Hamilton Model 22 chronometer deck watch



Hamilton WW II era model 22 gimbaled deck watch chronometer in original 3 section box.  U.S. Navy marked.  Circa 1942.  This is a nice example of the Hamilton gimbaled model 22 chronometer watch. The model 22 chronometer watch was designed and built to meet the needs of the U.S. Navy in W.W. II. It is a 35 size, 21 jewel lever escapement chronometer. The watch is in a very heavy solid brass tub with a screw-on base. It is in excellent condition.  The movement is signed “USN Bureau of Ships”.  The back of the brass tub is marked “Bureau of Ships” & “U.S. Navy” with a Naval Observatory serial number of N-13405 and a contract date of 1942. 

This Hamilton model 22 is an excellent timekeeper. It will run for approximately 60 hours on a single winding. It is intended, however, to be wound at the same time every day. An up/down indicator shows the winding condition. A detailed description of the timepiece can be found in Whitney’s book: Military Timepieces. The Hamilton Watch Company put many very sophisticated innovations into this deck chronometer many of which had been developed for their railroad pocket watches, and the model 22 may be arguably the finest mass-produced lever escapement timepiece that has ever been produced.

Some of the innovations incorporated into the Hamilton model 22 include a 60 in. long mainspring (unheard of for this type of watch, it insured a steady amount of power to the train) and a unique biaxial thermal expansion type of balance wheel coupled to an Elinvar hairspring (similar to that found in the famous model 992B Railroad grade pocket watch). It also has a “safety setting device” to prevent accidental time change.  The box features a plaque describing this device and how to use it. 

The face, hands, and movement on this example are original and in excellent condition. The beautifully lacquered navy brass is excellent throughout.  The unit comes in an original Hamilton three-section box complete with an observation lid, glass viewing section, and brass gimbal.  The box shows very slight signs of use commensurate with having been used in the U.S. Navy for over 30 years.  There is a USN overhaul stocker on the inside of the bezel dated August 1969.  This is a testament to the quality and importance of this instrument that the Navy was still using it nearly 30 years after manufacture.  There is a chrome Hamilton Watch Co., Lancaster, PA, U.S.A. nameplate on the front of the box.  The unit appears to have been well cared for during its life aboard ship And while store on shore. 

An outstanding historical nautical timepiece that would look as great on a Yacht as in a study or on a living room table!  A lovely example of a WWII made chronometer deck watch.  This represents American manufacturing capability at its finest!


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