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Vintage Hamilton 981 Wristwatch Cushion Sterling Fahys Case Rare or not?

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    Posted 7 years ago

    stwillia76
    (134 items)

    I have a bunch of vintage watches from a retired jeweler in Florida and I found this one. It is a Hamilton with a 981 movement. The case is a cushion style with a Fahys sterling case. I don't know much about it. I believe it could be a bit rare. It doesn't work. Really curious as to how rare it is. I'm debating if I should get it restored or not. Can't find much info as to what these are going for. Is it worth it?

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    Comments

    1. kerry10456 kerry10456, 7 years ago
      The 981 is a size "0" pocket watch movement, early wrist watches were made using PW movements, some times called "transition" watches. yours dates around 1923.
    2. stwillia76 stwillia76, 7 years ago
      Is it worth fixing? I mean I don't want to spend a bundle to fix if it is not worth anything.
    3. kerry10456 kerry10456, 7 years ago
      Nice timepiece for use, but clean and service would probably cost more than you could sell for. If wanted it to wear and have a quality timepiece, if would be worth the repair, buying a comparable quality time piece would cost more. but as far as rare and collector grade, no.
    4. crazycharacter, 7 years ago
      This watch and movement is very rare and very desirable to Hamilton collectors. You do not want to restore it. Some collectors like the patina and some do not. If you take it away, there is no getting it back. The watch is rare enough that running condition is not going to affect the value much.

      This "spring bar" lugged 981 Cushion is thought to be a variation of the Wire Lugged Cushion and is the first of three distinct cushion designs - the second being the "Round Form" cushion introduced in 1922 and the third being the "Form Opening" cushion introduced in 1926.
      When introduced in 1917, women's wrist watches were significantly more common than men's wrist watches - proper men wore pocket watches as watches worn on the wrist was considered to be feminine. In an effort to promote the masculinity of wearing a watch on the wrist, Hamilton specifically marketed the Cushion to soldiers returning from the war and "adventurers" as described in the 1922 catalog (see "Catalog Description" above). In the 1920 catalog, the No. 981 Cushion was further described in the following manner:
      "This watch was tremendously popular with the American Expeditionary Force and the U.S. Navy, and we have never been able to meet the demand for it."
      Little is known of the Pin Lugged 981 Cushion and there are no surviving records describing its production.
      The 0-sized wristwatch was the first "wrist watch for men" advertised in the Hamilton Catalog and is a rare and historically significant timepiece.
    5. crazycharacter, 7 years ago
      An accurate durable time keeper, constructed to stand the hard service to which a wrist watch is subjected. Especially designed for Army and Navel Officers, Aviators, Automobile drivers, Civil Engineers, Foresters and others who realize the advantage of having a wrist watch in their occupation.
      No. 981 0-size, nickel, 3/4 plate movement, 17 fine jewels in settings, Breguet hairspring, double roller escapement, compensation balance, adjusted.
      Sterling silver case, cushion shape, with webbing strap $46.00
      Sterling silver case, cushion shape, with leather strap $48.00
    6. kerry10456 kerry10456, 7 years ago
      Well Adam, Learned something new today.... never thought of a Hamilton collector, but you're correct. as I stated above, Quality timepiece and you'd never purchase a comparable timepiece for the money to repair this.
    7. crazycharacter, 7 years ago
      The prices at the end are the original retail prices in 1922. It was also offered in a solid gold case for $85.-
    8. stwillia76 stwillia76, 7 years ago




      Really nice to know this. So the watch is something rare. The idea to restore it might not be a good idea. I would like to have a a nice time piece for myself. Maybe I should sell this one in order to buy a something newer? At what kind of price should I sell it? I mean I can't find any info about this anywhere. I just don't want to get ripped off.



    9. crazycharacter, 7 years ago
      If you are looking for a watch to wear every day, you would probably be better off finding something besides this watch. While it would keep excellent time when restored, it is more of a collectors item, IMO.

      The movements alone, with no dial, sell for about $250.-

      The dial is original and is a tough variant to find.

      The original Sterling case in nice condition is also a huge plus. Many of these movements are re-cased.

      If it was mine, I wouldn't sell it for anything less than $900.- on the low end. I've seen similar watches go for around $1,500.+

      There are several collectors who will want this piece. I would let it go to auction, without a buy it now price, and let the collectors decide the price. Hamilton collectors, Military watch collectors, and early wrist watch collectors will want this watch.
    10. SEAN68 SEAN68, 7 years ago
      what a very beautiful watch!!

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