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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I'd like to say that this is a great forum, and I have found it very interesting already. While I am not a watch collector (my obsession with antique cars consumes most of my time & $) , I have a true appreciation for both clocks and watches - especially Hamiltons. I spent the first 10 years of my career working at Ridgeway Clock Co. in Ridgeway, Virginia. My interest in all mechanical devices combined with my training in the wood products industry led me in that direction, and I found it to be a very fascinating industry to work in.

The reason for my thread is to ask for help in identifying and determining the restoration potential for a Hamilton watch that I inherited from my grandfather. He passed away back in 1991, and I have kept this watch in a box since then. It seems now is a good time to get it out and consider restoring it. I am not so concerned with the monetary value of the watch, as the significance to me is sentimantal. I worry; however, whether the watch can be restored given its condition.

Hamilton2.jpg

As you can see, both the case and the crystal are scratched. I am not certain of the condition of the dial since the crystal is so poor. The hands are intact. The winding stem pulls all the way out of the case when pulled out to adjust the hands. The watch is marked 10K Gold Filled on the back.

1) From checking the archives, the watch looks like a 1937 Merritt, but I am not certain. Is that so?
2) Can the case be re-plated if the scratches cannot be polished out without going thru the plating?
3) I'm sure the movement needs attention as well. Are parts readily available to make repairs?
4) Does anyone know of a watchmaker in the Greensboro, NC area that is qualified to perform the restoration? If not, do you have any suggestions as to how to locate a qualified watchmaker?

Thanks in advance for any advice that you can offer.

Regards,
Todd
 

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Yep, it sure looks like a Merritt. I wouldn't give the case any more than a light polish. Little scratches on an heirloom are reflections of life lived and there's no need to hide that. Replating generally doesn't work out well anyway. The dial looks pretty good underneath that crystal. With a new crystal, it looks like it will show just the right amount of light patina that's very desirable.

There should be a 987 movement in there. That should be easily serviceable by any competent repair shop. Any parts required should be easily available to such a shop. My understanding of the US market indicates that the cost of a service should be in the $50-80 range plus the cost of parts such as the stem and crystal. It is well worth this expense and will be a great looking, reliable watch when it's finished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the informatin Dave. I went ahead and bought a NOS crystal off of eBay, and will ask some local jewelers if they have someone they would recommend to repair the watch.

Regards,
Todd
 

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Todd,

Just be careful and ask some questions of your watch person. It might be to your advantage to enlist someone who regularly works on and appreciates the vintage models.

Just like in mechanics, there are craftsmen and there are hacks. I would want to make sure the person working on my family heirloom was a craftsman.

That is a beauty, by the way, refurb it and make sure it is passed down through your family for many more generations to enjoy! :thumbup1:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. I apologize for not replying sooner, but this week has been a tough one at work - too many late hours, and no time to surf the net.

I appreciate the words of caution regarding finding someone to work on my watch. I had the same concerns, and that was one thing that led me to this forum - hoping to find a lead on a local watchmaker that I could trust. I am in the Greensboro, North Carolina area if anyone knows of someone close by that they could recommend.

I am anxious to get the watch repaired and be able to enjoy its beauty once again. With my interest in items of the art deco era, I could not have chosen a watch better suited to my taste if I tried.

Thanks again.

Todd
 
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