Hamilton Pocket Watch Model 23 Chronograph WWII Military Issue

It’s been a busy week here at The Pocket Watch Guy; buying, inspecting, cleaning, oiling and accurizing an influx of new-to-us pocket watches. Once again, I’m writing to highlight a special timepiece worthy of our best customer’s attention. 

Like all Hamilton pocket watches, this Model 23 embodies the minimalist beauty and astounding accuracy that made the watchmaker world famous. It differs from “normal” Hamiltons in one important way. 

Hamilton designed and built the Model 23 Military Chronograph – also called a Master Navigation Watch – in the run-up to World War II. Although the government issued Model 23’s to all branches of the armed forces, it found special favor with the United States Air Force. Check out this fine Hamilton at www.thepocketwatchguy.com.

WWll Issue Hamilton Pocket Watch

It’s a “flyback chronograph” – operators start, stop and reset the pocket watch “on the fly” via the central pusher. Paired with a sextant, pilots, navigators and bombardiers relied on the Model 23’s split second timing to establish position (especially over water), coordinate squadrons, find targets and airfields and perform multiple bombing runs. 

As you can imagine, Model 23’s had to function flawlessly in harsh conditions: changes in air pressure, temperature, moisture, dust and large shocks. It’s no exaggeration to say the hardy and dependable Hamilton Model 23 Military Chronograph helped the Allies win the war. 

As you’d expect, pristine Model 23’s are as rare as hen’s teeth. This 1942 example is virtually flawless, from its dark unmarked dial to its gleaming, fully functional movement. The Chronograph’s Keystone case doesn’t have a military marking on the back cover. It’s entirely likely this pocket watch never saw active duty.  

That’s a feature not a bug. The discerning buyer who adds this Model 23 Military Chronograph to his or her collection will step back in time, holding the same watch in the same condition as it was issued to the brave men and women fighting for our freedom around the world. 

Please feel free to call at 310.486.0572 or email to jeff@thepocketwatchguy.com for more information on this or any other of our high-end American pocket watches at www.thepocketwatchguy.com.
Meanwhile, thank you for your consideration.

Jeff Brook
The Pocket Watch Guy