Watch's origin: American
Number of jewels: 17
Type of Watch: Wrist
Lug Width: 16mm
Dimension: 38mm by 31mm
Today's military wrist watches are, in effect, disposable: their specifications state that they are made to be discarded when they stop running. However, more than 70 years ago, when WWII was raging, much more was expected from a timepiece. Resources weren't as available, technology was relatively simple and no one could afford to throw anything away. Watches had to be sturdy enough to stand up the grueling salt, heat and humidity of the Pacific Theater as well as the numbing cold of the European Campaign. American watch houses ceased civilian production during these years and devoted themselves to producing timing instruments for the war. Hamilton, then one of the largest watch manufacturer in the world, produced bomb timers and fuses, aircraft and tank watches, ship's chronometers, pocket and wrist watches. Of the timepieces carried in the field, the Hamilton ordnance "field" wrist watch - worn in the field by real fighting men - seems to be one of the most romanticized and desirable WWII watches produced for the war effort. Specifications for the watch were very exclusive: they had to be screw-back and as waterproof as possible, have a sub second hand and be rugged enough to take the trenches.
The agreement with American watch houses was that they would support the war effort by supplying timepieces for ground troops and equipment; however, after the war all wristwatches had to be destroyed. American watch executives felt that if these watches were allowed back into the states, they would cripple business at a time when plants had not been able to produce and sell civilian watches for years. The United States government agreed and most of these faithful time companions were unceremoniously crushed, buried, or dumped to prevent them from competing with civilian watch sales.
A few watches made it back to the states, most of which having been well used during the War. We're delighted to offer this completely original Hamilton Navy timepiece with center sweep and hack feature; displaying all the character that a vintage military watch should. It has seen action and has the aura to prove it. We've left her just the way she came back, save completely cleaning, oiling and calibrating its original 987S movement so that it keeps time as it did more than 70 years ago.
We've taken the liberty of fitting this 38mm by 31mm piece with one of our correctly re-created Navy blue straps. Available only from Strickland Vintage Watches, these straps are made from fabric produced in American mills – the same mills that produced material for the original straps. Identical to the original straps, they're stunning on the wrist, quite comfortable and wear like iron.
If rare and attractive are what you seek; if the perfect Town and Country/Boardroom/country club Hamilton military timepiece is your grail, you've found it.