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Hamilton introduced the 992B on October 15, 1940, and it was a huge success. The 992B was produced until Hamilton ceased producing pocketwatches in December 1969, and the 992B was the last watch that the Hamilton Watch Company of Lancaster, PA manufactured before closing its American operations in 1970.

The 992B could hold its own in build quality, stability, timing, accuracy, reliability, ability to withstand heavy abuse, strength and sturdiness, pristine appearance, superb movement, and just about any other attribute you may wish to give to any pocketwatch made by any watchmaker. Pocketwatches just did not come much better than the Hamilton 992B.

The 992B was built so well, was so accurate, could withstand so much abuse and still continue to reliably run and maintain its timing that it was one of the fewwatches selected by the United States Military asan official watch to run certain military operations in World War II. The military version of this watch is different in the movement, model numbered the 4992B, having 22 jewels (instead of 21) plus a third large wheel that moved a large, center mounted sweeping second hand, and of course, the military dial was black and numbered in white in both 12 and 24 hour increments. The military version also had a hacking movement, a feature not present on the standard 992B. The case of the military version always was engraved with United States military markings and the unit to which the watch was assigned.

Needless to say, despite the number made, military versions of this watch are very scarce. Most of the military versions were kept by the service men and women to whom they were issued, kept as keepsakes either by the military personnel or by the families of those personnel as precious teasures. The few military versions that have appeared on the market or in sales are usually very, very worn and used, many showing huge war abuse, but most still running perfectly. As a collector, I have come across a number of military versions of the 992B, but none have met my criteria for collection. I would love to own one, but to find a pristine one is near impossible.

The 992B is a 16 size, open face, lever set, pendant wind, ¾ plate, extra fine ruby 21 jewel movement with gold jewel settings, “Elinvar” (the name Hamilton gave to their unbreakable hairsprings) hairspring, unbreakable mainspring, gold centerwheel, double roller escapement, beautifully damaskeened movement adjusted for temperature and 6 positions. It was cased in many different styles of cases, most of them being either 10k or 14k gold filled or stainless steel. Seldom does one come across a 992B with an original solid gold case.

If one were new to RR Grade pocketwatch collecting, perhaps the 992B is the best place to start.

From my RR Grade pocketwatch collection, I have selected to display 6 different variants of the 992B (primarily to demonstrate different cases and some movement marking differences) from the 14 variations of the 992B that I own. All of these watches run and keep very good time. All are collector value or greater with beautiful cases, perfect porcelain dials, shiny furnace blue hands, and magnificent movements.


This first photo is a group photo of the 6 variants of the 992B that I am displaying in this thread.



Photo two is the same grouping, showing the case backs



Photo three begins with the first watch in the group photo at the top left, a 992B cased in a fancy, engraved gold filled case; the dial is a Montgomery style porcelain dial. This watch case may not be original to the watch movement, but it is a beautiful case and watch



Photo four shows the back of the fancy engraved gold filled case



Photo five shows the movement of the 992B in the fancy case. This movement serial number, C41483 dates this watch to 1941, making it 68 years old



Photo six is of the Stainless Steel cased variant. This variant was used primarily by railroad engineers and firemen and other railroad workmen who most likely could expose their watch to heavy abuse, the stainless steel case being able to withstand hard work



Photo seven is the case back. This particular watch was never carried, the circular machining marks still distinctly visible on the back of the case



Photo eight shows the perfect and untouched movement and the inside of the case back of the stainless steel version.



Photo nine is of the movement of the stainless steel encased watch. The movement number, 4C146489 indicates by the prefix 4C that this movement is actually a 4992B, the military movement, without the extra large second hand wheel. The serial number indicates that this watch was built in 1970 or 1971 (the exact date is uncertain for many "4C" serial numbered watches. This watch was made using parts that were originally intended for the military version, but Hamilton was scaling down and closing its manufacturing shortly after this watch was made, and parts from existing inventory were used. Since there was no longer a demand for the military version of this watch, the watch was configured as a RR Grade watch.



Photo ten shows a 992B in the most popular "Mainliner" gold filled case. This watch also has a 24 hour porcelain dial



Photo eleven, the back of the Mainliner case




Photo twelve, the movement of the 992B in the Mainliner case. The serial number, C451443 indicates a manufacture date of 1955, making this watch 54 years old



Photo thirteen, another 992B Railway Special with a double-sunk porcelain dial in a gold filled case



Photo fourteen, the case back



Photo fifteen, the movement, with a serial number of C145108 giving manufacture in 1945, making this watch 64 years old



Photo sixteen, the 992B Railway Special in the classic gold filled dress case, selected for its classic and simple beauty. This watch has the Montgomery porcelain dial. This watch case was never sold by Hamilton with the 992B and the case dates to before the 992B movement was released. The movement in this case was probably "recased" or purchased by the original buyer directly from a jeweler who inserted an uncased movement into the case.



Photo seventeen, the case back



Photo eighteen, the near perfect, beautifully damaskeened movement inside the conductor's dress watch. The movement serial number, C265524 dates this watch to 1948 making the movement 61 years old



Photo nineteen, the 992B Railway Special in an ever popular "bar-over-crown" gold filled case. The bar over the crown was used by Hamilton in several other case designs also, the bar originally placed to protect the crown, but the style quickly became a favorite of many railroadmen and is one of the most collectable 992B cases. The bar-over-crown cases were only issued by Hamilton, and became a trademark case style for the company



Photo twenty, the case back of the bar-over-crown case



Photo twenty-one, the near perfect movement of the 992B encased in the bar-over-crown gold filled case. The serial number, C476374 indicates a manufacture date of 1957 making this watch 52 years old.



Thank you all for taking the time to view and read this long post. After deciding to post the 992B, I felt that I just could not do it justice if I posted just one watch.



My wholehearted thanks to all of you, and as always, peace . . .

 

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I'm fairly certain that my grandfather has one of these as well. I need to call him and check.

Again many thanks for taking the time to post this for us! :)

I am blown away at your collection!
 

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Such vast history of some of these brands is probably completely lost on most people or they just don't know about it. amazing when you learn what some of these companies have been involved in for .... a century.
 
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