is probably a seventies model based upon the use of the self-winding script. Hamilton primarily used the automatic script through the sixties with a few exceptions. You find more models marked self-winding in the seventies.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
UPDATE: I was setting the watch today and discovered it does have a center position on the crown so you CAN quick set the date. all the way out with the crown sets the time and hacks the seconds.
Before I liked the watch. now I love it.
 

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Beautiful watch.
You have a Hamilton Dateline, Model A-577.
Without the serial number, engraved on the movement, it is hard to tell how old it is, as the A-577 was manufactured from 1964 until 1973, but with MINOR styling variations along the way. Your particular example was limited to 1964,'65, and '66. The movement was Hamilton's 694-A (while later models used the 69-A with four additional jewels in the movement.

And I would let a professional take the watch apart. To get to the movement, you have to remove the crystal, lift up the movement and dis-assemble the two-piece stem. Re-assembly is the reverse order, AND MUST BE DONE WITH CARE SO THAT WATER-RESISTANCE IS NOT COMPROMISED! This is a job for trained pros.
And the watch does NOT have a quick-set feature. Resetting the date must be done the long way.

On a personal note- Since yours is an out-the-front loader, I would take it to a watchmaker to have the watch serviced and checked for water damage (again, the thing about crystal moisture-seal integrity).

View attachment 169066
CometHunter, quick question for you. You said this example was limited to 1964,65, and 66, but I thought the mid-60s A-577s read "automatic" on the dial and then the later models particularly the early 70s read "selfwinding". Am I wrong? Is there a resource that shows the minor styling variations of the A-577? Thank you!
 

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You thought correctly. Hamilton started using the term "self-winding" in 1971 in salesman's catalogs and 1972 on watch dials.

I don't know of any resources for styling changes (I'm not saying they don't exist....just that I'm unaware of them) unless you want to shell out $300+ dollars for Rene Rondeau's out-of-print book HAMILTON WRISTWATCHES A COLLECTOR'S GUIDE
 

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You thought correctly. Hamilton started using the term "self-winding" in 1971 in salesman's catalogs and 1972 on watch dials.

I don't know of any resources for styling changes (I'm not saying they don't exist....just that I'm unaware of them) unless you want to shell out $300+ dollars for Rene Rondeau's out-of-print book HAMILTON WRISTWATCHES A COLLECTOR'S GUIDE
Thank you! I have an A-577 which I assume is mid-60s and reads "automatic", would love to be able to know the exact year but that seems unlikely. Either way it is a great watch!
 

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Yeah.....unless you have the watch's ORIGINAL sales receipt, dating it exactly is practically impossible.
Dating a watch is done by locating the watch's serial number (which is engraved on the movement) and finding a chart that tells what year a given # was manufactured. This is done by Googling "DATING A HAMILTON".

Unfortunately for you, Hamilton stopped doing serial numbers in the late 1950s. And without any serial #, we're plumb out of luck! Sorry!
 
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