Hamilton Vela

Hamilton Vela

Hamilton Vela

This Hamilton Vela looks like just another gold-cased Hamilton Electric, right? Well, from the outside, you’d be right although the Vela model is a little rare.

But inside is a quartz movement! In the 1980’s the Hamilton Watch Company offered a factory conversion to quartz — the letter from the factory is below. The nice thing about these factory conversions is that they preserved the original dial and did not cut off the dial feet to suit the new movement — this is in stark contrast to some jeweller’s bodged conversions. So with a factory conversion, it is easy to convert it back to a standard 505 movement if wished.

ESA 155.121 quartz movement

ESA 155.121 quartz movement

In the movement photo on the right, you can clearly see the two dial feet in the new movement ring. However, as more and more Hamilton collectors surface, it is likely that the factory quartz conversions will become rarer than the original 505 watches as these collectors convert their conversions back to 505 movements. So my Vela will stay exactly as it is.  These quartz movements are now obsolete. This one is an AS / ESA 551.121.

 

In the photo below, the Vega Quartz conversion is on the right while an original Vega with Cal. 505 movement is on the left.

Hamilton Vela Twins

Hamilton Vela Twins (quartz on the right, 505 on the left)

Quartz Conversion Letter

Quartz Conversion Letter

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