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Old 09-24-2015, 10:34 PM
 
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Hey folks looking at watches and came across this brand. Anyone have good or bad about them. Are they a higher quality than the most others. Saw a used one in a shop and the jeweler said they are very good watches. Might be several years old. Any ideas about them?
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Old 09-25-2015, 03:18 AM
 
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They're a stalwart American watch company... before WW2 it used to be that every middle-class & upper-middle child received a Hamilton watch on graduating hs or college. I had a Hamilton Jazzmaster dress watch that my dad received from his uncle. It uses a self-winding "automatic" movement that needs to be adjusted every few yrs so there's definitely some upkeep involved compared to quartz battery-powered watches. Also older watches may lose time just because the mechanical gears & springs wear out. Of course a skilled watch repair shop can rebuild/refurbish it but it's cost prohibitive unless you're talking $8k Rolex or $11k Panerai.
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Old 09-25-2015, 04:55 PM
 
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so in a quartz battery version the Hamilton's would be a good value a good quality? I thought I saw that the Hamilton co was sold off to other investors...is it loosing its quality?
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by family first View Post
so in a quartz battery version the Hamilton's would be a good value a good quality? I thought I saw that the Hamilton co was sold off to other investors...is it loosing its quality?
i think it is for a quartz on par with seiko or citizen
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Old 09-26-2015, 06:09 AM
 
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You ask: "so in a quartz battery version the Hamilton's would be a good value a good quality? I thought I saw that the Hamilton co was sold off to other investors...is it loosing its quality?"

Hamilton is a very old name in the fine quality watch business and made mechanical watch and clock movements for years at mid-price points. They were a standard in the industry for railroad pocket watches, which was one of the mainstays of encouraging development of affordable accurate timekeeping as well as watches/clocks for accurate celestial navigation. Their older high end mechanical movement watches/clocks are somewhat collectable, especially the chronometer series mechanical movement items (although many are quite worn out and not good timekeepers anymore). This was back in the day when watchmaking companies actually made their own precision parts and assembled watch movements, so there were measureable differences between various watch manufacturers.

But their first entry away from a mechanical watch was the "Hamilton RR (RailRoad) Special". I was given one in back in High School and it was a piece of junk, it didn't keep time and Hamilton was highly embarrassed by this series. Available for only a short time, Hamilton recalled all the unsold inventory and crushed the tooling for the series, although they didn't offer to buy back the watches they'd sold. It simply wasn't competitive with the Accutron movement of the day nor the soon to be released quartz movements.

Hamilton was sold to the Swatch Group some years ago, and it's been positioned there as an "entry level" Swiss movement quartz watch with the lowest end basic movement, not temp compensated. IMO, it's nothing special and no better a timekeeper than far less expensive watches such as a Timex, or the many watches using a basic Japanese quartz movement. It's really a marketing item, relying upon it's old well recognized name on the dial face. By way of comparison, look at a Tissot watch, with the same Swiss quartz movement and their cases/dials ... also made by the Swatch group; another "famous" watchmaker for a long time and now another entry brand (upmarket, with a better movement might be a Longines, also now a Swatch made watch). It's all about the marketing and branding in this industry today, there are very few manufacturers of the quartz movements which find their way into all of the quartz watches.

The only reason to buy one of these used Hamilton quartz watches is if the case/features strike your fancy and the price is very right. In comparison, you can buy new similar Hamilton Swiss quartz watches all day long for approx 1/2 of the "suggested retail" pricing, and they come with a warranty. On-line retailers such as Overstock.com, Princeton watches, and scores more on-line discounters have their prices posted so you can check these out for reference. In today's marketplace, they're really just a commodity watch movement and case, nothing special. Features and cosmetics are the only marketing difference; if you like what you see, so be it ... they're effectively no different than the next watch brand at their price point.

To say that "Hamilton has lost their quality" would be an understatement. They're a commodity mass produced item anymore and bear no relationship to their era of precision mechanical movement watches. There's nothing that sets them apart from many other watch brands today at their price point, so the only reason to buy one instead of another is if you like the features/cosmetics.

I wouldn't pay more than 30% of the "new" real market price for an excellent condition used one.


PS: I've bought Citizen, Seiko, Bulova, Swiss Army, Tissot ... and a host of other watch brands ... in the last few years. The most expensive didn't perform any better than the least, and I preferred to buy plain watch faces (easier to read at a glance) without a bunch of "features". Every one of these new watches has needed to be sent in for warranty repairs when they quit working. The Citizen Eco watch was the most problematic (having been sent back twice under warranty), and my retailer tells me that they don't actually "fix" the watch, they simply replace the entire movement in the case that was sent in for warranty. For the Swiss Army watches (cheap at Sam's Club), they simply sent a new watch back under warranty; once out of warranty, it's cheaper to buy a new one then to get the old one "fixed". I've got several Rolex's, bought new 20-30 years ago; every one of them was a miserably poor timekeeper from day one although my SS Submariner has kept working all these years ... but did get 3 trips to Rolex's main repair shop to try to fix the poor timekeeping; it was "overhauled" at great expense each time and never fixed the problem. It's no better a dive watch than my Bulova, which cost a fraction of the price to "clean and service" by a factory authorized Rolex repair shop. Other than the perceived value of a Rolex and their fancy cases, they're not worth the expense IMO.

Last edited by sunsprit; 09-26-2015 at 07:24 AM..
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Old 10-10-2015, 11:35 AM
 
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Today watches are the equivalent of jewelry. Time keeping (in our days) is not the most important function anymore. People pay lots of money for design, look, materials used and workmanship. Therefore Rolex is in high demand and a reasonable investment even today.
Hamilton is still a good watch company, albeit a Swiss one, which builts upon the glorious past. But it won't keep time better than your iPhone or other watches. Most (but not all) Quartz based watches are quite similar. The difference is in the case building and materials used. I would prefer a mechanical Hamilton though.
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