WATCH TALK FORUMS banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good Afternoon Fellow Hamilton Fans:

I just picked up a super neat Gladstone on eBay (my first old Hamilton) and I absolutely love it, although I'm curious about the face. Every other Gladstone I've ever seen has a second hand that completely obscures the '6' on the dial. Mine, however, shows a very small amount of the '6,' utilizing a smaller second hand. Can anyone shed some light on the piece and perhaps date and value it for me? MANY thanks...

-Rob

Note: It came from a seller in Austraila, did they perhaps make alternate versions for International sales?
 

Attachments

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,654 Posts
Hello SoSF and welcome. It pains me to be the bearer of bad news but...

One of that watch's previous owners needs to be throttled! :cursing:
No, it's not specially made for international sale. What you have is what we call a redial, and I'm afraid it is a poor one. You see, sometime in the watch's past the dial got damaged and was re-painted. Then they repainted the subsidiary seconds track, and as you noted, did not extend it far enough down. And they used an incorrect seconds hand as a replacement. Finally there is a re-application of luminous paint on the numbers and under magnification you can see it is a very messy amateurish job. The Hamilton factory would never do such a poor job with luminous paint.

It's such a shame. The Gladstone was only offered from 1930 to 1934 and so few in good condition still are available. One in like-new condition and fully serviced can fetch prices close to one thousand dollars. That re-dial really ruins it for true Hammy collectors.

But all is not lost! 99 out of 100 people would not recognize its faults and would see that marvelous decorated case. If its in running condition, you've got a great unique watch you can wear every day and show off. I have a few from the 30s and 40s that are worn quite regularly. One can be seen in today's thread: Watches For Thursday in the General Discussion Forum.

Let's do this...the next time you see one that catches your eye come to us first. Tell us where to find it. We'll look at it for you and let you know whether to pass or go for it (just don't wait until the last minute before telling us you found something you like). And don't be afraid to be picky and let some of them go. It's a hot period right now on eBay! for vintage watches and there WILL always be another one showing up soon!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sure it's a Re-dial?

Dear CometHunter:

Thanks SO much for the response and information. What puzzles me is why would anyone significantly alter the face of the dial (i.e add a portion of the '6' that wasn't originally there and change the second hand display and motion? Are you 100% certain this is not an original dial (even one from a different watch)? It seems odd that someone would go to all that extra work when it wasn't necessary. Are you able to magnify that picture to see the level of detail required to determine if the dial's been repaired? I've tried to look closely at it (although not under magnification) and it just looks a little weathered to me. I do, however, notice the hands and the numbers on the dial appear to be slightly different colors.

Again, I so appreciate the information. I still really like the piece; it's beautiful and definitely displays well on the wrist!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,654 Posts
What i did was click on your thumbnail photo. That gave me a large image.
I then right-clicked on the photo and Opened it in a New Window.
With Opera (the search engine I prefer to use) I was able to magnify THAT photo 800%.
...that's how I magnified it.
________________________________________________________________-

Obviously there is no way I can be 100% sure it it a re-painted dial without being the Original Owner of the watch. But I am reasonably sure. I've seen enough examples of original factory dials and enough examples of redials done by repair shops not associated with Hamilton to make an educated judgement. And in my opinion the workmanship of your dial does not meet the standards of the Hamilton factory. What with having the printing template of the original image, it just makes no sense that Hamilton would make a dial with such a glaringly different detail such as a wrong seconds track!
And those templates are not owned by every watch repair shop! It's entirely possible that whoever did the work simply used as an example the first vintage watch he could lay his hands on...maybe a Waltham or a Gruen or a different Hamilton of that era.

And anyone else here who is familiar with Hammys will tell you that the luminous paint job on those numbers is the work of a non-professional.

Please- I'm not dissing your purchase or making fun of anything. I'm simply trying to pass on some knowledge for you to use should there be a next purchase. And I really hope there will be. Between the 1930s and the 60s there are a vast number of different styles available. You can really go crazy with excitement trying to decide where you want to go next.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks

Bill:

I didn't mean to come across as questioning; I'm extremely appreciative of the information and knowledge. This was marketed as "original condition" and I'm interested in how you picked out all of the specific details; I wish I had that ability already! As I may have mentioned, this is my first Hamilton and I still like it; it's a beautiful case and I kind of like how it looks and that it is different. Thanks again for the information...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,654 Posts
Not a problem!
We're here to help if and when we can. And don't forget...when you look at the typewritten word it's really hard to pick up the author's mood or emotions. Heaven knows we have that problem amongst ourselves here at WTF! Of course, :001_unsure:, I could load my answers:001_rolleyes: full of emoticons :cursing: but you see how that looks! :lol::lol::lol:

And there's no rocket science involved in spotting problems. After looking at zillions of pictures of watches you get a feel for what's right and what looks a little off.

On a personal note, I'd love to see a wrist shot of that Gladstone! :w00t:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Would you keep it?

Bill:

Another question for you; given what we know about this time piece. I paid $170 for it and it would cost another $150 to get it running properly (worn jewel allowing it to gain one hour per day and it has apparently not been serviced in years). Would you consider keeping it for $320 total, or would you just keep looking for a more authentic example? Thanks...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,654 Posts
You said this was your first old Hamilton so I'm assuming you're relatively new to collecting watches- at least the vintage kind.

The veteran members have a stock answer for people in your position: "If YOU like it, do it. You're paying for it, not us. You're going to wear it, not us!"
It's really up to you as to whether or not you want to spend the money fixing it up. If you like it simply because of the way it looks, and having 'an authentic and correct dial' isn't that important to you, the by all means have it serviced and wear it with joy! You obviously love it or else you wouldn't have bought it.
And this could save you money in the long run.

Let's say instead of fixing the Gladstone you go bid on and win another 'Bay watch. You don't know for sure what condition it's in. Odds are 50/50 the seller is clueless as well. He has a watch to get rid of and he's gonna say whatever he has to to sell it! This is what we, as buyers, must assume. We can't run the risk of "assuming" the watch we buy is freshly serviced just to have some major part break 5 months from now because the watch was never really serviced in the first place! So...when that new arrival hits our mailbox we take it right down to our trusted watchguy to have it checked out. That's just the nature of the beast that is our hobby!
And the money being spent on this service is the money that could have been used to fix up that Gladstone!! Right?


(Did I answer your question, or get you even more confused?)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,643 Posts
According to Will Roseman's most excellent site, the Gladstone was offered with two dial configurations - luminous numerals or butler finish with Breguet style black transfer figures.

Here's the 1930 catalog image of the luminous numerals variant for reference:



And here's a shot of my black numeral dial variant. Please note that this is an incorrectly refinished dial, the numerals and sub seconds register are different in the 'real' version....

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,643 Posts
Foote - not sure if you knew, but although that's a very nicely refinished dial, it's not correct for the Gladstone either. The luminous version should be the same as the catalog image in my post above. See also that the minutes chapter is not parallel with the inside edge of the bezel; it's closer at the top and bottom than it is at the sides. I've seen that dial type before but can't remember which model it's from.

Below is my green gold filled Gladstone with luminous dial. It's very old and tired and the lume has been inexpertly replaced - but the dial (and hands) are correct.

 

·
Banned
Joined
·
155 Posts
I may be a bit confused. And that may have been an older picture of when I first got the watch back and someone noticed they were transposed. This is how they look right this second:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,203 Posts
Streets,

In my opinion, you did alright at $170 for this watch. It is always a bit of a hit or miss as to what you will get into servicing/fixing vintage watches. But, I paid $2 less for what I think is a nice example, not perfect, but, nice. Mine will run and the balance seems to have good even motion. So, I am hoping it will only take a COA to put it on my wrist.

Dial refinishing is done by more than one company so, you do see subtle differences in dials from watch to watch. And, it is accepted that most radium luminescent dials from the 30's, if not put away in a drawer for decades, have been refinished. First, the radium, being radio active, would have generally degraded the look of the dial, sometimes in relatively short order. Then, you have to acknowledge the affect that perspiration, nicotine, and just regular humidity and other moisture might have. Plus, jewelers were looking for other streams of revenue when customers brought watches in for service every couple years and recommended 'freshening' the dials.

So, I wouldn't find it too objectionable that your dial has been refinished, maybe more than once. It can always be done again by International Dial, using the original dial pattern.

I think once you would have the work done to the movement to get it running and serviced, plus having the dial refinished, you could easily justify your expense. I have been looking for a 'reasonable' example for some time and have just recently found one. This model isn't that common and would make a nice cornerstone for any vintage Hamilton collection.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Streets,

In my opinion, you did alright at $170 for this watch. It is always a bit of a hit or miss as to what you will get into servicing/fixing vintage watches. But, I paid $2 less for what I think is a nice example, not perfect, but, nice. Mine will run and the balance seems to have good even motion. So, I am hoping it will only take a COA to put it on my wrist.

Dial refinishing is done by more than one company so, you do see subtle differences in dials from watch to watch. And, it is accepted that most radium luminescent dials from the 30's, if not put away in a drawer for decades, have been refinished. First, the radium, being radio active, would have generally degraded the look of the dial, sometimes in relatively short order. Then, you have to acknowledge the affect that perspiration, nicotine, and just regular humidity and other moisture might have. Plus, jewelers were looking for other streams of revenue when customers brought watches in for service every couple years and recommended 'freshening' the dials.

So, I wouldn't find it too objectionable that your dial has been refinished, maybe more than once. It can always be done again by International Dial, using the original dial pattern.

I think once you would have the work done to the movement to get it running and serviced, plus having the dial refinished, you could easily justify your expense. I have been looking for a 'reasonable' example for some time and have just recently found one. This model isn't that common and would make a nice cornerstone for any vintage Hamilton collection.

Just my 2 cents worth.

Rob
Rob:

Thanks so very much. Based on yours and Bill's feedback, I did decide to keep the watch. Even though it's not all original, it's still a beautiful example of incredible American craftsmanship, reminiscent of another era. I'm having it completely overhauled and am excited to see it working properly again. At some point, it may well receive a re-dial, but for the time being it's going 'back in circulation' where it belongs; being seen and enjoyed!

Streets...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,654 Posts
I think that's a very healthy attitude to have. More power to ya! :001_smile::thumbup::001_smile::thumbup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,203 Posts
Streets,

You won't be disappointed. That is a beautiful model and you won't run into many in everyday life. So, you will likely receive some compliments and those curious of what you have and where you got it.

Make sure to post some shots here when you get it on your wrist! :wink:
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top