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Thread: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and Hamilton 308 Device

  1. #41

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    I think the Hamilton museum website entry explains it:








    "An electric switch gets activated once the time reaches 2400 hours"

    So it is a simple closed circuit. By adjusting the hands to the hours you wish, the remaining hours between those and 24:00 is the time you have before the bang.
    A power source is required to set off the ignition device (mercury switch, percussive cap etc.).
    This power source (a battery, I presume) is attached to the ignition device and two wires attach to the ignition device and the contacts on the back of the watch.

  2. #42

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    So that means power source is external to the watch? So the watch just acts as a timer based switch?

  3. #43

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    Thanks for posting the inside of the watch.

    The 731 is nice movement, USA-made and "expensive" compared to the Swiss-made ebauche grades used by Hamilton in the 1960s. Makes you wonder if it's a one-trick pony or meant to be used more than once. It's also a sub-second hand grade with the second hand on the 4th wheel. That begs the question, "just how accurately do you want this bomb to go off"? In other words, you have to eye-ball the hour and minute hands and say to yourself... "that looks like like about 5 minutes... don't you think?"

    Hardly a "3, 2, 1 Boom" scenario.

    I wonder how often they had a "trust me sir, it'll go off any second now..." scenario?


  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by nori View Post
    So that means power source is external to the watch? So the watch just acts as a timer based switch?
    Yes, it's a simple timer switch, but a covert one.




    Makes you wonder if it's a one-trick pony or meant to be used more than once.
    Well, it's attached to an explosive so...

  5. #45

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    True... but why make a disposable wrist watch that blows stuff up at midnight and not just a simple timer? And why not use a Swiss movement that was 1/2 the cost? It just seems totally MacGyvered and superfluous.

    James Bond could use his watch as a garrote and then use it again later to arrive at the casino on time.

  6. #46

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    Maybe it would be difficult to bring a bomb timer thru security when you could just waltz thru with your watch?!?

  7. #47
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    Outstanding sleuthing. I am always happy to see another piece of history saved, and what a history. As to the Hamilton, maybe it was how they showed you out the door when you retired. You know, the Official Secrets Act and all that.

  8. #48
    Moderator Revo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbee View Post
    By adjusting the hands to the hours you wish, the remaining hours between those and 24:00 is the time you have before the bang.
    Until I read that I was thinking that it was a bit limited -- OK if you wanted a big bang a midnight but what if you wanted one at any other time, and possibly sooner rather than later? I'd forgotten you could just set the hands . . . .

    Sometimes I'm really thick.
    "Early this year I saw ex-army watches exhibited in a showcase at a little under 4 each. A week or two later I succeeded in buying one of them for 5. Recently their price seems to have risen to 8." (George Orwell, "As I Please", Tribune, 29th November 1946)

  9. #49
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    Menta Watches just posted one (not mine, btw) as #comingsoon on their Instagram, if anyone is looking to buy...

  10. #50

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    I'm happy to report the Blancpain is back from service and running. The bezel is now turning as well. My obvious distress was enough to convince the man at the shop to make my watch a priority and put it at the front of the queue.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpc View Post
    Menta Watches just posted one (not mine, btw) as #comingsoon on their Instagram, if anyone is looking to buy...
    That I'd like to see if it sells at their price; Price: $5,900
    Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.
    Sir Winston Churchill

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianDumais View Post
    I would assume its normal closed circuit?!?


    Brian
    I would assume its normally a open circuit so voltage can't flow and then to go boom it closes the circuit so voltage flows.....

  13. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianDumais View Post
    Maybe it would be difficult to bring a bomb timer thru security when you could just waltz thru with your watch?!?

    I thought that too, but then I thought: "where do they get the explosives, and who's gonna tiptoe through security with it?"

  14. #54

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    The Hamilton 308 Device on Menta (not mine) sold in one day. The list price was 6,000 or 5,900.

  15. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashmoret View Post
    The Hamilton 308 Device on Menta (not mine) sold in one day. The list price was 6,000 or 5,900.
    I'd say its the MWR effect from this thread :-)

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by nori View Post
    I'd say its the MWR effect from this thread :-)
    Ha! Definitely. Hopefully the buyer did his homework, read the thread, and knows as much as we know (which, admittedly, isn't much).

  17. #57

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    dial was different for that one

  18. #58
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    Same as mine and Brain's, looks like to me...

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