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Hamilton Boulton with the blue dial; Hamilton Blair, my favorite of all; the Ashley, my first Hamilton; and the Hamilton Lloyd

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    Posted 11 years ago

    (2 items)

    I love the distinctive look of the Boulton blue; one day I'd love to get the contemporary Boulton large, as this model is one of the top sellers to this day.
    The Blair is a wonderful design issued as Hamilton was nearing the end of its greatest period of creativity; check out the way the dial is divided into quadrants via two intersecting lines shaped like an x. See also the subtlety of its graceful lugs. This watch was not working when I purchased it on EBay; thanks to a wonderful local jeweler, Schooley's of Ithaca, NY, which replaced the mainspring and had it oiled and cleaned and fitted with a "bad" (as in good) alligator band, the Blair makes a serious statement. It is the crown jewel of my watch collection.
    The Ashley is special to me because it was the first Hamilton I ever purchased, 20 years after first discovering Hamilton. Check out the lugs on this baby as well as the pearlized dial. When I became an avid watcher of the excellent AMC TV series "Mad Men," that covers an advertising agency and its employees/owners in the 1960s--the era of my childhood and adolescence--my lifelong appreciation for vintage stuff peaked.

    What did it for me was seeing Ken Cosgrove, a character on the show, awarded a Hamilton Ventura by a company for whom the fictional Sterling Cooper agency did ad work. Then I saw the lead character, Don Draper, wearing what I'm fairly sure was a Hamilton Piping Rock in a slightly blurred close up in an episode from the first season. So I went on the hunt for Hamiltons online and found a great resource in EBay, eventually finding the Ashley at a ridiculously affordable price.

    Then there is the Lloyd. I love the shape of this watch, with its notched edges and oyster colored dial. It is my second-favorite Hamilton. It is a stylized kind of tank watch, at least in my opinion.
    The tank style is my favorite; it was what sold me on that Hamilton I saw in San Francisco two decades ago. I had never seen a watch of that sort up to that time. One half of my collection are tank watches. Also, I love the sub-second at six. The first watch I bought with the sub-second at 6 was a contemporary Kenneth Cole KS 1025, a beautiful large but not massive tank with a copper bezel and arabic numbers, a few months before purchasing the Ashley.
    I'd love to own a reissue Ventura (as opposed to an original, as I have read on this site about the problems these and other first-generaton battery watches made by Hamilton have had) with a black and gold band (comparable to the black and old gold colors of my fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha), a reissue Piping Rock and a large Boulton. Then maybe I can call it a day for collecting Hamiltons.

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    1. brunorob brunorob, 11 years ago
      Wow theses watches are just beautiful! The dials are obviously a re-dial, but expertly done. Did you have it done or did you buy them that way?
      You said you would love to own a reissue of the Ventura because of the problems
      these first generation battery watches had. Did you know Hamilton made a watch that looked like a Ventura and a Pacer, but it was mechanical. It was called a Pacermatic. Here's a link to a site that has the only one I've ever seen.
      Don't faint when you see the price. Don't buy a reissue quartz Piping Rock. Why would you do that when the original is still quite available. I know money,but if you wait and save for it you will appreciate it all the more. You will be glad you did. The Piping Rock is the pride of my collection and I'm now saving for the 1928 version in yellow gold. Thanks for sharing these wonderful watches and preserving the history behind them.

    2. Hamiltonfan, 11 years ago
      Dear Brunorob: Thanks for your kind and insighful comments. The dials appear as they were when purchased. In fact you can see the aging on the Blair between 2 and 5 o'clock if you look closely or magnify the image. The Blair (ca. 1954-1957) and the Ashley (1948) are originals with dials in immaculate/very good condition while the Boulton (with a matching blue band) and Lloyd are reissues of late 80s-early 90s vintage.

      I have seen the Pacermatic before--what a nice watch; you were not kidding a about the price. I will take into consideration your advice about the Piping Rock. I'd love to own an original but would have to save my $ for that. I've found that if you keep looking and wait on EBay you can find some great prices; this was my case for each of these four Hamiltons and the fifth one I have, an original Boulton of 40s or 50s vintage that does not work. I will have it serviced eventually. Again, I appreciate your comments and advice. Ken/Hamiltonfan.
    3. Hamiltonfan, 11 years ago
      A couple more things: A correction to my first post--the Kenneth Cole mentioned in my first post is a KC 1025, not a KS 1025. I also have a Kenneth Cole from 1999 inspired by both the tank and curvex designs, issued around the time when tank styles made a comeback in the 90s thanks to reissues by Hamilton and contributions by contemporary watchmakes such as Swatch (Hamilton's owner), Fossil and Cole. I also own an Elgin art deco of late 1930s/early 40s vintage that works very well.
    4. Alpha06, 10 years ago
      Glad to see another individual loves vintage Hamilton's and Black and Old Gold. My favorite hamilton is my 18k Gordon on an 18 kt bracelet. Annie Singleton would be proud '06
    5. Hamiltonfan Hamiltonfan, 9 years ago
      Sorry to get back to you soooo late, Bro. Alpha06. Good to know another Alpha has common interests. Indeed, Mother Singleton would be proud. 06!

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