The Pinstripe Dynasty Collection

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On April 20, 1929, on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, a total of 30 specially designed Hamilton “Piping Rock” model wristwatches were presented to players from the 1928 World Series championship squad. Each watch was engraved with the player’s name on a fourteen-karat white gold case and featured backs specifically designed with an American eagle perched atop two intersecting bats, baseball-like stitching and the moniker, “Yankees 1928 World Champions.” A 31st watch was awarded to Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert and a final watch was kept by Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who served as baseball’s first commissioner and the man who personally ordered the watches to present to the players. Featuring strong Art Deco influences the “Piping Rock” is considered by most Hamilton watch collectors to be the pinnacle of the company’s watchmaking and design efforts. Of the very limited original population, fewer than five 1928 Yankees championship watches have surfaced in the collecting hobby, including Lou Gehrig’s which was sold by SCP Auctions in 2014 for $340,000.

Presented here is the example presented to Yankees Hall of Fame catcher Bill Dickey. Dickey made his Major League debut with the club on August 15, 1928, but saw limited action with the Yankees, appearing in a total of ten games and batting .200 in just fifteen at bats. Dickey won the starting catcher position in 1929 and went on to bat .324 with 10 home runs and 65 RBI in his rookie campaign. Dickey remained a fixture behind the plate with the Yankees for fifteen more seasons, leading the club to eight pennants and seven World Championships over that span. His stature among the greatest players ever to don pinstripes is evident by his retired number 8 and plaque that resides in Yankee Stadiums Monument Park.

The dignified timepiece has benefited aesthetically from a replacement of the face, hands and glass and a modern leather band, however all of the aforementioned original elements have been retained and could easily be reinstated by a qualified expert. Given its horological pedigree combined with its significance in the realm of baseball history, this easily ranks amongst the most coveted Fall Classic relics in the hobby.

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