Very rare Hamilton "Royal Canadian Air Force Navigation" men's Military design wristwatch in sterling silver, circa 1943.
Hamilton produced a special sterling silver navigation wristwatch for the Royal Canadian Air Force around 1943, with a unique case design by Schwab & Wuischpard which would later be adopted into the "Vancott" model after the war. Many military watch enthusiasts quote a figure that 2,000 watches were ordered, but Hamilton's internal records indicated that far fewer were actually produced... only 300 watches produced in two batches during January of 1943. I have only seen 6 examples in 30 years of collecting. Like several of the other examples I have seen, this example has had its military ordnance markings milled off... perhaps a small group of unissued watches were sold as surplus after the war. This example is in superb, near mint condition showing virtually no wear. The unpolished case has sharp case and lug edges, and the subtle bezel step is crisp. Caseback is superb and unengraved, with the inside showing ghost impressions of the original military ordnance stampings. The case measures 35mm long and 29mm wide. Original dial is superb. Has new acrylic crystal. The watch is powered by its correct 17-jewel Hamilton grade 987S manual wind hack-setting movement, just serviced and running strong. Has correct, original fluted silver crown. Has vintage 1940s olive green canvas strap with metal buckle and keepers.