Hilton

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svaglic
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Hilton

Post by svaglic » June 21st 2022, 3:24pm

Well, I found out that Hilton was basically, back then, what Invicta of today is.

https://www.keepthetime.com/blog/hilton ... ainspring/

Despite the “Swiss Made” on the dial, upon cracking open the caseback on the example timepiece pictured here, we found it stamped with the following: G.T. Co. Hong Kong.

Sound familiar? Seems they skirted Swiss back then too.

The following info is from user JimH on watchuseek:

“Hilton was a company based in New York City. Hilton distributed watches usually made with 17 jewel Swiss movements and cases from a variety of sources including Hong Kong. It was a marketing company rather than a manufacturer. Hilton got in trouble with the FTC in the early 60s over misleading pricing and claims for their watches (25 jewel but only 17 functional, marked Swiss Made).”

Silly me, I always wondered why Hilton was so cheap, even with the nice looking textured dials. Now I know.
Oh well, it is still a nice looking dial and that’s why I got it. I am a sucker for textured dials, I want them all. Fortunately Hilton has been a cheap obsession.

Here is my latest
D4B8CFCA-5DBA-4B52-B1A9-680FBBFACDF3.jpeg
64EEDD55-6F19-4970-B335-8CD623B6B765.jpeg
Look at that dial.
E6735568-4A51-4C8D-9253-55B61396A04A.jpeg
This is my third Hilton with a cool textured dial, it won’t be my last though. I’m looking for a fontomatic movement they put out in a few models, hopefully I can find one in a textured dial.
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In memory of TB/Phfluff, since he isn’t here to continue to give his praise, I will share it for him.
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SynMike
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Re: Hilton

Post by SynMike » June 21st 2022, 8:36pm

Here is mine. The movement is marked as Hilton Watch Co., Swiss, 17 Jewels.

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And a couple pages from a catalogue I have:

Image

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svaglic
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Re: Hilton

Post by svaglic » June 21st 2022, 8:56pm

Here are my other two
This one I’ve had for years, it was one of my first vintage watches I bought.
3F4AB715-9685-4576-922E-6B23A768849A.jpeg
I’m replacing the strap on this one, I will clean it up a bit. It was in one of my dads auction boxes.
05CE8AEE-4770-4C83-9F31-39218A1EC5D1.jpeg
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Re: Hilton

Post by svaglic » June 21st 2022, 10:08pm

SynMike wrote:
June 21st 2022, 10:04pm
Cool dials.
Thank you, I have always liked Hilton and Atlantic dials.

Yours looks NOS, is it the Baron?
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Re: Hilton

Post by SynMike » June 21st 2022, 11:11pm

svaglic wrote:
June 21st 2022, 10:08pm
SynMike wrote:
June 21st 2022, 10:04pm
Cool dials.
Thank you, I have always liked Hilton and Atlantic dials.

Yours looks NOS, is it the Baron?
The Baron in my catalogue has slightly different indices and is (supposedly) solid gold. Mine is marked inside as 20 microns.
Mine is certainly very close in design, though. So maybe it is a Baron from a different year than my catalogue.

I really don't know much about mine. I bought it on ebay 10 years ago.
I think paid about $50 for it, knowing nothing about the brand but liking the style/appearance and like-new condition.
It was advertised as recently serviced. I assume that the crystal is probably a replacement.
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Re: Hilton

Post by 3Flushes » June 22nd 2022, 3:47am

Cool looking - interesting backstory - I imagine jobber brands made all sorts of bullshit claims. Interesting they'd mark it Swiss with the clear Chinese mark inside of the back - Perhaps they figured nobody would keep them long enough to have them serviced. Could also be that a third party maker used the HK case with Hilton none the wiser - can't imagine they would inspect the branded product beyond appearance and proper function. The unsubstantiated claim of an FTC action in the 60's made by the WUS guy @ the link sounds hinky to me.

Intriguing; might be fun to open your watches and see what's what and what you can find out about Hilton's practices. I wonder if the FTC would still have record of any actions they took back then.
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Re: Hilton

Post by SynMike » June 22nd 2022, 10:19am

Meh. I'm not convinced that this story is accurate.
It is just what some guy wrote on the internet.

"The so-called Swiss Made label on watches has been used for decades to sell watches that are not entirely made in Switzerland."

A watch does not need to be "entirely made in Switzerland" to be Swiss Made. In the specific case of the Hilton watch in this article, the movement is Swiss. As the article says, it is an "A. Schild caliber AS 1361N found in many automatic watches of that era, from Girard-Perregaux to Rado." Having that movement and being assembled in Switzerland would qualify for Swiss Made, even if the case is from Hong Kong.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_made

My Hilton is nothing spectacular. But everything in it is consistent with a very typical, average consumer, Swiss Made watch of the early 60s.

Yeh, IMO the article is trying to make something out of nothing.
Nothing like Invicta.
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3Flushes
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Re: Hilton

Post by 3Flushes » June 22nd 2022, 4:15pm

SynMike wrote:
June 22nd 2022, 10:19am
Meh. I'm not convinced that this story is accurate.
It is just what some guy wrote on the internet.

"The so-called Swiss Made label on watches has been used for decades to sell watches that are not entirely made in Switzerland."

A watch does not need to be "entirely made in Switzerland" to be Swiss Made. In the specific case of the Hilton watch in this article, the movement is Swiss. As the article says, it is an "A. Schild caliber AS 1361N found in many automatic watches of that era, from Girard-Perregaux to Rado." Having that movement and being assembled in Switzerland would qualify for Swiss Made, even if the case is from Hong Kong.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_made

My Hilton is nothing spectacular. But everything in it is consistent with a very typical, average consumer, Swiss Made watch of the early 60s.

Yeh, IMO the article is trying to make something out of nothing.
Nothing like Invicta.
*Note to self — read the article at the link.

Thought the bit about the FTC sounded like BS — given the AS movement I think you're spot on - some knocklehead rubbing two sticks together.
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