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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! I was at my local auction today, and picked up what I think is a Nautilus 404. It was in a box lot with a ton of not so great watches. They were sold as choice for which ever ones you wanted in the lot. I might of paid to much for this one, as I wasn't sure what model it was, and just bought it based on it's great look. I paid $110 for it, which is a lot for one watch for me to spend on one watch, but thats ok. When I engage the stem to set the time and push it back in, the second hand moves for about 10 to 15 seconds, then stops, so I'm guessing it just needs a battery. Also, do you have to remove the crystal to replace the battery? I plan on keeping this one, but would like to have it looked over by someone to make sure it's OK. It needs at least a new battery, a polishing, and a polishing to the crystal. Can anyone recommend someone to work on this watch for me? Also, do you think I spent to much on it? Thanks in advance!


 

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Looking at the 1968-69 catalog - I'm not sure it is a Nautilus 404.

The case looks correct - which is usually the biggest factor - but the dial is not quite right. The 404 in the catalogue has a defined minutes track and the hour markers seem to be different. I'm also not sure what the word is under the Hamilton logo on your watch. Is it "Masterpiece" or "Movement"? Either way, this word does not appear on the catalogue image.

Being as your watch is a presentation piece the dial may have been customised to the buyer's specifications - in which case yes, you have a factory original.

And now onto the question of getting it serviced.....

Well!

You can expect to spend AT LEAST another $110 on this. Electrics are a special breed and need specialist attention. If you search for "Hamilton Electric" you will find one or two and these will be the "go to" guys. Unfortunately Hamilton Electrics are not something you drop off to the guy in the kiosk at the local shopping centre. Even replacing the battery can be a challenge - and I believe the batteries themselves can be a challenge to source.

But don't lose heart! Those of us with Hamilton Electrics love them to bits; cleaned up (and with an original bracelet if at all possible) they are magnificent timepieces. Eye catching, a good size for today's tastes and they wear beautifully on the wrist. Oh - and they keep great time when correctly serviced!

Here's a sibling to your 404 (presuming that's what it is!); my Nautilus 602 - "Before" (at purchase, non working, unpolished) and "After" (totally rebuilt movement, all cleaned and correct original bracelet. Gets comments every time!)



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the help! It says masterpiece underneath Hamilton on the dial. Thee back has a date of 1968 on it as well. I will have to look through the catalogs to try to find it. I don't mind spending another $110 on it if the watch is worth it. I'm just not sire if I would be better off just putting this one up for sale and triumvir source one that has all the hard work done.
 

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Don't bother looking for it in the catalogs. It isn't there. From what I understand, the Masterpiece models were sold through the Presentation and Awards Division and were never cataloged. Often they re-used cases from older, discontinued models with different dials so that an award watch recipient could not go into a Hamilton dealer and find that model for sale.

Mine says Hi.:cool1:
 
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