Bunn Special with 60 hour motor barrel

Thread: Bunn Special with 60 hour motor barrel

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  1. #1
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    Bunn Special with 60 hour motor barrel

    I am looking at this watch. I think a Illinois Bunn Special would be a great watch to have, and one is available
    that looks nice, but with an unusual 60 hour "motor", i.e. some kind of special main spring, I guess.

    Is this something to avoid for a watch I want to use and not have to repair (and have trouble finding parts if
    and when I do)? If repair ever were necessary and this was a problem could an ordinary mainspring be
    substituted (giving up the 60 hour thing). Maybe this is just one to avoid since it is "exotic" and I may
    be paying extra for something a specialized collector would value. What do you all say?

  2. #2
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    Re: Bunn Special with 60 hour motor barrel

    Any vintage/antique pocket watch will require servicing if you intend to use it on a daily basis. The 60 hour Illinois watches are sought after by collectors and are expensive to begin with compared to normal Bunn Specials.

  3. #3
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Bunn Special with 60 hour motor barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by RON in PA View Post
    Any vintage/antique pocket watch will require servicing if you intend to use it on a daily basis. The 60 hour Illinois watches are sought after by collectors and are expensive to begin with compared to normal Bunn Specials.
    Are these just larger barrels (to contain the mainspring) or are the springs different? VC is making these nowadays... but for a lot more than a Bunn would cost!
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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  5. #4
    Vintage & NAWCC Forum moderator Ben_hutcherson's Avatar
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    Re: Bunn Special with 60 hour motor barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Eeeb View Post
    Are these just larger barrels (to contain the mainspring) or are the springs different? VC is making these nowadays... but for a lot more than a Bunn would cost!
    The 60 hour barrels are a fair bit larger than the "standard" (48 hour) Bunn Specials. In fact, the dust band on a 60 hour has a "bulge" at the side to allow them to clear the barrel, something not present(or necessary) on the model 9 Bunn Specials.

    Incidentally, I think it's worth mentioning that Illinois made a whole, whole lot of 60 hour Bunn Specials. They're not as plentiful as the model 9 Bunn Specials, but there's no shortage of them-especially the most common so-called type III 60 hours. The type IIIs reliably bring $50-100 more than the most common model 9s in my experience for watches of comparable condition. Many of the parts interchange between the model 9 and model 14(60 hour), although obviously the mainspring, mainspring barrel, and winding wheel will not. Mainsprings are still plentiful, both in NOS and new production white alloy.

    Just be sure if buying one that the case and dial are correct. Most 60 hours should be properly cased in signed Bunn Special cases(although some late, seemingly original examples have shown up in Hamilton cases). Some Type Is were apparently sold as movement only, although any 60 hour not in a signed case should be treated suspiciously.
    Member National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors
    Member, NAWCC Chapter 149. Vice President and Secretary NAWCC Chapter 140. Member, NAWCC Convention Committee.
    Serious collector of American pocket watches-Waltham(and the predecessor companies) is my specialty.

  6. #5
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    Re: Bunn Special with 60 hour motor barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by RON in PA View Post
    Any vintage/antique pocket watch will require servicing if you intend to use it on a daily basis. The 60 hour Illinois watches are sought after by collectors and are expensive to begin with compared to normal Bunn Specials.
    Well, I went ahead and made the purchase, paying just over $300 for the watch. Feel free to tell me that I either "got taken" or that I did well.
    I was reassured by the statement that these watches were not that uncommon, so if the mainspring breaks it won't be impossible to repair.
    The seller tells me the watch was serviced recently, but I need to clarify if the service was cleaning and oiling or just what, and this
    brings up another question: Assuming that it was properly cleaned and oiled, how long till I need to have it serviced again?

  7. #6
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Bunn Special with 60 hour motor barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucson_Tom View Post
    ... Assuming that it was properly cleaned and oiled, how long till I need to have it serviced again?
    ... when the performance begins to degrade. This is usually first evident in the inability to keep previous accuracy levels.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  8. #7
    Vintage & NAWCC Forum moderator Ben_hutcherson's Avatar
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    Re: Bunn Special with 60 hour motor barrel

    We can't give appraisals here, but provided that the watch is all "straight" that sounds like a fair price, especially if it was recently serviced.
    Member National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors
    Member, NAWCC Chapter 149. Vice President and Secretary NAWCC Chapter 140. Member, NAWCC Convention Committee.
    Serious collector of American pocket watches-Waltham(and the predecessor companies) is my specialty.

  9. #8
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    Re: Bunn Special with 60 hour motor barrel

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben_hutcherson View Post
    We can't give appraisals here, but provided that the watch is all "straight" that sounds like a fair price, especially if it was recently serviced.
    Thanks.

    Sounds good - a gut feeling opinion from someone with experience is all I want -- as part of my ongoing education.
    A fair price is something I am a great believer in, not that I mind a bargain now and again.

    And as someone new to pocketwatches -- is it good or bad to fully wind a watch? Yes I am a complete newcomer
    to all of this. I am not so clueless as to try to force things when it has become fully would, but would be
    grateful for any prudent watch handling tips anyone might want to pass along (I guess I am hijacking my
    own thread -- but my aim is to learn how to treat this watch right).

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