Hamilton Rutledge Vintage 1938-1939 Platinum Tank in Original Condition Very Rare
The Hamilton Rutledge is one of the most elusive Hamilton watches in the ranks of the Spur and the Flintridge. According to Faber and Unger (American Wristwatches: Five Decades of Style and Design), “fewer than 10 examples [of 18K or platinum cases] exist of different models by Hamilton, Elgin, Gruen, and Waltham.” There are very few platinum watches made by Hamilton; and most of them had diamond dials only as options. Even cases in 18k gold are extremely rare and Platinum was produced in much smaller numbers. The Rutledge was first introduced in 1935 and stayed in production for a long time for Hamilton standards until 1952 when replaced by the Cambridge. The original asking price was $175 - a king's fortune during the great depression. This was a very expensive watch made to appeal to the very wealthy; hence the low production numbers. The dial and hands are elegantly curved 2-piece L&W case in Platinum & 10% Iridium measures approximately 36mm long x 22mm wide (not including the recessed crown) and about 7mm at full crystal height, a beautifully proportioned rectangular dress watch. The hard platinum case shows some previous polish and there are some minor scratches to the case and back but the angles and edges are still crisp and the downward sloping lugs are strong. By my strict standards, I rate this case as solidly excellent vintage condition. The snap-in caseback is correctly hallmarked for platinum-iridium content, has the casemakers signature. The original factory-printed silver dial with applied 18k rhodium plated yellow gold gothic numerals is excellent condition for being original and absolutely gorgeous, with only minor blemishes from over 75+ years of life. The original white gold dagger hands are sharp and original. The watch has been kept in good hands. The correct unsigned knurled crown winds and pulls out to the time-setting position as it should and sits flush to the side of the case. This watch originally came with a 19mm grey strap. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a replacement strap that is grey and 19MM. But we did it. This is a great collector piece in great working order and keeping time as expected of a watch of this age. Just overhauled and working perfect. Many other examples found have refinished dials and the more common cathedral hands. I've showed adverts in my pics for both versions. The dagger hands are much less common and frankly look better in my humble opinion.