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Thread: Hamilton RAF chronograph arrived

  1. #1
    Craftsman workahol's Avatar
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    Hamilton RAF chronograph arrived

    As I progress ever further into the realm of British military watches, I decided I needed at least one example of a 70's asymmetrical pilot's chronograph. I posted a WTB on another forum and eventually received an email from the owner of a '72 Hamilton, along with a few somewhat murky cellphone snaps. It was hard to tell just what condition it was in, but I decided to roll the dice, and after some back and forth a deal was done. The watch arrived yesterday, and all I can say is wow! It is a really nice example indeed.

    The caseback has had the original agency number routed out and "6BB" overstamped, so this watch must have been issued to another branch - most likely the Royal Navy - before it came into the possession of an RAF flight crewman. I like to think that during its service it might have been aloft in, say, both a Sea Harrier and a Tornado, but of course I'll never know for sure. If this watch could talk, what stories would it tell?

    Here are a few quick photos I threw together to show it off a little better:







    Last edited by workahol; 4th October 2014 at 13:20.

  2. #2

    Hamilton

    Lovely watch - congratulations. If it was stamped 0552 (most likely?) that was the fleet air arm. I'd guess a Buccaneer but pure speculation.

  3. #3
    Grand Master SimonK's Avatar
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    That's nice. Case looks a little over-polished to me. Here's mine.


  4. #4
    Craftsman workahol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewismark View Post
    Lovely watch - congratulations. If it was stamped 0552 (most likely?) that was the fleet air arm. I'd guess a Buccaneer but pure speculation.
    Thanks! I said Sea Harrier just because I have always loved that bird, and depending on when the watch was transferred from the fleet to the RAF the timeframe might even make sense. But you are right, it is more likely to have been a Buccaneer or Phantom, not to mention helicopters.

    Now that I think about it, since the Phantoms were given over to the RAF in '78 (if I recall correctly) you could convince me that the watch followed the aircraft and was on Phantoms the whole time! If I'm going to make up a story from whole cloth it might as well be an entertaining one, no? :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by SimonK View Post
    That's nice. Case looks a little over-polished to me. Here's mine.
    Lovely! I think you are right, my watch has certainly been polished, although the bright lights I use for photography do tend to exaggerate the effect.

  5. #5
    Grand Master SimonK's Avatar
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    The issue number on the back should tell you the dates you need - mine's a 6BB and the issue number is 2535/72, thus issued in 1972. And you're 10 years out with your date - the aluminum pursuit ship entered service with the Royal Navy in 1968 and 1969 for the RAF.

  6. #6
    Craftsman workahol's Avatar
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    Indeed, mine is also a '72, although I don't know when it was transferred from the RN to the RAF. Here is a photo from a prior owner illustrating how the original issuing agency number, which I presume to be the Royal Navy's "0552", has been milled off and ovestamped with the RAF's 6BB code:



    I should have said, "the last naval Phantoms went to the RAF '78", since of course both services operated the type contemporaneously starting from the late 60's. The 1978 date I extrapolated from the decommissioning date of HMS Ark Royal (err, the bigger one).

    Anyhow, it's all just storytelling!

  7. #7
    Master
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    A very handsome military chrono, polished or not I would be proud to have it in my collection.

  8. #8

    Hamilton

    John Senior over at obsolete watch parts could restore the case if that's something you want?

  9. #9
    Master James.uk's Avatar
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    Having sold my Newmark and never wearing my PRS5 somehow I really want one of these again!

    It's a funny old game.

  10. #10
    Lovely watch - I really like these asymmetric cases - give the watches a very tool-like look, and quite different from the other mili-chronos available.

    Your interest and knowledge of the planes that was used at the same time, triggers an idea I have had for some time: buy a die cast model and make a combined plane / watch diorama. Have that been done?

  11. #11
    Craftsman workahol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbear View Post
    [...] an idea I have had for some time: buy a die cast model and make a combined plane / watch diorama. Have that been done?
    I have often had the same thought, although have never followed through. But in fact one of the prior owners of this very watch did have quite a collection of memorabilia to go along with it:

    http://www.mwrforum.net/forums/showt...Chrono-finally!

    Where he got the Harrier control stick I'll never know!

    Interestingly, I happened to grab a Norwegian navigation chart more or less at random from my stack of interesting aviation charts to use as a backdrop for these photos, and only learned later that this watch had spent some time in Norway. Funny coincidence...

  12. #12
    Master Mouse's Avatar
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    What an absolutely beautiful watch. Enjoy :-)

  13. #13
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    I've kind of consciously avoided military watches, having been in the RAF I always thought it might be a bit weird to have an ex mil watch - though I was in comms so I don't recall ever seeing one in the wild, let alone having one issued to me.

    But as a watch, what a lovely looking thing these are. What size is the case?

  14. #14
    Craftsman workahol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barreti View Post
    But as a watch, what a lovely looking thing these are. What size is the case?
    Circa 40 mm, with 20 mm lugs. It wears larger than you'd think since the bezel is thin which makes the dial comparatively large. A very nice size indeed.

  15. #15
    Journeyman tasum's Avatar
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    I really like your watches. Will have to do some more research. Thanks to the op

  16. #16
    Craftsman fotopetar's Avatar
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    Crazy watch!

  17. #17
    Very sharp! How much is a nice example going for these days?

  18. #18
    Journeyman
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    great watch, one of the few I'd replce my PRS5 with

  19. #19
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    Just wondering which forum did you post your WTB?

    Lovely watch, btw.

  20. #20
    Master Geronimo's Avatar
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    Mine still has the original markings on ;-)




    Whereas the Newmark has the 6BB markings




    It's nice when you've got all 4 of them ,-)

    Last edited by Geronimo; 7th August 2015 at 11:29.

  21. #21
    Master
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    That's gorgeous!! I'm very jealous and envious.

  22. #22
    wow that is nice, what's the reason for the asymmetric design?

  23. #23
    Craftsman workahol's Avatar
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    A bit of protection for the crown and pushers, I'd say.

  24. #24
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    Beauty! Want!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by workahol View Post
    As I progress ever further into the realm of British military watches, I decided I needed at least one example of a 70's asymmetrical pilot's chronograph. I posted a WTB on another forum and eventually received an email from the owner of a '72 Hamilton, along with a few somewhat murky cellphone snaps. It was hard to tell just what condition it was in, but I decided to roll the dice, and after some back and forth a deal was done. The watch arrived yesterday, and all I can say is wow! It is a really nice example indeed.

    The caseback has had the original agency number routed out and "6BB" overstamped, so this watch must have been issued to another branch - most likely the Royal Navy - before it came into the possession of an RAF flight crewman. I like to think that during its service it might have been aloft in, say, both a Sea Harrier and a Tornado, but of course I'll never know for sure. If this watch could talk, what stories would it tell?

    Here are a few quick photos I threw together to show it off a little better:







    Sharp looking

  26. #26
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    Lovely watch

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by workahol View Post
    As I progress ever further into the realm of British military watches, I decided I needed at least one example of a 70's asymmetrical pilot's chronograph. I posted a WTB on another forum and eventually received an email from the owner of a '72 Hamilton, along with a few somewhat murky cellphone snaps. It was hard to tell just what condition it was in, but I decided to roll the dice, and after some back and forth a deal was done. The watch arrived yesterday, and all I can say is wow! It is a really nice example indeed.

    The caseback has had the original agency number routed out and "6BB" overstamped, so this watch must have been issued to another branch - most likely the Royal Navy - before it came into the possession of an RAF flight crewman. I like to think that during its service it might have been aloft in, say, both a Sea Harrier and a Tornado, but of course I'll never know for sure. If this watch could talk, what stories would it tell?

    Here are a few quick photos I threw together to show it off a little better:





    Thanks a looker.




  28. #28
    Grand Master
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    Lordy that is stunning. My watch journey over the years has taken me to a place where I love these old mil watches - if only I could afford them.

  29. #29
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    Hamilton RAF

    Wow wow wow.

  30. #30
    Craftsman Cyclone's Avatar
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    Wow, lovely looking watch! Congrats

    Sent from my HTC One M9 using Tapatalk

  31. #31
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    Blast from the past!

    Resurrected old thread... Those are lovely watches though!!

    Mike

  32. #32
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    really beautiful, love these RAF chrono's... if i was to purchase one what sort of budget would i need ?

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by tunky1996 View Post
    really beautiful, love these RAF chrono's... if i was to purchase one what sort of budget would i need ?
    A Newmark has just sold on ebay for 2300 ish, Hamilton's I would say about 1300 possibly more in these crazy days and a CWC slightly less. The Precista is probably in between the Hammy and Newmark price wise.
    Last edited by lewismark; 31st May 2016 at 19:13.

  34. #34

    Hamilton RAF chronograph arrived

    Quote Originally Posted by lewismark View Post
    A Newmark has just sold on ebay for 2300 ish, Hamilton's I would say about 1300 possibly more in these crazy days and a CWC slightly less. The Precista is probably in between the Hammy and Newmark price wise.
    Dam I keep missing Newmark on ebay-- i set up as following but didn't seem to get anything-- unless it went real quick!

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by lewismark View Post
    A Newmark has just sold on ebay for 2300 ish, Hamilton's I would say about 1300 possibly more in these crazy days and a CWC slightly less. The Precista is probably in between the Hammy and Newmark price wise.
    I have searched and searched for this completed listing (the Newmark) without success. Could you please provide a link?

    Thanks

    Myron

  36. #36
    Here it is
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3019684711...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
    Wrong crown and aged lume but low issue number

  37. #37
    Not sure how my following list missed that one ! Must be perhaps it didn't pull in listings in Italy


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by lewismark View Post
    Here it is
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3019684711...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
    Wrong crown and aged lume but low issue number
    Thanks for digging up the listing. Wow, yes, it's too bad about the crown. Otherwise it appears quite solid.

    Myron

  39. #39
    They've certainly shot up in price lately, all gone a bit crazy.

  40. #40
    Journeyman
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    you get issued some rubbish now.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And they want it back when you leave.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewismark View Post
    They've certainly shot up in price lately, all gone a bit crazy.
    Keep an eye on this one!
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2918363573...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by philjopa View Post
    "brand new with tags" Oh Yes ??

  43. #43
    Blimey O'Reilly that's some price in less than 2 days. Those Hammys don't seem to appear much these days which might explain the frantic bidding.
    New with tags is just a typo, he's a good seller with some corking pieces.

  44. #44
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    I will be watching with interest

    New with tags missed that when listing whoops !

    Cheers
    Lee

    Quote Originally Posted by lewismark View Post
    Blimey O'Reilly that's some price in less than 2 days. Those Hammys don't seem to appear much these days which might explain the frantic bidding.
    New with tags is just a typo, he's a good seller with some corking pieces.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewismark View Post
    Blimey O'Reilly that's some price in less than 2 days. Those Hammys don't seem to appear much these days which might explain the frantic bidding.
    New with tags is just a typo, he's a good seller with some corking pieces.
    The Hamilton is on my wanted list - I have 2 Hamlton chronos - one with a Newmark dial and the other with a CWC dial - this was apparently quite common as the MOD would use whatever they had to hand when it came to repairs and replacements. All 4 issued chronos (Hamilton, CWC, Newmark and Precista) had pretty much had interchangeable parts, especially the dials.

    Lee has some very nice pieces - expensive yes but then you get what you pay for. That being said prices of all military pieces are spiraling so if you want anything you'd better be quick!
    Last edited by philjopa; 5th August 2016 at 09:06.

  46. #46
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    Blame the internet

    Phil
    I think your spot on ! long gone are the days you could pick up a IWC MkII for 50 (last one I bought) !



    And a Rolex Milsub at the same price.


  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by mb-radio View Post
    Phil
    I think your spot on ! long gone are the days you could pick up a IWC MkII for 50 (last one I bought) !



    And a Rolex Milsub at the same price.

    Wow.....could do with a Tardis!!!

  48. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by philjopa View Post
    Wow.....could do with a Tardis!!!
    I'll join you !!

  49. #49
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    Hamilton RAF

    Stunning watch but I'm really liking the newmark Geronimo.
    What's a ball park figure for these sort of watches.
    I'm not at all wanting to know how much you paid just an average price range

  50. #50
    Master mickylall's Avatar
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    The last one sold on here for about 1300

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