This Model 22, 21 Jewel US Navy WWII Hamilton Deckwatch Chronometer, Dated 1943 is in very good condition and is very complete. Marked US Bu Ships -1943 on the movement, with serial number 2F26185. BuShips refers to the United States Navy's Bureau of Ships, which is explained below.
The exterior of the case bears the maker's name, Hamilton Watch Company, Lancaster, PA USA, as does the face of the chronometer. There is an additional plaque inside which states the model number and includes setting instructions. Rarely this piece still has the Hamilton label on the interior of the lid, promoting the virtues of Hamiton's timepieces.
Though this is generally called a Deckwatch Chronometer, it's unlikely it was actually used on deck. Generally the Model 22 Hamilton in this gimbaled version, set within a traditional wood case under glass, would be used as the main timekeeper on ships. A non-gimballed version was also made that was set within a metal case and could be used as a ship's secondary or backup timekeeper. The term "deckwatch" is sometimes unevenly used with chronometers and can refer either to primary or secondary timekeepers though the name really implies that it was the secondary and thus allowed out on deck to keep the watch versus the more important main timekeeper kept in a secure location of a ship's bridge, etc. Deckwatch was sometimes used by a makers unevenly because they could be used either way depending on the number of timekeepers on board a specific vessel.
The Bureau of Ships was established by the US Congress in 1940 to consolidate the functions of the Bureau of Construction and Repair and the Bureau of Engineering. BuShips was abolished in 1966, and was succeeded by the Naval Ship Systems Command (NAVSHIPS) which is today known as the Naval Sea Systems Command or NAVSEA since 1974.
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