Hamilton 16S 21J lever set (LS) adj. 5p grade 992 pocket watch #1321997, handsome nickel split plate movement with raised gold screw-down jewel settings, gold center wheel and a bar-style damascene pattern, double sunk (DS) porcelain enamel dial with fancy Arabic-style numbers, red 5 minute markers and a black marked subsidiary seconds register has a small expert repair near the edge at 5 o'clock however no other hairlines or damage, blue steel spade style hands, re-cased into a Hamilton marked white base metal (WBM) salesman's glass back & bezel (GB&B) display friction fit case with rounded bezels finished with slight lips, "Hamilton" in fancy script on both bezels and a heavy bow, case is showing normal even wear overall but does have some spots of discoloration on the frame and bezels, measures approx. 52mm in diameter x 75mm in length x 22mm thick (crystals included). An impressive workhorse triple signed Hamilton railroad grade watch from the early 1900s in excellent overall condition!
- Year Made: 1919-1920
- Company: Hamilton
- Jewels: 21J
- Setting/Movement Type:
- Adjustments: 5 positions
- Model/Grade: 992
- Serial #: 1321997
- Movement Finish: nickel
- Movement Details: gold jewel settings (GJS), screw-down jewel settings, gold center wheel
- Dial Material: porcelain enamel
- Dial Details: double sunk (DS)
- Hand Style:
- Case Style:
GB&B display case
Base Metal - Silver/White
- Case Details: re-cased, Hamilton-marked bezels, display case back
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.
As of November 28th, 2022, we are not offering a cleaning and service option through PM Time Service. While we do hope to offer this again in the future, we are unfortunately unable to meet customer requests for watch servicing at this time. Please note that, unless otherwise mentioned within the "Full Description" tab, this watch is being sold in good running condition and is ready to wear or carry on arrival.
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.
For your gift giving convenience, please find a consolidated overview of the information on this item, with no reference to the price, on this printer-optimized page