Hamilton 21
Marine Chronometer

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World Famous Hamilton 21

Marine Chonometer

designated for the U.S. Maritime Commission

 

 

This fine example is a worthy addition to any timepiece collection.

Presented is a WW II HAMILTON Model 21 Chronometer in its traditional three section varnished mahogny wood case with full gimbal mounts. It is in fine condition with some minor scratches. Most of the original lacquer is present. This chronometer was designated for the U.S. Maritime Commission in 1945 at the end of WW II.

The 12 hour dial is without a blemish and looks as new. It reads HAMILTON LANCASTER, PA., U.S.A., 48 hour Up/Down Indicator at top, Seconds Bit Under. The number 2E10860 is engraved on the bezel and on the body of the housing under Hamilton.. Inside, the movement is engraved the Model 21 specifications .   To the right of the balance wheel is 2E10860 which is the movements serial number.

This Model 21 is a fine running clock and will appeal to those

seeking a historic chronometer of the WW II Era

SPECIFICATIONS: The Hamilton Model 22 is a legendary watch, hurriedly designed when the USA was entering WWII, along with the far more complicated Model 21 marine chronometer; both are considered amongst the finest of their type. The 22 was even produced in the boxed-and-gimbaled format, as it was proven to be reliable enough to serve as a ship’s primary timekeeper! The case is 70mm across, of plated and matted brass, and features a wonderful guarded crown and button to prevent inadvertent setting. Although the mainspring’s power reserve is some 60 hours, and the dial indicates up to 48, it was intended that the watch would be wound each day at the same time for nearly perfect isochronisms. The enormous movement is fully adjusted and immaculately finished and striped. The elegant regulator uses a spring-loaded finger which traces the perimeter of a snail-cam.

This fine chronometer is accompanied with a Care & Handling Book, the original certificate showing thr assembly record, and a certificate from J.P. Connor & Co., indicating that the movement was cleaned and serviced in Oct. of 1989.

CASE DIMENSIONS: 7 1/2″ square                           WEIGHT: 10 lbs3 1/4 oz.

HAMILTON CHRONOMETER HISTORY: Hamilton Model 21 Marine Chronometers and Model 22 Deck Watches.   At the outbreak of W.W. II the United States Navy required a vast quantity high quality chronometers. At that time the Navy had been using Ulysses Nardin timepieces as standard equipment with few if any being available in this country.  A request for bids was made by the War Office and the Hamilton Watch Company was the only firm able to meet the requirements by designing and producing an innovative marine chronometer in  a period of about 18 months.  Hamilton was able to produce the unit in sufficient numbers to meet U.S. wartime demand, and made 11,239 of these chronometers during the War.

The model 21 and 22 are technically one of the great achievements in horology. The balance and hairspring assembly were a radical departure from traditional chronometer design and resulted in superior time keeping rates.  In addition, Hamilton also produced a 21 jewel lever escapement chronometer deck watch. A more detailed description of both the model 21 and 22 timepieces can be found in Marvin E. Whitney’s book: “Military Timepieces” which is recommended reading for serious collectors.

The United States Maritime Commission (MARCOM) was an independent executive agency of the U.S. federal government that was created by the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, passed by Congress on June 29, 1936, and replaced the United States Shipping Board which had existed since  World War I. It was intended to formulate a merchant shipbuilding program to design and build five hundred modern merchant cargo ships to replace the World War I vintage vessels that comprised the bulk of the United States Merchant Marine, and to administer a subsidy system authorized by the Act to offset the cost differential between building in the U.S. and operating ships under the American flag. It also formed the United States Maritime Service for the training of seagoing ship’s officers to man the new fleet.

This fine example is a worthy addition to any timepiece collection.

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Established in 2003

Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques