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Hi guys,

I was hoping that someone could help me identify this vintage military style Hamilton CLD manual wind watch I have recently purchased for $100 US off eBay. It's a gift for my father and I was hoping to learn a little more about it before I gave it to him. I can't seem to find another model of Hamilton exactly like it, the seller has informed me it is 100% original and in working order; however, they can't tell me the series/movement number. The case is 30mm (without crown) and it's a stainless steel bubble back and it looks to have some type of crocodile watch band. I'm not expecting anything too spectacular because I only spent $100 but it would be nice to find out if it's even authentic.

DSC08587.jpg DSC08588.jpg DSC08589.jpg DSC08591.jpg DSC08592.jpg

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Mike
 

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The Steeldon

The "CLD" line of Hamilton watches showed up just after World War 2 and lasted into the early 50s. The cld is a play on the word "sealed". The watch was advertised as being sealed from dirt and moisture. The entire case is one piece of metal (no back cover to pop or screw off). To get at the movement, watch repairmen must first remove the crystal, work the movement into an upside-down position, and then remove the crown and stem. And those stems, as well as other parts, are not interchangeable with non-cld Hamiltons. With repair parts becoming more scarce all the time, watch repairmen groan when a cld enters their shop to be fixed.

As surmised by the title of my post, your watch is a Hamilton cld Steeldon, probably made in 1951, as the Steeldon model was only in the Hamilton sales catalog between 1950 and 1952. This is only a guess. You'd need the serial number to know a more exact date of manufacture. And that can only be had by looking at the movement. And THAT should only be done by a professional repairman. Removing and replacing the crystal, and removing the stem are incredibly tricky if you don't know what you're doing. (I speak from personal experience)
Its retail price was $71.50 (a tidy investment back in the day!).

Trivia: All Hamilton cld watches have names ending with don (although not all watch names ending with a don are cld models).


Hope this helps! :biggrin:
 

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Nice work Bill! I agree it is a Steeldon and gleaned the following from the 1951 catalogue (or "cattle-dog" as we Aussies prefer to say!)....

The Steeldon offered a choice of two dial variants, each with an 18 jewel movement and stainless steel case.

1. Rhodium plated 18K numerals on a silver dial: Model number 851311 (leather strap) -OR- 851312 (stainless steel bracelet)

2. Luminous numerals and hands on a silver dial. 851321 (leather strap) -OR- 851322 (bracelet)

Prices for both variants slightly different to those Bill quoted; $62.50 for the leather strap and $67.50 for the stainless steel bracelet.
 

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Thank you Roger. And thanks for filling in the gaps! :001_tongue:
 
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