Found a Donor Movement!

TLDR; I have a Hamilton that runs at almost 2x speed after it warms up from my body heat. The movement is no longer being made and Hamilton wanted $700 to $1200+ to repair it, so I set my sights on a donor movement.

Full story HERE.

After 5 months of patient searching for a reasonably priced donor I finally secured one (pictured) at auction for $72, almost twice what I paid for my gold-plated Masterpiece, but much less than what's typically offered.

Opened it up and the spring steel tang that contacts the negative side of the battery was snapped off & missing, so I removed the one from the original watch and installed it, just to verify that it would run.

After a bit of coaxing, it worked. My guess is that it hadn't been running for quite some time and once the hands had a chance to move about a bit, it started cooperating.

I've been wearing it for an hour and no weird "running fast" issues like my other one starts doing after 5 minutes! Tomorrow I'll replace the movement in my Masterpiece Hamilton with this one and call it done.

There's light at the end of the tunnel with this project!

UPDATE, NEXT DAY: I let it run overnight and it lost 15 minutes, so I'm going to continue to monitor how it keeps time. I'm hesitant to make any changes unless I'm 100% confident that the movement will keep accurate time. I may have to get yet another donor...馃槵

UPDATE, SECOND DAY: The movement just stops randomly. I may take it apart for inspection to see if there's something obvious causing it. The battery has tested good. In the meantime, I'm going to buy a new module circuit for this ESA 963.124 movement and put it in the original Hamilton to see if it stops the running fast issue when heated - it would be much cheaper than buying another donor and may turn out to be what I should have done in the first place, lol. Oh well, we'll see!

Cheers! 馃嵒



Must feel great! It looks good!


Must feel great! It looks good!

Thanks, but that's the base metal donor watch. The Masterpiece looks even better! Can't wait to change the movements! 馃憤

I wonder what goes wrong when a quartz movement goes fast. I always thought it could not fail that way.

We all know that when @Pallet_Fork sets his mind on something, it's only a matter of time !

Looking forward to it


I wonder what goes wrong when a quartz movement goes fast. I always thought it could not fail that way.

So weird, I put it on and within 5 minutes, it's going super fast. I don't even know where to begin to suspect where the problem is.

Great job and nice work awesome looking watch!


Great job and nice work awesome looking watch!

Thanks @CadeStingle , I haven't done the work yet, but this is the watch the donor movement is going into. This one is gold plated (and the band too) and has "Masterpiece" on the dial.


The donor watch looks similar but isn't gold plated - just gold tone - and doesn't have the Masterpiece designation:


Very nice watch, I can see why you trying to make it work 馃嵒馃挴