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Hamilton FAPD-5101

In Stock Unavailable

Regular price $2,800.00 Sale

Product Details

From World War I to the Vietnam War and beyond, Hamilton has produced watches for the U.S. military. Their tough, no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners approach resulted in scads of eminently-collectible designs. In particular, the watches issued to the U.S. Army according to the MIL-W-46374 standard have become the epitome of rough-and-ready field watches, and are now immortalized in Hamilton's popular Khaki Field models. 

However, there's another type of Hamilton field watch that, thanks to its association with certain high-flyers in the military, has become particularly desirable among today's collectors...

... not least of all for its rarity.

The high-flyers in question are, of course, members of the U.S. Air Force; however, unlike pilot's chronographs, which were meant to time airborne military maneuvers or air strikes, the watch to which we are referring was meant for one thing: navigation. 

Due to navigators' particular needs, their watches had to be larger and more legible than those issued to pilots. The B-Uhren made by German brands such as A. Lange & Söhne during World War II are perhaps some of the most well-known examples of this type of watch. However, the need for a specialized watch for navigators didn't end when the Axis surrendered on VE Day in 1945.

Advances in flight, such as the emergence of jet-powered aircraft during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, meant that accurate navigation was absolutely crucial. So in 1970, Hamilton developed this watch, the FAPD 5101 or Type 1 Navigator. With a 36mm Parkerized steel case, the Type 1 is slightly larger than its contemporaries, giving it that extra element of legibility that the navigators needed.

The Type 1 Navigator is fitted with a 17-jewel manual-wound with center seconds hacking capabilities. The Caliber 684, like the Caliber 89 used in the IWC Mark XI, is shielded by an anti-magnetic dust cover. Derived from the ETA Caliber 2391, the Caliber 684 had a fine micro-regulating screw.

However, since it was designed exclusively for this watch, the Caliber 684 appears in no other military or civilian watch designed by Hamilton.

At first glance, the dial of the FAPD 5101 is reminiscent of other military field watches, with its 24-hour dial layout surmounted by luminescent triangles above each Arabic numeral. But the dial of the FAPD has a small "Swiss" painted at 6 o'clock. Moreover, the exterior of the FAPD 5101 differs from its cousins in that it has a slightly larger case owing to its aviation heritage, wider than conventional field watches.

This particular Type 1 has all the look and feel of a military watch, with the slight scuffs that come with a life used in the field. However, since very few survive service unscathed, it's all the more desirable. The Type 1 is a rare bird indeed, being issued for only the month of September 1970.

Its scarcity can't go understated, making it a watch that won't be seen once it flies away again.

Hamilton FAPD-5101

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