1973 Hamilton Dorchester | Restoration

1973 Hamilton Dorchester | Restoration

Made from 1973 and 1974, the Hamilton Auto Date Dorchester came with a couple different Swiss made automatic movements. This example came to me via a customer looking for a full service and features the Hamilton caliber 631. The movement is based on the AS 1900 and has an incredible 36,000 bph beat rate.

The watch was in very good shape as received. It was running, but the amplitude was a little low and the lines were a wavy.

My first look at the movement. There are no obvious signs of damage or water intrusion...so far, so good.

With the dial and movement out of the case, I can get a good look at the dial. Aside from the old lume, this is an excellent dial.

Here's the movement with the barrel and train bridges removed. You can see the automatic module at the 2 o'clock position and the hack just below and to the left of the wheels. The hack just touches the balance wheel when setting the time, stopping the watch so that it can be set precisely.

And just like that, the watch is completely stripped down and ready for the ultrasonic machine.

This is what a freshly cleaned mainplate looks like.

The train of wheels is up first for reassembly.

Here is a close up of the hack (I'm pointing to it with my tweezers).

The balance jewel settings are lubricated before being reassembled and reinserted into the watch.

The owner of this watch and I decided to relume the dial and hands. Here is the before shot of the lume pip...

...here it is all cleaned up...

...and finally with the new lume in place.

The hands getting their fresh lume.

After the hands are installed, I check for alignment. With the huge hour markers, it can sometimes be a little tricky to make sure the hands clear the dial, the hour markers, and themselves, all while not scratching the underside of the crystal.

One last look at this gorgeous movement before it's sealed up and shipped back to get some well deserved wrist time.

Such a great looking watch.

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1 comment

Wow! Just wow! I’m amazed at how great it looks. Looking forward to getting this in rotation!


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