In 1892 Hamilton was founded in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and began producing pocket watches. Their focus has always been to make accurate affordable timepieces. In 1914 they became an official supplier to the U.S. Armed Forces during WWI, they shifted production from pocket watches to the more convenient wristwatch. In 1926 Admiral Richard E. Byrd became the first aviator to reach the North Pole, circling it for 13 minutes before returning to base. He timed this pioneering 15 hour and 57-minute flight with a Hamilton watch.
As soon as America joined the Allied forces in World War 2 they stopped producing watches for consumers to focus on the enormous task of supplying the U.S. Armed Forces. They produced over one million timepieces including wristwatches and marine chronometers, even earning an Army-Navy E award for excellence in manufacturing.
On May 16 1974 Hamilton was sold to SSIH, which is the previous name of what is now the Swatch Group. They remained in the US until 2003 when they transferred their operation to Biel, Switzerland. From this date forward they were able to put on their dials Swiss-made.
Here we have a 1940s Hamilton WWII US Navy R88-W-800 K-H-3. This watch was issued to the US Navy during World War Two. The 31mm Keystone made chrome case with some wear has tapered lugs with pinholes for easy strap swapping. A large crown sits on the right side. A domed plexiglass crystal covers a black dial. An outer minute track with lume pips at the hours with Arabic numerals coated in Radium. Elegant cathedral hands are coated in the same Radium. At 6 o’clock a sub-seconds register. At 12 o’clock “Hamilton” has been blacked out. On the reverse, a screw-down case back with its military engraving of R88-W-800 K-H-3. The R88-W-800 specification refers to a production run of 15,000 pieces produced by Hamilton for the US Navy (black dial). The part number specifies the Grade 987A movement, while the K-H-3 referred to Keystone, Hamilton, and the model number. Inside a Manually Wound Hamilton Cal. 987A, 17 jewels, 18,000 beats per hour. Between the lugs you find an “H” meaning Hamilton. The watch comes fitted on a 16mm NATO strap.
Points of Mention
This watch is sold as "Watch Only" and therefore comes with no original Hamilton box or paperwork. The watch comes paired with a well-suited brown NATO strap. The watch is from Circa. 1940s and is sold in worn, vintage condition, wear is visible on the dial and case. The watch comes with our 12-Months Non-Waterproof Warranty.