If you see a manual-winding Hamilton watch with a 10K RGP case you stand a good chance of guessing it’s a “Sea Something”. There are a bunch of models, starting in 1957, with “sea” in its name and the trend continued well into the 1970s with 10 or more models per year named sea-something.
One of the models you don’t see very often is the 1962 Sea Scape II. It was offered for only two years. The dial looks very similar to a few other models but the sweep second hand is a unique feature. For example, this watch looks a lot like a 1960 First Mate.
The Sea Scape II came with a white dial or with a grey dial. Tucked behind the dial is a 17 jewel Swiss-made 678 movement made by ETA.
I’ve had my project watch waiting it’s turn in a long queue of other projects but it’s number finally came up for a trip to the spa. My example has the grey dial and this is the only example of this watch I have seen.
Somewhere in it’s past life a new crystal was installed and it was a terrible choice. It’s thicker than the actual watch. Maybe they wanted to make sure the sweep second hand would clear? It has room for six or seven other hands too!
If you are unfamiliar with the 678 you are not alone. I believe this is the first time I’ve come across this caliber. I think it was quickly replaced by the 688, which it looks very much like. The main difference, to my eye, is the 678 has a fixed hairspring stud on the balance cock.
With the balance removed, you can see the 678 is based on an ETA 2391.
The case is properly marked with Hamilton Watch Co. and was made by Queens. You don’t see Queens very often in Hamilton watches but there are a few.
The movement gets completely stripped and thoroughly cleaned before being reassembled with fresh lubricants.
The movement is back together and running with a nice motion. Not to see what the timer thinks of it.
It took a slight tweak or two to get the beat rate inline but everything looks great now.
A proper crystal will be a nice improvement to the watch. I usually use GS PHD crystals for round watches with sweep second hands as long as a reflector ring isn’t called for.
The new crystal looks much more appropriate. I added a nicer crown as well.
The completed watch looks great. I relumed the hands as well. There is a little toning on the dial from the radium previously on the hands. If the hands stay in the same spot for years and years, they can burn the dial. The radium is gone now so there’s no longer a concern. The dial has a few spots here and there but most people do too once they reach 60 years old.
The Sea Scape II is a nice watch but it’s a bit of a sleeper … it looks like any other garden variety model. However, it actually is a pretty unique model with a rare Hamilton caliber tucked inside. This is the only Hamilton model I’ve come across with a 678.
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