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 Post subject: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:36 pm 
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If you wish to identify a ladies' Hamilton model, please follow this process.

Step 1. Browse through the ladies' model catalog page here: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=2754
If you do not see your model in the catalog pages, refer to Step 2.

Step 2. Post photos of the front of the watch, the back of the watch, the movement and the inside of the case back.

A large percent of ladies' diamond models are not factory Hamilton models. They are aftermarket custom or jobber cases with Hamilton movements and dials. These will not appear in the catalogs. A genuine Hamilton diamond watch will say "Hamilton Watch Co Lancaster PA" on the inside case back. If you do not see this, it is virtually impossible to determine the origin of the watch in question.

Please read the note on this Hamilton catalog page.
Image

I refer you to this earlier post from "HamiltonElectric" who describes the situation well.

hamiltonelectric wrote:
I'm quite certain that jewelers did buy complete watches and scrap cases. Especially for the huge number of diamond ladies' cases that are not factory. I used to run into piles of NOS ladies' cases, complete with stickers on the back, which could only have come from such scrapping.

Plus, there's Hamilton's 1957 letter to jewelers. Especially #4: "Any Hamilton representative who sells you watches with the express or implied understanding that they may be used for recasing is exceeding his authority." Clearly Hamilton salesmen had to know when an unusually large order of the least expensive models was placed that they were going to be scrapped for their movements.

I really don't think there were enough old movements in watchmakers parts drawers to assemble so many recased watches.

Image

EDIT TO ADD:Most are 980, obviously because of cost. I suspect that sometimes they had no choice but to move up to a 14K gold-filled 982, but In 30+ years I have never seen a 982M, which would have come from a solid gold case. That's one more reason why I think they scrapped cases. If they used older 'junk' movements they would more likely have 982M since scrapping a gold case would be more profitable. (Which is why we see so many today.)

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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:20 pm 
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Hi,
I have what I believe to be an Hamilton watch, however I couldn't find it in the catalogue I went through everything twice, it's not there, and I don't have the brand engraved inside either so I'm wondering... Could you check the following pictures please and let me know if you have any clue of what model it could be and if it's even an Hamilton.
One thing I can add is that I have 2 numbers inside of the case.
First num inside: 3145P (handwriting)
Other one: H14 (stamp)
Thanks a lot!


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:02 pm 
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This is definitely an aftermarket case. Hamilton's diamond ladies' watches will be clearly engraved with the Hamilton name, usually on the outside case back but always on the inside case back.

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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:30 am 
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Have been attempting to identify this watch, but have been unsuccessful in my attempts at looking through the catalogs.


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:28 am 
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Update: I Think I managed to ID the watch, but would love a second opinion if anyone is feeling generous.

1963 Darcie: Had an aftermarket gold band soldered on to replace the original.


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:57 am 
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I think you've got it right.

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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:25 am 
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Hi,
Thanks for the reply, so do you think there is a way to know what brand this is or not really?
Thanks for the help!


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:44 am 
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lizzou wrote:
Hi,
Thanks for the reply, so do you think there is a way to know what brand this is or not really?
Thanks for the help!

I think that would be a nearly impossible task.

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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:02 pm 
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The diamond watch izzy is looking for I don't think is a true Hamilton. It's not marked Hamilton anywhere, and appears to be a "contract case."

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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:01 pm 
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Thanks for the input. What's a "contract case"?
Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:39 am 
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A "contract case" is a case made by an unaffiliated jeweler and fitted with a Hamilton movement. Apparently jewelers could make money by buyer either used Hamiltons or new ones in cheaper gold filled cases and recasing them in precious metal cases, usually white gold or platinum, occasionally yellow gold, and usually with diamonds on the case or dial or both.

The reason "contract case" is in quotes is because these were not made under any contract, although sellers sometimes like to suggest this to make the watch seem more legitimate. But not only did Hamilton not contract for these watches to be made, they actively tried to prevent it, admonishing their authorized dealers not to do this or facilitate others doing it.

Consequently, these aren't really collectible as Hamilton watches. But they certainly have a value of their own thanks to the use of expensive materials and often attractive appearance.

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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:22 pm 
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Would love help identifying this watch from my grandmother


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:40 pm 
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It looks like one on the cover of the 1973 catalog. Unfortunately, we don't have the ladies' catalog page from that catalog.

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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:03 am 
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Thank you!!


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:51 pm 
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Hi, I would love some help IDing this diamond watch. I went through the entire catalogs and could not find this exact model. Although I found two that resembles it with the circle diamond band. My guess is that it could have been manufactured from 1957-early 60's.

I don't know how to remove the backing so don't have a picture of the inside.

Any info would be appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:49 am 
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nsab wrote:
I went through the entire catalogs and could not find this exact model.

I think that's about all anybody can do. The case looks pretty similar to the 1968 Lady Lancaster HH. There are a couple of years around this time with no catalog yet found. Maybe it was a model based on the Lady Lancaster HH but with a different dial and diamond bracelet from one of the years missing a catalog?

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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:43 pm 
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Lady Lancaster S. Middle of the page. The bracelet would have been available separately.

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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:32 pm 
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Thanks so much for this info! I really appreciate it.


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:34 pm 
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I'm reposting my newly acquired watch here, since now I believe is a contract case.

The closest thing that I found was the Kimberly 125-B. But it was 10k instead 14k and had 6 diamonds instead of 10.

Regardless, my hat is off to whoever made the case, since it's a work of art.


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 Post subject: Re: Identifying ladies' diamond Hamilton models.
PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:20 pm 
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I agree, it's not a Hamilton case. But honestly, I don't think it makes a whole lot of difference. The value of a watch like this is more as an antique jewelry piece than a collectible watch. If it's solid gold, real diamonds, well made, looks great, then that's where the value lies.

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