1955 Hamilton Baxter | Restoration

1955 Hamilton Baxter | Restoration

A larger watch for the time, the Baxter is still a fairly popular watch today. It comes with a manual wind caliber 747, a 10k gold filled bezel, and a stainless steal snap on case back. The model was only made for 3 years in 1955 through 1957.

As received, this example is in pretty good shape. It's not uncommon for the tips of the lugs to have a lot of plate wear. There is some on this case, but it's not too bad at all. The dial has some patina, but I think it looks awesome...I'm a sucker for good patina.

With the bezel and crystal out of the way, you can see the dial more clearly.

Identifying the Baxter is about as easy as it gets. Not all Hamilton models are as accommodating and it takes a bit more research to positively ID them. 

With the bezel removed, I can asses if the crystal is salvageable. Sadly, in this case, it is not. I'll have to dig through my stash to see if I have a NOS crystal.

The movement is looking pretty clean on first look.

However, with the dial out of the way, there is a lot of schmutz and even a little rust in the keyless works. Hopefully I can get most of that cleaned up and the ultrasonic machine will take care of the rest.

And there's rust under the crown and ratchet wheels. It looks like the water intrusion wasn't as bad as it could have been. While there obviously is some rust, I've certainly seen far worse.

The balance cock is disassembled into it's constituent parts to ensure complete cleaning. The discoloration is excess lubrication that has migrated over the years to where it shouldn't be.

This is a good look at old, dried lubricant on a jewel. As you can imagine, this failed lubricant will undoubtably adversely effect the performance of the watch.

That's more like it. After a trip through the ultrasonic cleaning machine and its heated solvents and rinses, the parts are all nice and clean and shiny, just as Hamilton intended.

This medieval looking attachment is a fine polishing brush, the first of three that I'll use. It's important not to be aggressive when polishing a gold filed watch case. With micron thick plating, it's exceedingly easy to polish the gold right off the case.

To finish the case and give it a final shine, I'll use this buffing wheel. For this watch, I did all of the polishing dry, without any Semichrome metal polish. 

Yes! Found the correct NOS crystal in my horde of parts.

A little GS Hypo Cement in the bezel will hold the crystal in place and cure completely clear.

And here's the finished watch. I'll just match it up with a nice leather band and it will be ready to go to its forever home.

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