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Hamilton Chronometers and World War II

Article by Gary Sellick

As the clouds of war gathered over Europe at the beginning of W.W.II, America’s naval command found it’s self with out a reliable source of navigational chronometers.   There were no chronometers being made in America at this time.   The chronometers were needed because, even though radio signal could reach a ship at sea, time signals could be falsified by the enemy.   An on board, independent time source was still needed.   The only large scale makers of chronometers outside of Germany were in Switzerland and Great Britain.   Switzerland could not ship because of Germany, and Great Britain needed every one it produced for its own war effort.   America’s naval command approached the major watch making companies for bids to make chronometers in America.   Hamilton won out and produced thousands of the most accurate portable timepieces ever made, exceeding the government’s expectations and requirements for accuracy.