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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Hamilton pocket watch that was given me by my grandfather many years ago. The serial number of the movement (382582) I think indicates it was manufactured in 1904 or 1905.

I accidentally broke off the filigree on the back of the minute hand (I had forgotten how to adjust the time and tried to do it by moving the hand manually - very bad idea!). I took it to a jeweler to have the hand replaced and because he could not duplicate the fancy filigree of the originals, he put "plain-Jane" hands in place of them. Another bad idea. I should have at least made him put the original hands back.

Anyway, I have not been able to find anyone that has these hands, and several jewelers I have taken the watch to for rel=placement hands have not been helpful. These were black hands and very beautiful and I would like to get replacements, if at all possible. I haven't even been able to find a Hamilton watch that had these kind of hands to show what thery looked like.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Jay
 

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Search the largest online auction site for the movement grade, probably a 974. See if any of the results match what you're looking for.

Unless you've already done that.:biggrin:
 

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Thanks, I 'v looked at so many dial faces I can't see straight anymore. I really haven't seen anthing that loks like what I remember. It's been 20+ years since I did this, so my memory may be failing. I think it is a 974, and I have looked at some 974's, but they didn't jog my memory.

Jay
 

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Jay,

Perhaps if you were to show a photo of your ORIGINAL hands, one of us might be willing to pull out our old hamilton watch catalog hand pages to help?! I have learned not to do such a thing until the person who needs the help does a bit of work first... mostly because I'm tired of seeing my information/knowledge turned into fast cash on eBay.
 

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It sounds like he hasn't had the original hands for decades and has been searching for images of something similar but can't find anything. The movement serial number places it around the era he suggests but I don't have access to catalogs that far back.
 

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Thanks Dave, I never caught that he did this 20 years ago. Likely, some dishonest jeweler stole his hands because he needed a pair also. Perhaps if the owner could confirm if the caliber is a 974...that would be a good place to start? (The 974 was made for over 40 years... so ANYTHING is likely possible, but I'm not a pocket watch expert, though I don't think anyone else here is either,)

BUT, if the hands were truly from 1904/1905 and are now, sadly, only in his memory, there are all sorts of lost in translation possibilities, not the least of which is that the hands might not have been original to the watch to begin with. From what I understand they are fancy black hands with what he described as filigree? I THINK he likely means they were of some French style like Louis XIV or similar... please see a few photos attached that I grabbed quickly from eBay... not the right size, but a decent place to start. That said, I also still wonder what he meant when he said that he knocked off the filigree from the back. Might he really mean that he knocked off the old radium from the back? IF so, then the hands he remembers are not likely this type of hand at all.
 

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Still no response?

I hoped to locate an email address for you, but I can't find it. PERHAPS Cary Hurt or someone else around here might have an email address for Fred Hansen handy? By most accounts, one of the very best and most knowledgeable guys around who collects AND KNOWS Hamilton pocket watches (PWs) is Fred Hansen. Mr. Hansen has posted for many years on the various NAWCC and private watch collector boards related to PWs -- so his prior posts might also be a great place to start learning. But again, one thing that MUST be stressed is that a large number of early American PWs before 1925 or so were not factory cased, so just abount any combination of movement, dial, and especially cases and hands are possible... thought you may never EVER find another exactly the same. I don't think you said (I will re-read your post), but a good sign of this would be in your case is stamped Hamilton or not? A few posts you might want to read to start your search:

Hamilton 974 questions [Archive] - National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Message Board
Hamilton Watch Co. threads [Archive] - National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors Message Board
Early Hamilton 974
(This above link mentions an early NAWCC ARTICLE that you SHOULD look for!)
Hamilton 974

I did find Fred's watch blog, so perhaps you can find his email address here too:
Fred Hansen’s WatchWord
 
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