80s Diver Prototype?

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retroworx
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80s Diver Prototype?

#1 Post by retroworx » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:25 am

Rene and I were having a conversation about this one offline, and I thought I'd bring it here to see if you guys had anything to share. (Forgive the larger than usual pics, but I thought you'd need to see the fine details.)
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Because of the "R&D Project" inscription and stamped "039" on the case back, Rene and I feel this is a likely prototype watch from the 80s. We're unfamiliar with any Hamilton watch of that era that exactly matches this one, and the case stamps from the 80s had 4 digits, sometimes followed by a letter, never 3. Rene mentions that he saw quite a few prototypes in Hamilton's Lancaster office in the late 80s, and it wouldn't surprise him if some of them made it into the wild when Hamilton shut their offices there in 2003.

The single "pusher" is not a pusher at all, but moves the internal numbers ring. (I know ZERO about divers, don't even know what to call that ring.) The coin edge numbered bezel is fixed. There is a tiny window in the bezel that seems to reveal some letters — not sure what. The lug width is 21mm.

The watch is keeping time, but I'm not sure how to use the other functions to check them, and I sure wish I knew how to get inside this thing to see what it is running. . .

Appreciate any thoughts or instructions you have to share!
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Nookster
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Re: 80s Diver Prototype?

#2 Post by Nookster » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:56 am

I know nothing about newer stuff, maybe you can contact Hamilton and they will have info?

Great looking watch though.
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retroworx
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Re: 80s Diver Prototype?

#3 Post by retroworx » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:06 am

Nookster wrote:maybe you can contact Hamilton and they will have info?
I'm afraid they'll make me send it back! :lol:
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hamiltonelectric
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Re: 80s Diver Prototype?

#4 Post by hamiltonelectric » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:14 am

If you contact Hamilton about it they will forward your inquiry to me. ;)

Seriously. They have no archives and no in-house historian. I've held the consulting role for 16 years or so. Fortunately most questions are pretty easy -- like dating a pocket watch.

Actually, the single most common question is "how much is it worth???" but they use my boiler-plate reply saying the company doesn't do estimates and referring them to licensed appraisers.

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indyago
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Re: 80s Diver Prototype?

#5 Post by indyago » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:39 am

Wow, they didn't add much of a tool mark track to the case back to allow for easy opening. That is very odd. Surely, it didn't have it's own tool to use to open it........... :shock:
Rob

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Squash61
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Re: 80s Diver Prototype?

#6 Post by Squash61 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:47 am

indyago wrote:Wow, they didn't add much of a tool mark track to the case back to allow for easy opening. That is very odd. Surely, it didn't have it's own tool to use to open it........... :shock:
I noticed that too. Looks to be polished down pretty good, but seeing how the logos line up perfectly, makes me think it's a snap back. Susan??

retroworx
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Re: 80s Diver Prototype?

#7 Post by retroworx » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:18 pm

Okay, about to reveal my total ignorance again here, Guys:

So the circular toothed ridge on the case back is supposed to help unwinding the back? Unless it is a snap back?

I'm afraid of damaging the pristine thing, but will investigate and report back.
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Re: 80s Diver Prototype?

#8 Post by retroworx » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:50 pm

There seems to be more "give" around the top bezel ring than anywhere on the case back. Is it possible that this is some sort of front loader?

I'm just noticing that the second hand is sweeping smoothly along, not moving second-by-second. Also, the second hand stops when the stem is in the setting position. Is that any sort of clue about the movement ? (Quartz can't be hiding in there if I can hear the watch ticking, right??)
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JerseyMo
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Re: 80s Diver Prototype?

#9 Post by JerseyMo » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:07 pm

if the sweep stops when you pull the crown it means you have to send it to New Jersey for inspection...... :lol:


okay it just mean it can "hack"...you know when they say lets sync our watches in Animal House....

If you look with a loupe around the case back can you see a groove or notch of any kind?
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cj415
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Re: 80s Diver Prototype?

#10 Post by cj415 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:43 pm

No... a hack can happen on a quartz watch by cutting the power to the battery, or it can happen on a non-quartz movement by making physical contact with the balance wheel. So, no, it does not necessarily indicate the type of movement.

The back sure looks like a standard screw-down back to me since the groove around the back looks deep enough and there are ridges around the outside. I would think that a rubber ball opener should do the trick.

It is possible that it could be a front loader, so you'd have to remove the bezel and look for a locking ring that holds the crystal in place.

My bet is screw-down back, though. Try the rubber ball method. I don't think you'll damage the watch at all by trying it.

-Chris

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