I received a Hamilton pendulum wall clock as a gift in 1977. I have lost the paperwork. The only word I see is “Japan” on the back. It has been in a closet for the past thirty years. I would like to donate it to a local charity. Height= 23 inches, depth = 5 inches and width = 9.5 inches [these measurements were taken at the widest parts of the clock. I am hoping I will be able to upload some photos to you. Thank you, Debbie Lipton
This was a wedding gift in 1977.
Thank you for sending in your Hamilton wall clock to mearto for an appraisal. I shall try to be of help to you in getting this accomplished.
Contemporary stained wood, double steel spring, time and striking wall clock with short drop box, dial marked ‘Hamilton’, case backboard marked, “Made in Japan”, perhaps with either an imported German movement or more likely a signed Japanese movement (not shown), made in Japan during the 1970s.
CASE – 23” X5” X9.5” stained wooden wall clock with short drop box to accommodate the arc of the pendulum. There is a wooden arched pediment above the case with impressed fan design resting on a flat, overhung stepped and molded cornice. The cornice sits just over the square glazed dial door with hook and eye latch to the left side. Just below the dial door is another stepped horizontal overhung cornice above the rectilinear pendulum box with reverse painted glass on the façade. The box door also is latched on the left side and has an arched reverse painted glass which is overpainted with black paint and held in the door frame with nailed wooden strips. (Painting and glass are original to this clock.) The glass has a large round aperture to allow viewing the arc of the pendulum bob as it swings. An ornamented arched section at the top of this glass is painted with blowing curled leaves. The box sits on a shelf which I do not believe is part of this clock case which has a hanger in the back, and was intended to be wall hung. Also on the back board are three English printed words, “Made in Japan”. . .
Dial: Square brass alloy dial plate with silvered Roman hours, foliate half hour markers, no minute ring, foliate impressions in the four spandrels, machine stamped skeletonized Chippendale-style hands. The dial center has two winding apertures and the printed name, “Hamilton”. The dial is held in place by four screws into wooden blocks behind the dial plate and they are hidden from view when the door is closed. . .
Movement: Not shown, but would most likely be a fenestrated brass plate movement with the two plates screwed together with threaded nuts at the back plate, anchor escapement, movement powered by two steel springs of eight day duration and striking either a coiled gong or a set of metal rods inside the case, most likely every half hour. The origin of the movement is difficult to surmise without seeing it but the Japanese clock industry used German made imported movements during the 1960s and eventually in the 1970s there was a brief surge of Japanese clock companies that made their own movements, and the back plate of the movement is usually signed with the company name, “Hamilton, no jewels, adjusted, Japan”. A short pendulum with brass covered bob swings inside the lower box of the case. . .
Condition: The clock is well preserved and has no major damage. However, it is an inexpensively mass produced factory clock which was made during one of the many resurgences of the Japanese clock industry. The clock likely remains functional. Stylistically, it is my own aesthetics that are bothered by the lines and proportions of this wall clock, and it is not an ideal form. The Japanese designers of this short drop wall clock followed early American designs, but they miss the form and proportions of the American clock case.
The Hamilton Watch Company of Lancaster Pennsylvania is long gone. What lingers is their name and the name of the original location in Lancaster, Pa, although no one builds clocks or watches there in modern times. Hamilton Lancaster has been bought and sold numerous times since 1950 when Hamilton watches were still being produced in Lancaster, Pa. From 1969 to 1972, all new Hamilton watches were produced in Switzerland by Hamilton's ‘Buren Watch Company’ affiliate/subsidiary. In 1971, the Buren brand was returned to Swiss ownership and by 1972, the Buren-Hamilton partnership was dissolved and the factory liquidated, due to decreased interest and sales of the Hamilton-Buren watches and clocks. On May 16, 1974, the Hamilton brand was sold to SSIH (subsequently called The Swatch Group). The Hamilton name has been sold many times and over the years it came to be used by the Japanese clock industry during their period of rapid growth from the 1970s-1980s. Initially, the Hamilton name in Japan was used on Japanese cased clocks with imported German movements. By the mid-late 1970s, Japan’s own clock companies were springing up rapidly to supply the home market and grew so large that they began to export clocks into the world market. During the time you were gifted this clock in the late 1970s they made their own movements and used the Hamilton name freely.
In Japan, starting in the early years of the 20th century there was a large clock industry, essentially copying American models and producing them at a fraction of the price, mostly for the Japanese market. WWI cut that effort short and World War II saw the end of that effort when all of the companies and factories were bombed by allied forces.
It was the era of the Korean War in the early 1950s that saw a renewal of growth in the watch and clock industry in Japan. Watches have continued to be a major product in Japan ever since. Clock companies grew for about two to three decades and then that effort seems to have died out almost completely.
When compared to other 1970s era Japanese products the fair market value of your clock would be in the $100-$150 range. Retail prices would be somewhat higher.
I hope this has been of some help to you. I am sorry that I cannot tell you that the clock has greater value but I am just the messenger.