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 Swiss-made dials.
This particular Hamilton Genève is a Royal Air Force issued '6BB' from 1974, the Genève marked dial is one of approximately only 700 issued in that year. Hamilton replaced the outgoing Smiths watches and was produced from 1973 until 1976. Its 36mm brushed stainless steel tonneau-shaped case sits on the wrist like a cushion. The monocoque case means to get to the movement you have to go through the front. It is made from a single block of stainless steel and increases the watch's resistance to water, and gives it additional strength over a traditional case with a screw-down case back. The fixed lugs have a lug to lug length of 41mm and a thickness of 10mm ensuring a comfortable fit on your wrist. A domed crystal sits above a matte black dial. The wide minute track has pips coated in Tritium. Large Arabic numerals mark the hours. Elegant sword hands are coated in Tritium. Text is printed precisely with the T in a circle signifying Tritium. At 6 o’clock the Broad Arrow indicated British Government property. On the reverse engraved with its military Nato stock number and issue number. Inside a Manually Wound Hamilton Cal. 649, 17 jewels with hacking. The watch comes fitted on a 19mm 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 on a military-style NATO strap. The watch is from Circa. 1974 and is sold in worn, vintage condition, but remains in all original and fantastic condition for its age. The watch comes with our 12-Months NON-Waterproof Warranty.