Jaeger-LeCoultre versus Hamilton - a reverso tale.

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GLADIATOR
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Jaeger-LeCoultre versus Hamilton - a reverso tale.

#1 Post by GLADIATOR » Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:51 am

Can any one help me out more accurate serial number year
watch serial number is G233838
I have that to a 980 (17j movement)
G101 - G669400 - 1934 to 1938

OR does anyone hace specific dates Hamilton produced the OTIS
Cause I got one - YIPPEE
Last edited by GLADIATOR on Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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randy van
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Re: Serial number Help

#2 Post by randy van » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:48 pm

First off, congrats on getting an Otis! An iconic Hamilton. Opinion expressed in another thread in this forum is that the case was made under license from Jaeger LeCoultre. If you look at the 1938 catalog, you will find a notation that the watch was not available for export, which leads to the impression that the license was limited to the US only.

To answer your question, there are some valuable reference threads in this site. First, check under "Hamilton Serial Numbers" to get the serial numbers by grade. Second, check "Hamilton Dealer Catalogs". You will find the Otis is in the catalogs from 1938 to 1940. In 38 & 39 they came with the 980 movement. In 1940 they came with the 982.

Now you have to post a picture of your Otis.

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Re: Serial number Help

#3 Post by Nookster » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:53 pm

1939.
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Re: Serial number Help

#4 Post by GLADIATOR » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:14 pm

Thanks guys pictures to-morrow
It a nice piece 14kt plated, no engraving
Thanks again
A
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Re: Serial number Help

#5 Post by GLADIATOR » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:18 pm

randy van wrote:First off, congrats on getting an Otis! An iconic Hamilton. Opinion expressed in another thread in this forum is that the case was made under license from Jaeger LeCoultre. If you look at the 1938 catalog, you will find a notation that the watch was not available for export, which leads to the impression that the license was limited to the US only.

To answer your question, there are some valuable reference threads in this site. First, check under "Hamilton Serial Numbers" to get the serial numbers by grade. Second, check "Hamilton Dealer Catalogs". You will find the Otis is in the catalogs from 1938 to 1940. In 38 & 39 they came with the 980 movement. In 1940 they came with the 982.

Now you have to post a picture of your Otis.
PS
I really do NOT think Hamilton made "under licence". Two reasons.

1) The original contract signed between the three parties
2) Fact that Jaeger-LeCoultre sued Hamilton who were forced to cease production
Will post all facts to - morrow
Thanks everyone
a
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Re: Serial number Help

#6 Post by Nookster » Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:35 pm

Will be interesting. I don't think anyone has ever seen the lawsuit, though we have all heard about it (rumors only, like the Barbizon)
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Jaeger-LeCoultre versus Hamilton - a reverso tale.

#7 Post by GLADIATOR » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:20 am

1939 HAMILTON "Otis" REVERSO

17 Jewels, 980 Caliber Mechanical Movement. Serial No:G233838 dating 1939 Inside back case Marked: US Pat 1,930,416 – Hamilton Watch Co. Lancaster. PA.

On pulling that patent I was astounded to see it is Chauvet original patent on 'reverso'

First granted in France in 1931, second granted in Switzerland in Febuary 1933 and finally USA in October 1933.

For the invention rights, Chauvet was paid by Jaeger a onetime fee of 10,000 Swiss Francs in addition to 2.5 francs for each watch sold.

This original contract was signed by Chauvet, Wenger and De Trey (acting on behalf of Jaeger-Lecoultre- they made the case.)

This document stated that movements could ONLY be supplied by Tavannes (see below), Movado or Jaeger-LeCoultre. Hence Hamilton was forced to cease manufacture.

Now based on those patents Jaeger launched their 'Reverso' in 1931. Indeed at that time Jaeger-Lecoultre NEVER had a movement to fit into the watch and there fore the first models used a 'Tavannes' movement, this can be told as it had NO seconds hand.

It was NOT till 1933 that Jaeger Launched their own movement (Cal. 411-11-UC/USC). The 'USC in 1933 has a second sweep hand.

Hence a Law suit
Jaeger (reverso) versus Hamilton (OTIS)

Based on the fact that Jaeger had been using this patent since 1931 with name 'reverso' and they had paid Chauvet 'invention rights' They successfully sued Hamilton, who after 3 yrs with drew their model.

First my 1933 Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso.

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Now Here we have my Hamilton 'OTIS'
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And the two to-gether Jaeger 1933 versus Hamilton 1939
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Re: Jaeger-LeCoultre versus Hamilton - a reverso tale.

#8 Post by Nookster » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:47 am

Great pics. The side by side is just awesome. The Hammy case looks slightly larger? Thanks for the post, it's so cool.
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Re: Jaeger-LeCoultre versus Hamilton - a reverso tale.

#9 Post by randy van » Sat Sep 07, 2013 7:56 am

Adam,

Great looking Otis, and seeing it side by side with the Reverso makes for a nice comparison of the two watches.

I have heard the patent infringement suit story for 25 years, but no one has been able to cite the basics - jurisdiction, case name, and case number of the alleged suit in the 1930s. I tried to find the case without success.

You will need to do that to finally give some credence to the rumor.

Randy

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Re: Jaeger-LeCoultre versus Hamilton - a reverso tale.

#10 Post by adam78 » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:26 am

In another thread (either here or the old WTF), René has expressed his hypothesis that it was the effects of the War which caused Hamilton to cease production (or this and many other models), not a lawsuit or threat of a lawsuit.

Here is mine with black dial and cal. 982 from 1941 for comparison.

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