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A thing of beauty

bazelot

Well-Known Member
I have been looking for a very long time for a WWII Hamilton Navy pilot watch. However those things are rarer than hen's teeth and they do not come up very often. Last week I managed to get my hands on a R88-W-800 Hamilton watch (basically a Navy A-11). It is in excellent condition and comes straight from the estate of the pilot (whose name I could not obtain :(). I do not know when the last service was done on this watch but when I got it it was very dirty (lots of verdigris on the back and the crystal was scratched a lot.
I cleaned it up and mounted it on a cloth band. It now looks perfect. I buffed the crystal and it now looks like it could have been made yesterday. The back of the case displays slight pitting but nothing much. The verdigris is now completely gone to reveal a very nice looking case. The dial and hands are mint.
The movement is the 987s and works flawlessly. I lost only 1 minute over a 48 hour period.
I love this watch. It will probably become my daily wearer.




 

arclight

Member
bazelot;

Very good find! You've done a great job cleaning the exterior; have you found a reputable place to get the innards serviced?
If it was mine, that would be my daily wearer also.
Congratulations!
 

bazelot

Well-Known Member
arclight said:
bazelot;

Very good find! You've done a great job cleaning the exterior; have you found a reputable place to get the innards serviced?
If it was mine, that would be my daily wearer also.
Congratulations!

Thanks! that's a great timepiece for sure. I haven't looked too much in San Francisco but the watchmakers i took previous watches to were not very careful opening the cases and always left marks on them. I guess they do not have the correct equipment for that. For a complete overhaul they charge around $200 s it's a bit on the pricey side.
 

TankBuster

Active Member
Tom,
Great find indeed. I had 2 and sold one of them a couple years back for $450. I kept the nicest one that had the original ww2 band. Personally, I would leave the watch as is, but when it comes time to service it, the $200 is well worth while for such a rare watch. They are always fetching more money as time goes on. Great job cleaning it up!
 

bazelot

Well-Known Member
TankBuster said:
Tom,
Great find indeed. I had 2 and sold one of them a couple years back for $450. I kept the nicest one that had the original ww2 band. Personally, I would leave the watch as is, but when it comes time to service it, the $200 is well worth while for such a rare watch. They are always fetching more money as time goes on. Great job cleaning it up!
Thanks Jeff. Do you have pics of yours? Is it the R88 or the FSSC? You are probably right with the service. I won't touch it unless I have issues with it.
 

TankBuster

Active Member
Hey Tom, I'll get a couple pics taken and add them on here. Mine is the Hamilton FSSC. Super clean with the original WW2 band. A great watch, but I'm super careful with it.
 

TankBuster

Active Member
While I was at it, I figured I'd post the rest of the watch collection.

A-11's



RAF



WW2 RAF Omega 6B



1944 GCT Waltham





WW1 RFC Cockpit Watch



 

bazelot

Well-Known Member
TankBuster said:
As promised, heres some pics of my FSSC





Great watch Jeff. I love those Navy pilot watches. Yours is the Star case. I have a Hamilton Star case and there is an S between the lugs instead of the usual H. Does yours have the same S?
My R88 pictured above has the Keystone case.
Nice A-11s as well :)
 

TankBuster

Active Member
Thanks Tom. I think it has the S. It's amazing how well yours cleaned up. Hang on to that one. Like I said before, they just keep going up! ;)
 

USMC_GAU-21

Member
Jeff, where do you get your bands? I have a 1965 watch I want to get a band for. I also have an A-11 from my Dad I would need a band for. I see some on the "greed-Bay" but don't know if they are real or not. Especially the guy who says he has a case of them right now on there....

Anyways, AWESOME collection, thanks so much for the pics!

r/Gunny Dan
 

bazelot

Well-Known Member
TankBuster said:
Thanks Tom. I think it has the S. It's amazing how well yours cleaned up. Hang on to that one. Like I said before, they just keep going up! ;)
I was really pleased how it came out. THe fact that it also has the original crystal is a great plus for me as the newer ones do not have the same low profile. Daily wearer it has become! :)
 

TankBuster

Active Member
USMC_GAU-21 said:
Jeff, where do you get your bands? I have a 1965 watch I want to get a band for. I also have an A-11 from my Dad I would need a band for. I see some on the "greed-Bay" but don't know if they are real or not. Especially the guy who says he has a case of them right now on there....

Anyways, AWESOME collection, thanks so much for the pics!

r/Gunny Dan
Dan,

Try over here. Guys sell them all the time. Post a want ad.

http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=2
 

Andrew

Well-Known Member

TankBuster

Active Member
Andrew,
Nice A-11. The Ebay auction you listed look to be original 2 piece bands. The ones that Clark posted are the 1 piece band. Personally I like the 1 piece bands. They are safer than the 2 piece. Either way looks good.

Clarky,
I don't think there is a difference between the R88 and the FSSC.


As a sidenote, I read that only 12,000 to 15,000 Hamiltons were made for the Navy during WW2 making it a pretty scarce watch to find today.
 
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