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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently found what I suspect was my Grandfather's watch. When I picked it up to look at it, the second hand started moving :biggrin: so I put it on.

The face is marked Hamilton and Automatic. The back is marked Hamilton and 10K Gold Filled. Above the "gold" stamping is what appears to be a fancy capital J with a spear stuck through it.

I posted pix on another board and one member said, "Try here, they might can help", so here I am. Another told me it was an anachronism. That the "flared lugs" were from the 50s, while the automatic action didn't appear until the 60s.

Another responder said he thought "thin-o-matic" from the 60s.

The first poster said showing the back and sides might help. That's why the caliper, to give scale. The smaller measurement is the "stepped down" area shown at the side. I presume it to be the case, minus the crystal and back. The larger measurement is the entire thickness, from back to crystal.









This last one is a bad picture, but shows the (to me) strange crystal. I've never seen one with that "different thickness in the center" thing. What was the purpose of that? Magnification, or just design, or what?



Everything about it seems dingy - hard to read. Is this normal for this type watch, or it is a scratched crystal/dirty interior kind of thing?
 

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it's a Hamilton K-405 from the late 50's. It's probably got a 661 automatic in it which is a Kurth/Certina ebauche.

they're easily fixed by a competent watchmaker and the parts are reasonably easy to come by. The dial probably needs a clean (as the watch isn't waterproof). The crystal can be replaced.

cheers,

Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. I don't suppose you know a competent watchmaker in North Florida? :laugh:

And I see, just now, looking at it from an angle, that what I thought was a beveled area in the crystal is actually the design of the face. :blushing: Boy, that makes me feel dumb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I hesitated about this next question. I see on various gun boards, "I just inherited my grandfathers WHATEVER. What's it worth (I want to retire on the sale, yes I do, I'm a greedy so-and-so)", and I think bad things about the asker.

I have no intention of selling, but I am curious. I found a 1956 ad on Ebay (that ad and this thread is the only thing Google knows about Hamilton K-405 watches) that said it sold for 100 bucks. An inflation calculator said in 2012 money that would be 855 dollars. So, it was apparently an expensive watch. Curious what it would go for in the collector market.
 

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the issue of value is not easily assessed.

most of the early Hamilton automatics are not expensive. I reckon the bracket would be 80 - 150 dollars depending on condition. It's not an especially sought after model (unlike a K-407) but it is relatively uncommon.

As it's a heirloom piece its value is even harder to assess. Unfortunately I'm on the other West Coast and I can't help with watch guys in Florida.

there are a couple of good guys here on the forum (N2FHL, Rikthewatchmaker (in Florida) and OMEGA564 (NY)).

cheers,

Sean
 

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The good news is that the case is in great shape with no apparent wear through. Everything else can be cleaned, fixed or replaced. Service the movement, clean the dial and replace the crystal and it has the potential to be a stunning example with a little attention by a good service shop. Two suggestions I have for now: 1. Don't wear it until it's cleaned and oiled. 2. Take off that bracelet and put it on a leather strap. The spring loaded expandable lug ends can cut a groove right into the watch's lug with the swivelling motion of wearing it and taking it on and off.
 

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The back is marked Hamilton and 10K Gold Filled. Above the "gold" stamping is what appears to be a fancy capital J with a spear stuck through it.
The "J" logo was registered to Jonell Watch Case Co., 36-01 43Rd. Ave., Long Island City, NY
That mark was first registered on December 18, 1962 and expired on February 1, 1988.
The original building still stands at that location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have another question.

Every watch I've ever had, from my first Timex in grade school, said "shockproof" on the back.

This doesn't.

I was chopping some wood the other day. Wasn't wearing this one, but thought about it. If I had had it on, and the shock imparted as the axe met the wood. So - how much shock can a "non-shockproof" watch take? If I was wearing it on my right arm and hammering nails, for instance, would that be a bad thing? I understand it's a dress watch, and I have a Swiss Army quartz for everyday, but just how delicate would it be?
 

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Alpo,

the Hamilton/Kurth/Certina automatics come with either Incabloc or KIF shock protection. All of these should make it ok to do your regular stuff without being over-protective of the watch.

I personally would get the watch cleaned and serviced before you do anything manual. without a service history of the watch it might be carrying some 50 year old niggles that might "help" it spring a leak.
 
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