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.
Hamilton was selected to make watches for the British military from 1965 to 1976. This watch was made for the British Army in 1973, as confirmed by the W10 code, NATO stock number, and the issue number on the back of the watch, along with the broad arrow British military mark. It's 36mm stainless steel, satin-brushed so as not to shine in the light. The lug to lug length of 42mm provides a comfortable fit on the wrist. On the right side a crown large enough to make winding and setting a breeze.
The domed crystal sits above a matt black dial. The white minute track runs around the outer edge. Arabic numerals are large for easy viewing under any lighting conditions, lumed batons, and pips sit above the numerals marking the hours. Text is minimal with Hamilton at 12 o’clock “T” in a circle indicating Tritium lume, finally the broad arrow above the 6 o’clock. Sword hands with lume infill complete with a needle center seconds hand. On the reverse a screw-down case back with its military Nato stock number and issue number engraved into it. Inside a Manually Wound Hamilton Cal. 649, 17 Jewels with hacking. Fitted on an 18mm Nato strap which matches the lume colour nicely.
Points of Mention
This watch is sold as "Watch Only" and therefore comes with no original box or original paperwork. The watch comes paired on an aftermarket NATO strap which matches the lume colour nicely. The watch is in worn/vintage condition as you would expect for a watch of this age and style, the crystal is a new crystal with no marks. The case has not been refinished by us and looks very nice, the movement has also been fully serviced. The watch comes with our 12-Months NON-Waterproof warranty.
The W10 range of military watches is still some of the best "bang per buck" military pieces available! I do feel like eventually, they will creep up to the likes of where the "Dirty Dozen" are at the moment, especially with the way the market is going. But until then, why wait?