Cool Stuff Being Made: Hamilton Watches, 1947

By July 28, 2007Cool Stuff Being Made

WhatMake1947_00000005.jpgLast week in “Cool Stuff Being Made” we visited RGM Watch Company in Mount Joy, PA, a manufacturer of high-end, precision hand-crafted watches. Company founder Roland G. Murphy started his career in product development for Hamilton (then part of the SMH, now part of the Swatch Group).

Which got us thinking about the history of watchmaking, and its endless attention to detail, which led us a bit far afield for this week’s “Cool Stuff Being Made” — this 1947 industrial film, “What Makes a Fine Watch Fine?”

Produced by the ubiquitous maker of training films, the Jam Handy Organization, this 20-minute documentary begins with vignettes of celebratory watch presentations (high school graduation, birthday, retirement) and then takes one through a tour of the Hamilton Watch Co. factory in Lancaster, PA. Still fresh in the company’s list of achievements was its mass production of the Hamilton marine chronometer, used widely in WWII, but the film goes deep into watch production at all levels, especially the critical importance of accuracy and detail. Really an excellent industrial film of the era, one that doesn’t lend itself to being poked fun at from a distance of 60 years later.

The film comes courtesy of the Prelinger Archives, one of many entertaining and useful resources at

To watch this week’s “Cool Stuff Being Made,” please go to this page, “What Makes a Fine Watch Fine?” And for photos from the film, please go to this page.

Join the discussion One Comment

  • jaber ali says:

    i have an old hamilton widing watch the model namber (9415) on the back of the case written (hahilton watch co lancaster pA) if you have any information please e-mail me thank you

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