We've all had experience with impulse buys, especially when it comes to this sometimes-maddening hobby we all share in common. In my case, such buys have often resulted in rather expensive lessons learned. Nonetheless, as my experience grows over time, I've begun to make some pretty good impulse buys - or maybe not. It's kind of hard to tell sometimes.
This particular impulse buy - a very nice, vintage men's Hamilton 'Masterpiece' - came courtesy of the good folks at eBay (or, as I've come to affectionately think of them over the years, 'feeBay'). The 'Buy-It-Now' (BIN) price wasn't bad at all, but this particular seller also included a Make-an-Offer option, as well. As a sometime-seller on feeBay myself, I'm pretty ambivalent about using the Make-an-Offer feature for my auctions; it is, to my way of thinking, tantamount to saying, "Okay, I know I won't get my asking price, so feel free to try and guess what my minimum's gonna be." I have friends who swear by this feature, so I guess it all comes down to personal preferences.
At any rate, I've been on a Hamilton kick for the last couple of months, and the only effective way to get myself off of it is to go out and buy myself a couple of Hammies. This was one of several that caught my attention early on and, of all the Hammies I've looked at, this was one of the least expensive and the most pristine.
Here are its particulars:
Model: Men's Masterpiece
Movement: Hamilton 22j 770 automatic, 17 jewels, three hands
Construction: 10-karat yellow gold over stainless steel (AKA 10K Gold-Filled)
Case Width (w/o crown): 33mm
Case Height (lug to lug): 37mm
Bracelet: Speidel Twist-o-Flex w/coffin shaped links
Weight: 54 grams
Accuracy: +6 seconds/month
Misc. Notes: Exceedingly clear crystal and exceptionally clean dial. Bracelet is in very good condition, with slight tarnishing along the upper and lower edges.
One of the most enjoyable things about watch collecting is coming across vintage pieces that allow us to appreciate the trends and styles from other generations. This doesn't always happen quickly; in my case, it took a couple of years to get past all of those big, flashy tea-saucers that seemed to be the norm among current-day, would-be collectors. I come across a watch like this one, and it pleases me to no end that I'm able to appreciate it for what it is. And it's even better when the watch comes to you with some extra information, like this one did:
My initial reaction to this engraving was disappointment; to someone my age, 1987 doesn't really seem to be all that long ago. Still, we're talking about a retirement gift presented to someone more than 25 years ago - honoring his 25 years with GM - so I feel pretty comfortable with referring to this as a vintage piece.
I'm not at all sure of the significance of the single word "Swiss" at the six o'clock position of the dial. Is it an earlier form of the notation - "Swiss Made" - that we see on watches nowadays, or does it just indicate the presence of a Swiss movement? I'm a little embarrassed that I don't have the answer to either question, but I'm curious enough that I don't mind asking my fellow members here on this forum for clarification.
Irrespective of its labeling, this watch has all the things that spell out 'vintage' for this WIS-in-training. The classic design, with its clean, simple layout and pleasantly 'warm colored' 10K gold plating. The Swiss movement quietly keeping excellent time. Even the Speidel bracelet is state-of-the-art for its time; no pinching, no hair-pulling. As a whole, this is a very nice vintage piece, comfortable to wear and equally easy on the eyes.
Here are a few more shots, taken with a piece from one of my other way-too-consuming pastimes, the collection and restoration of antique and classic radios...this particular piece is a mid-20th Century table radio/radio-alarm clock from General Electric. Its smooth, clean lines look good with the smooth, clean lines of the Hamilton 'Masterpiece.'
As always, many thanks for looking!