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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm not talking pocket watches here...

The Ball watch was the first wrist watch to be allowed on the railroad with the Accutron and the Elgin close behind.
But in spite of the inspectors negative thoughts about the Hamilton electric and its poor timekeeping ability, Hamilton had great sway and was able to get it approved on many lines.
The faults, if any, lied more in poor servicing and poor regulation by a generation of watchmakers more used to the forgiving nature of the mechanical watch.
 

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Webb C Ball did work with Hamilton and Elgin in designing the standard for RR. Some vintage Ball timepieces employs modified Hamilton calibres if my memory serves me right.

The RR Standard was pre COSC and specified a tighter standard then current COSC standard. I am not sure why the Hamilton Electric was perceived poorly. Does the early Hamilton Electric have End of Life indicator?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Webb C Ball did work with Hamilton and Elgin in designing the standard for RR. Some vintage Ball timepieces employs modified Hamilton calibres if my memory serves me right.

The RR Standard was pre COSC and specified a tighter standard then current COSC standard. I am not sure why the Hamilton Electric was perceived poorly. Does the early Hamilton Electric have End of Life indicator?

I think you may be referring to pocket watches....This is regarding the first wrist watches approved by the RR. The wrist watch models were Hamailton Electric RR50 & RR51....no EOL indicator.

But the electric movement was "bugged" because of the lack of training that Hamilton gave to the dealers and watchmakers when the movement first came out. Remember Hamilton had to create a battery for it too. Battery life was an issue as well as the supply of batteries. Many AD's and watchmakers could not do minor adjustments. They didn't know how to replace the contacts (remember we had to replace those in our cars as well).

In the race to create the first "electric" watch, Hamilton won the battle, but lost the war. The movement proved worthy, the AD's and watchmakers were left in the dark...The reason..Hamilton wanted to be the first with the electric movement.....Bulova was right behind.
 

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You are right Mgiraz. The Hamilton Electric while fascinating as the world first electric watch is difficult to service and not as durable compared to mechanical and automatics. Their hybrid movements are really a combination of technology and art but sadly a tad too fragile.

They succesfully placed a Hamilton 'first' in horology history but lost the war to quartz. Nevertheless Hamilton's contribution is a significant one.
 
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