In November of 1940, the newly designed 992B was introduced.  Among a long list of new design features, this watch was designed with increased interchangeability of parts, a new monometallic balance and the new “Elinvar Extra” hairspring.  These design improvements quickly made the 992B the universal standard for the railroad watch industry.

Initial shipments of the 992B commenced in early November of 1940.  These initial watches were all cased in the new, gold filled, No. 11 case and were packaged in a unique ivory plastic “Cigarette” box with blue padded velvet liners.  The watch and plastic box were further packaged in a two piece blue cardboard box.

As production continued, additional case offerings were added and eventually, the plastic “Cigarette” box and outer cardboard box was replaced by a less expensive two piece cardboard box..

The 992B


992B Serial Number C001.  Hamilton records indicate that this watch was received into finishing in March of 1941.  It was then assigned to the technical department in April of 1941 were it remained unsold.

Prior to introduction, 8 watches were shipped to various inspectors.  This included 3 watches each, housed in skeleton cases to both American and Canadian inspectors.  These shipments were made in July and August of 1940.  In addition, 2 watches were adjusted to Sidereal Time and shipped export on August 1, 1940 in No. 10 cases.  The watch above is one of these two watches.

Throughout the life of the 992B, a number of Experimental or Prototype watches were produced.  These watches had various markings which included EXP’L, MODEL and SAMPLE.  The above watch is one of these prototypes and is clearly marked EXP’L 10.

Although the majority of plastic “cigarette” boxes were ivory, Hamilton did ship a relatively small number of watches in boxes of various other colors.  The pictures above outline the 15 primary colors which have been seen.  Other boxes have been seen and reported with bottom and tops in contrasting colors (white/red, yellow/black, etc...).   It is unknown whether these examples are all original, although I suspect some may be.