|Joined: ||Thu Dec 10th, 2009|
|Location: ||California USA|
|The Hamilton 950B was one of the finest grades of all the Hamilton Railroad Pocketwatches, and one of the most sought after and desired by RR PW collectors (the extremely rare model 951 is the probably only Hamilton RR Grade model that is valued higher). The successor to the beautiful and high grade Hamilton 950 RR pocketwatch, the 950B is also included in such esteemed company as the Illinois Sangamo Special, the Illinois Bunn Special Model 163A, the Ball 999B and Ball 999E. Admittedly, the 950B is one of my favorite RR Grade vintage pocketwatches to collect.
The 950B RR Grade PW was made from the early 1940s until shortly before Hamilton closed its doors in Lancaster, PA in 1970.
All 950B variants were open face cased (RR Grade specification only permitted open face cases, whether hunter cases or screw-back cases), but the case model was the choice of the purchaser. Here I am showing three examples of the 950B RR Grade PW from my collection, each in a different and distinctive case. Most cases were either 10K or 14K gold filled, but solid gold cases could also be had in these same styles. All 950B RR grade PWs are 16 size movement watches, 1/2 plate, 3-finger bridge, stem wound, lever set models.
Top center in this photo is the Model A case. This was one of the choice cases for the 950B. The Model A case was specifically designed for Hamilton and was available for the predecessor of the 950B, the Hamilton 950; the Model A case was also offered on the 992B. Notable on this case are the small buttons on the bezel opposite each number, and identical buttons on the back of the case. The dial on this 950B pictured is a distinctive dial for the 950B PW. Also, distinctive on the dial is the font design for the numbers, plus the special "baton" style hands; these hands are correctly found on the 950B with the Model A case and dial.
To the left side, is the Model 2 case with the Montgomery Dial (named after its designer -- there are several variants of the Montgomery dial), and to the right side is the Model 10 case with another example of the Montgomery Dial. Both the Model 2 and the Model 10 cases are known as "Bar-Over-Crown" cases, the bar at the bottom of the bow that protects the crown is the reason for this name. Hamilton was the only company who used "Bar-Over-Crown" cases, that style case in much demand and popular among railroaders, the case became a trademark of the Hamilton Watch Company.
In the next photo, the backs of the three respective cases are shown
This photo shows the movements of all three examples of the 950B. Note that the movements for the 950B are known as "three-finger bridge" movements, a more complex and expensive movements found in RR Grade Pocketwatches. The "three fingers" refers to the three separate plates that surround the balance. Also typical to correct 950B movements are the solid gold wheels -- the center wheel and third and fourth wheels.
This photo shows a close-up of the Model A case and dial, its distinctive numbers, and the baton hands.
This photo shows the movement of the 950B along with the inside of the case back. The numbering on the case back is the serial number for the case itself, not the serial number of the movement. The serial number of the movement (which normally is referred to as the serial number of the watch, which determines when it was manufactured and cased) are those black numbers just above the balance. This watch runs and keeps very good time.
This last photo is of the movement which shows the typical damaskeening on all plates and the gold engraving found on all 950B movements. The serial number of this movement is S9902 which indicates that this particular Model A 950B was manufactured in 1950. This watch was running when I took this photo, as indicated by the balance.
Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read and view this post.
Last edited on Wed Mar 10th, 2010 05:07 pm by ChaunceyJack
ChaunceyJack [aka John]