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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)


Hamilton Rutledge
catalogued 1935-1951
First production model platinum case for Hamilton (90% plat./10% iridium)
18K applied white gold numerals on dial
originally sold with a gray strap and a platinum buckle
21mm x 35mm case size
19mm strap width
19-jewel 982 movement
$175 new in 1935
$300 new in 1951
production figures unknown


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Actually the Rutledge was not the first platinum Hamilton. Both the Piping Rock and Meadowbrook were catalogued in platinum a few years before the Rutledge, but they were not exactly big sellers: only 9 Piping Rocks and 17 Meadowbrooks were made. They also made platinum Ovals and Oxfords, and possibly others, but these were special orders and never catalogued so they are not considered part of normal production.

One unresolved mystery is why some Rutledges are stamped "Platinum" while most are marked "Plat.-Irid." Platinum is normally alloyed with about 10% iridium but I don't know when Hamilton changed their markings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Actually the Rutledge was not the first platinum Hamilton. Both the Piping Rock and Meadowbrook were catalogued in platinum a few years before the Rutledge, but they were not exactly big sellers: only 9 Piping Rocks and 17 Meadowbrooks were made. They also made platinum Ovals and Oxfords, and possibly others, but these were special orders and never catalogued so they are not considered part of normal production.

One unresolved mystery is why some Rutledges are stamped "Platinum" while most are marked "Plat.-Irid." Platinum is normally alloyed with about 10% iridium but I don't know when Hamilton changed their markings.
Being aware of prior platinum-cased models, I should have clarified the Rutledge as being the first "mass-produced" Hamilton platinum model. :blushing:
 

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The platinum case on the pictured watch seems to have held-up very well. I can't see a scratch or mark on it.

Would that make platinum a better metal to use for watch cases than say stainless steel, or is the pictured watch just a lucky scratch free survivor?
 

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Platinum is one of the hardest metals used in jewelry or watches. My Rutledge still had the factory brush marks on the metal. Amazing.
 

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Platinum doesn't actually scratch. It's more like a dent - the metal is just displaced and does not actually come off the case. Watchaholic is right about it being the hardest of the precious metals. It can be refinished, but it is difficult to work with. Platinum also doesn't oxidize.
 

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Let's not forget the Rectangular . . .

Hi Everyone:

Sorry I鈥檝e not been around - struggling business issues that have kept me away.

Let鈥檚 not forget about the 1927 Hamilton Rectangular. This 18K beauty was not only Hamilton鈥檚 first platinum example (a year before the Piping Rock and the Meadowbrook), it was also hand chased.

http://www.vintagewatch.info/Detail%20-%20Rectangular%20-%20White.htm

Regards,

Will
 

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Hi Everyone:

Sorry I鈥檝e not been around - struggling business issues that have kept me away.

Let鈥檚 not forget about the 1927 Hamilton Rectangular. This 18K beauty was not only Hamilton鈥檚 first platinum example (a year before the Piping Rock and the Meadowbrook), it was also hand chased.

http://www.vintagewatch.info/Detail%20-%20Rectangular%20-%20White.htm

Will

I never read this until now. I was not aware that the Rectangular came in Platinum. Do any known examples still exist?
Regards,
 

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I鈥檝e fallen behind on the Forum but couldn鈥檛 resist adding to the thread about this instantly-recognizable Hamilton classic! Thought I鈥檇 share a couple of variants that don鈥檛 show up too frequently鈥hese 3- and 11-diamond dials were offered in 鈥49 only. Despite my poor picture, please note that all three are original-dialed, never-engraved examples.



Here鈥檚 how they priced out in 鈥49: AGN: $300, 3-diamond: 380, 11-diamond: 530 鈥搕hat鈥檚 the equivalent of $2757, $3492 and $4870, respectively, today. A Brock of that era would run you $110 ($1011 today). Vintage Hamiltons are either a bargain or a poor investment!

And for additional interesting comparison鈥n 鈥49 dollars an average home sold for $7450, an average car was $1650 and the average income was $2950.

Happy Hamilton Hunting!
 

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Rusty,

Is that a Cambridge dial on the middle one? The numbers look larger like the Cambridge's are?

M
All 3 contain the D15 Rutledge dials (the snipped-cornered-rectangular blanks longer than the D62 rectangular blanks for the Cambridge/Brock/Dunkirk). The figures look the same across these Rutledges and between them and my Cambridges/Brocks/Dunkirks).

I dug back into the dial blueprints & the figures specified on both the D15 and D62 share the same part numbers except for the 5 & 7 (and the 1 in the 1, 11 & 12, which, on the D62, called for a different part number than the 1 in the 10 -which strikes me as really odd but there must've been a good reason a 1 wasn't just a 1 wasn't just a 1 -maybe mounting points?).

And thanks for the kind words -I'm invariably impressed by the goodies you pull out of your watchbox so it's nice to be able to return the favor on occasion. Today's supposed to be less cloudy so, time permitting, I'll have to try & shoot a better pic -that one just doesn't do 'em justice!
 

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Cambridge numbers are larger, Rutletge smaller. I have a Cambridge with a Diamond dial with the smaller numbers like a Rutledege, oppsoite of what you have.

M
Hmmm...those part numbers in the table in the upper-right of the blueprints are what I was referring to -15641, 15642, etc. The blueprints are calling for the same part numbers & I'm pretty sure that if Hamilton had changed the part they'd have changed the part number.

Post a pic of that Cambridge when you have a chance?
 

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To Rusty Diamond Ward.

M
Yet another interesting watch, Mark! And don鈥檛 shoot the messenger, but while those round bezel-set diamonds are consistent with what I鈥檝e observed on Hamilton-produced diamond dials of the era, there are also a few inconsistencies that should be noted鈥

-The lettering of 鈥楬amilton鈥 appear to vary in thickness across the printing and the lettering of 鈥榃es Calhoun鈥 appears hand-drawn/applied.

-While Hamilton did offer customers the option of having their name appear on pocketwatch dials (spelled out using applied gold letters in place of the 1-12 markers), I鈥檓 not aware that this or printing-as-pictured was ever available on wristwatches. When Hamilton did customize wristwatch dials (in bulk for corporate awards (Packard, Frigidaire, etc)), the customer鈥檚 logo replaced 鈥楬amilton鈥 under 12:00 and 鈥楬amilton鈥 appeared above the seconds chapter.

-The 5:00 and 7:00 diamonds don鈥檛 appear to be in the correct location 鈥搕hey鈥檙e aligned on the 26- and 34-minute marks (as opposed to being aligned on the 25- and 35-minute marks and aligned vertically below the 1:00 and 11:00 diamonds. This alignment is consistently pictured in catalogs/ads and appears on other 11-round diamond dial examples (Brock, Rutledge, others?)).

-The Cambridge was never cataloged with an 11-round diamond dial. While an 11-diamond variant was cataloged 鈥53-鈥54, it consisted of 8 round and 3 baguette diamonds. See Christmas 鈥53 ad and the original-dialed, never-engraved example poorly pictured below).





In 鈥54, a standard Cambridge would set you back $350 while the distinction of the 8-round 3-baguette diamond dial would run you a whopping $550! That鈥檚 the equivalent of $2846 and $4472 today!

Happy Hamilton Hunting!
 
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