Hamilton 16S 21J lever set (LS) adj 6p grade 992B pocket watch #C380531, handsome nickel split plate movement with bold red ruby jewels and a bar-style damascene pattern, double-sunk (DS) off-white hard enamel dial with black boxcar-style numbers and a subsidiary seconds register is marked "Hamilton Railway Special", dial does have some crazing and small scuffs, bold blue steel spade and whip style hands, re-cased into a Star yellow gold filled (YGF) screw back & bezel (SB&B) smooth polish case with a block-pattern engraving on the bezels, heavy shoulders and a heavy rounded bow, case is showing normal wear on the front bezel, frame and bow however the back is showing some brass and has a small patch of light scratches near the center, measures approx. 51mm in diameter x 62mm in length x 14mm thick (crystal included). An impressive, high quality railroad grade watch from the 1950s in very good condition, perfect to carry everyday!
- Year Made: 1952-1953
- Company: Hamilton
- Jewels: 21J
- Setting/Movement Type:
- Adjustments: 6 positions
- Model/Grade: 992B
- Serial #: C380531
- Movement Finish: nickel
- Dial Material: hard enamel
- Dial Color: ivory/off-white
- Hand Style:
- Case Style:
Gold Filled - Yellow
- Case Details: Star, re-cased
51mm (2.01 inches)
Case Length, bow included:
- Crystal Material: plastic
The Hamilton watch company began business in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1892 and still operates today. The last watches produced in the American factory were made in 1969, after which the company was sold to a Swiss owner.
We also offer a collection of reference and research books for a number of different watch manufacturers, which can be found in our Watch-Related Books
section. As an additional resource, we've posted a Serial Number Production List
which includes information for Hamilton serial numbers and dates of manufacture.
The NAWCC also has a about the company.
You may browse all of our men's pocket watches from this manufacturer at our Vintage Men's Hamilton Pocket Watches
This watch is in good running condition, unless otherwise noted in the description. This means that on receipt, pending any item-specific running conditions noted in the description, you can expect the watch to be winding and setting properly and to run smoothly while keeping reasonable time. We consider "reasonable time" to meet these basic guidelines:
- Railroad Grade Watches will be keeping +/- 5 minutes per day
- Pocket and Wrist Watches with 15 or more jewels will be keeping +/- 10 minutes per day
- All key wind watches and watches with 14 or fewer jewels will be keeping +/- 15 minutes per day
The above guideline is the lowest standard in which we would ship out a watch, however in most cases, you will see much better timekeeping. Most of our watches have been in storage for many years, so if you plan on carrying/wearing them everyday, you should consider having them cleaned and oiled soon, and then once a year thereafter to keep them in top running condition. If the watches will be for occasional use or display, they should be cleaned and serviced every 3 to 5 years depending on use.
We do have a professional watchmaker that does all of our cleaning and repair work for us. To have your watch serviced before shipping, simply add this Cleaning/Service Agreement
to your shopping basket. The cleaning and timing service is $95, and depending on the time of the year, has a turnaround time of 1 to 3 weeks.
Please note that we provide this service in addition to the listed purchase price of our watches. If you do purchase this option and later decide to return the watch, this fee is non-refundable.
This watch comes complete with an appropriate, intact plastic crystal; however, on request PM Time Service can replace the current crystal on this
pocket watch for you. We offer a number of new and vintage crystal choices for pocket
watches; as this watch is currently offered at our
, please message us on Etsy when purchasing this item to request a new crystal.
Please note that the average turnaround time for all pocket watch crystal replacements will be two days from the placement of the order; wrist watches will typically also take two days, however we do not carry every model of crystal in stock and there may be a delay of up to seven business days as we order the correct item from our supplier.
with any further questions or for an estimate on any shipping delays.
This is considered a "railroad-grade" pocket watch. To be a railroad-grade watch, the following criteria must be met:
- be 16S or 18S
- have 17 or more jewels
- be lever set
- be in an open face case
- be adjusted to 5 or more positions.
- have easily-legible Arabic dial numerals
In order to ensure the accuracy of pocket watches used by railroad employees, with the ultimate goal of preventing train accidents, the General Railroad Timepiece Standards Commission published a set of guidelines for railroad companies and watch manufacturers in 1893. These guidelines, which specified the criteria for a railroad-grade watch, were prepared by Webb C. Ball, the general time inspector of North American railroads and founder of the Ball Watch Company.
For more information, visit this Wikipedia article
on railroad chronometers or this Smithsonian National Postal Museum article
on the influential train wreck tragedy that resulted in the establishment of railroad watch standards.
Our entire collection of such timepieces may also be viewed at our Railroad Grade Watches
Unlike modern quartz watches, most vintage watches need daily winding in order to keep the watch functioning for timekeeping. Additionally, there are a number of different ways to set the time other than simply pulling the crown away from the watch body. We are happy to provide an overview of each of the different setting types on our "How To Use" page
, where we also provide information on proper winding techniques for each style and some suggestions for the proper long term care and storage of your watch.