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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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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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