Since its founding in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1892, Hamilton has been a major force in the world of watches. Back then and through the first half of the 20th century there was a major watch production industry in the United States and Hamilton was one of the driving forces of that industry. Early in their history, Hamilton focused on producing pocket watches and wrist watches for the railroad industry and then during the world wars produced watches for the US military and its allies. Their field watches and marine chronometers produced during this era are cherished by collectors to this day. After the war they switched focus back to civilian products and introduced one of the first electronic watches, the Ventura series, that was made famous by Elvis Presley. By this time in the 1960’s, Switzerland was becoming the epicenter for the watch industry and Hamilton moved their production to Switzerland in 1969. Shortly after that the company came under the control of SSIH (later to be known as the Swatch group) and continues to make watches under the Hamilton brand to this day.
The mid 60s, when this watch was produced, were interesting times at Hamilton and for US watch brands in general. Following WWII, when US watch production lines were used to serve the war effort, the Swiss gained a major foothold in global watch production that the US brands struggled to compete against. To be frank by the time the 50s rolled around the Swiss were able to produce better watches at better prices than the Americans could. Hamilton kept pushing for market share but the writing was on the wall and it was quickly becoming apparent that in order to compete Hamilton would have to move their production to Switzerland which it did in 1969. The Hamilton Sea Ruler, produced between 1964 and 1969, represents the last group of watches produced by Hamilton in their US based facilities and the ultimate end of large scale watch production in the United States.
Condition on this 33mm 10K yellow rolled gold case is very good. There are some light scratches but nothing major and the case has seen a polish at some point in its history. The original diamond edge acrylic crystal is great to see and the condition is very good as well. The watch appears to have a non-original crown. The watch comes with a period-correct stretch bracelet and new brown leather strap.
The Dial and Hands
The dial on this watch is in excellent condition with no major flaws to note. The standout feature of the dial has to be the highly stylized art deco 6 and 12 hour markers. They will definitely bring a smile to your face every time that they catch your eye. It should be noted that the lume on the hands has taken on dust.
This watch features an ETA based Hamilton 17 jewel 688 caliber hand wound movement. The watch is running well and the service history is unknown.
|Movement||Manual, Hamilton Cal. 688|
|Case Material||10K yellow rolled gold|
|Band Material||Bracelet and Leather Strap|
|Clasp Type||Stretch (Bracelet) & Buckle (Strap)|