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Vintage Movements Gain New Life


That’s right!  Much like what I wrote up with Archer utilizing vintage Hamilton movements.  This time around it’s Wilson Watch Works, which is based out of North Carolina.  And before I get too far into the review – W3 does offer a variety of models that can be custom built to your specifications (more info can be found here).

W3 is a new company, having coming into existence in 2008.  While Chris Pappas is not a fully-trained watchmaker, it does seem that he’s a true watch geek, just like you and me.  He started creating custom pieces in 2008 as a creative outlet, and has been getting assistance from some folks who have been traditionally trained:

I continually train one on one with Alice Carpenter a certified master watchmaker and former AWI president to acquire the skills necessary to provide good service to my customers. I also have the assistance of George Hawkins a local certified watchmaker formally trained at the Paris Scholl of Horology.

Now, what about this Hamilton-based watch?  I love to see new life breathed into a vintage movement, and that’s exactly what’s being done here.  Starting at a very reasonable $795, you’d get the following basic options to select from:

  • Movement: Hamilton 917 movement that has been refurbished and rebuilt
  • 316L Stainless Steel Case with 22mm lugs
  • Flat sapphire crystal with AR coating
  • Choice of bezel:  45 degree or double round
  • Choice of crown:  diamond (large/small), onion (large/small), or flat
  • Choice of dial:  ivory (enameled hands) or black (lumed hands)

So, that’s the basics.  Of course, if you’re having a watch built just for you, the fun comes in with the customization.  And you have plenty of options in that regard:

  • Dial:  can upgrade to a silver Guilloche
  • Movement:  you can upgrade to one of three different Hamilton 921 movements
  • A refurbished movement
  • A NOS movement
  • A hand-engraved and rose gold plated refurbished movement
  • Case:  brushed, bead blasted, or rose gold plated
  • Bezel: brushed
  • Strap:  price varies on your selection

All told, you  have an impressive amount of direction that you can give to the build of your watch.  We focused on the Hamilton here, but their other models offer similar levels of variability.  And of course, as with most smaller manufacturers, I’m sure if you have special requests, there may be a way to accommodate that.  Or, if your tastes are simpler, they have a handful of pre-assembled models available.  If you’ve had any experience with W3, be sure to let us know in the comments below.

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