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Hello to all,

This is my first post. I have always loved watches and have owned some pretty neat pieces over the years--wished I had kept the patek 3919 and original ventura, but alas kids do need to go to college. I am now down to a single utilitarian rolex explorer--indestructable but... I would really like a dress watch and love the Hamilton Bradford. There is a new-old stock one on e-bay (one sold for a best offer of $900)---untouched, never wound, box, band buckle all there! <<On line retailer>> sells one with original crown and glass crystal (serviced) for $650. Can you help? How much is a fair price for the new-old stock, and how much for a used (without engraving) restored one (14Kt)---thanks for your help---Brian Keroack
 

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Hello to all,

This is my first post. I have always loved watches and have owned some pretty neat pieces over the years--wished I had kept the patek 3919 and original ventura, but alas kids do need to go to college. I am now down to a single utilitarian rolex explorer--indestructable but... I would really like a dress watch and love the Hamilton Bradford. There is a new-old stock one on e-bay (one sold for a best offer of $900)---untouched, never wound, box, band buckle all there! <<On line retailer>> sells one with original crown and glass crystal (serviced) for $650. Can you help? How much is a fair price for the new-old stock, and how much for a used (without engraving) restored one (14Kt)---thanks for your help---Brian Keroack
Hi Brian and welcome to the forum.

A gentle reminder that at WTF we cannot reference non-sponsors in posts. In recognition that their commercial contributions ensure the ongoing presence of this site our sponsors have exclusive publicity rights here. Please refer to the posting rules at the top of this forum.

But on to your questions....

The Bradford apparently sold for $900 (by one of our sponsors) is back on ebay via the same vendor for $1395. The fact it hasn't yet sold indicates to me that the market considers the price to be too high. But this is a one off; I'd be pretty certain that it's the only mint in box example - or one of only a few - in the world. So purchasers need to decide what level of premium they are prepared to pay for this genuine rarity.

I've been looking at Bradfords the past 3 years and have made a mental note that $450 seems to be about the floor price at ebay. I don't have any hard data to support this. Their value has risen over this time due to the rise in gold price. I suggest their rarity has also increased for the same reason because many cases have been melted; it's not uncommon to see a caseless Bradford at ebay.

Note that Bradfords were first sold in 1954 and originally fitted with 17 jewel 747 movements. Production of these ceased in 1955 so thereafter Bradfords were fitted with 22 jewel 770 movements. Again I have no data but I believe that the latter attract a higher price in the market because of the high quality, high reliability and relative youth of the 770 movement.
 

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Roger - the Bradford also came with the Swiss made caliber 637 in the 60's. The back of the case was totally flat on the 637 since it was thinner than the 770. It's also a round movement so it's easy to spot the 770 powered Bradfords by the extra depth.

Bradford 770 back showing the added depth:

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all your help--I will be more careful with future posts not to put in non-sponsor vendors. I purchased the New-old stock Bradford for $900---it is a one of a kind and the vendor put a NOS kriesler band on the piece so I cold store the 50 year old hamilton alligator band---he was super helpful and nice---excited to have a 'derss' watch--and glad to hear the '770' is such a fine movement--best, Brian
 

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I have a 1960 Hamilton Bradford B Diamond Dial that was my dad's presentation watch for 25 years with his company. I'll have to post a photo a little later, as my son has my camera at the moment--2 weeks, now.

It has a Jonell 14k case, similar to the one posted above, is signed Hamilton in 5 locations, if you include the crown, has the fantastic 770 22 jewel movement (described by some as the best movement ever made in the US), and it measures time ±5 seconds a day, after a COA last May--really.

The dial is silver (the old Hammy catalogue page for that says it's Sterling, but I don't think so) and has the 12 numeral in gold plus 11 diamond markers--but still is simple and elegant. It also has the "Masterpiece" or "Medallion" faceted elongated diamond shape in gold, which was used only in 1959 and 1960 to my knowledge. I think these little shapes were only for the presentation line, called by each of those names in those years. The catalogue price in 1960 was $300, which was a few bucks at the time. They seem to be fairly rare.

The stylized "H" Hammy logo hadn't been developed yet, and the dial is signed Hamilton in fairly standard typeface. Jodybeth, does your dial have that gold horizontally elongated, faceted diamond shape?

I have had mine looked at by a couple of people over the years, and I think the going value for this scarce a piece, in excellent condition, is $1250-$1500. I've never gotten an official appraisal because it's an heirloom for me, and I wouldn't sell it.
 

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A beautiful white gold diamond Bradford B sold last week on the swamp by a reputable seller for $510. I am kicking myself for not bidding.

Search Bradford in the completed listings of the wristwatch category. You'll find it.

Also, I believe the diamond marker on the dial indicates that the watch contains a 770 movement.
 

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A Bradford was the first model of Hamilton I coveted when I discovered the brand in 2009. So it's taken three years but just bagged one on the swamp. Couple of scratches and a crack on the crystal - but solid 14K, 22J/770 movement and its original Hamilton alligator band for $275! Very happy.



Dave - I don't think the diamond "Masterpiece" logo is totally indicative of a 770 movement in a Bradford. Well, maybe it does mean that 'that' watch has a 770, but there are Masterpiece Bradfords with a 770 that don't have a diamond - this one being a case in point. Note the case back adapted to take a 770 as detailed by Dennis above.

 
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