Hamilton 21 Marine Chronometer

divisor line

World Famous Hamilton 21

Marine Chronometer

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 mahogany 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 new. It reads HAMILTON LANCASTER, PA., U.S.A., 48-hour Up/Down Indicator at the top, Seconds Bit Under. The number 2E10860 is engraved on the bezel and the body of the housing under Hamilton. Inside, the movement is engraved with the Model 21 specifications.   To the right of the balance, the 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 that traces the perimeter of a snail cam.

This fine chronometer is accompanied by a Care & Handling Book, the original certificate showing the 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 of 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 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.

divisor line
Shipping & Packaging

The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, will be calculated point to point and is an additional charge. You may email us to get these costs. We price our shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost of packaging materials and handling.

Our Unconditional 'No Nonsense' Guarantee

If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in its original packaging. Return items must be insured for their full value. Only a prior email authorization by us for the return is required. Shipping charges are refundable if due to our error within the continental United States.

International buyers welcome, but inquire first. We have satisfied customers worldwide.

Standard Forms of Payment

Bank wire transfer, cashier’s check, money order, or personal check in which case the item will be held until cleared. Our prices are quoted net to us so that the use of credit cards or PayPal incur extra charges. Terms on overseas sales are different.

Established in 2003

Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques

Join Our Mailing List

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Land and Sea Collection. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact