1973 Hamilton Auto Date Buccaneer Award Watch | Restoration

1973 Hamilton Auto Date Buccaneer Award Watch | Restoration

The Hamilton Auto Date Buccaneer was produced in 1973 and 1974. The watch comes with a Swiss (ETA) made automatic caliber movement with a quick set day and date complication at the 6 o'clock position. This is a good looking model that is still very popular today.

What makes this particular example unique is the custom dial. This was an award watch for the now defunct trucking company, Ringle Express Inc. out of Indiana. 

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a the dial is decent or not with a busted crystal like this one, but at this point I'm hopeful it'll be a good one.

The case back is monogrammed with the award recipient's name. Great job Truman!

 Behind the custom dial beat the Swiss made Hamilton caliber 826 automatic movement.

On first glance, everything looks pretty clean. I was getting terrible initial readings on the timegrapher, but at this stage in the disassembly, nothing is jumping out as exceedingly bad.

Ah, here's something. A hunk of dried lubricant fouling up the pallet stone face. That will absolutely adversely effect a watch's performance.

This is the underside of the automatic works before disassembly and cleaning. The two reversing wheels at the bottom allow the watch to wind itself regardless of which direction the weighted rotor is spinning.

With that disaster of a crystal out of the way, it is confirmed that this is an excellent dial. The REI logo is very well done.

After the heated ultrasound does it's magic, the parts come out shiny and clean, ready for reassembly.

I'll relume the dial and the hands using this little kit from Bergeon.

First the old lume is removed from the hands and then they are ran through the ultrasonic machine to get every last little bit of grime.

The clean hands can then be mounted on a balance tack to hold them in place while I relume them.

Using a broad oiler, the lume is spread across the opening in the hands. The surface tension of the lacquer is enough to bridge the gap while it dires. 

Here is what the old lume plot looked like before I cleaned it off.

And this is a naked hour marker. Of course I didn't get a good close up of the new lume plot because I'm not photographer. But take my word for it, the new lume plot is glorious.

Continuing on with reassembly of the train of wheels.

The pallet fork looks so much better now that the old dried glob of grease is gone.

I really like this click and click spring design. Since the click spring isn't under any tension, along with the click just sit patiently in place waiting to be secured with the ratchet wheel.

You can really get a sense at how well these movements clean up. The jewels are so clean and clear the teeth of the pivots can been seen through them.

With the movement reassembled and chugging along like new, I'll cap this restoration off with a NOS acrylic crystal.

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