Hi guys, first post here.
So, I'm planning to buy my first pocket watch on Sunday. One of my antiques dealers (I buy a lot of cameras, I know a few ) has four pocket watches all at the same price. He has an Elgin, an Omega, and an Illinois Watch Co. The other one I can't remember, some minor Swiss brand. The Omega and the Illinois are the ones I'm interested in. They're both pre-1930, so the Illinois is definitely pre-Hamilton. Both have plain, gold filled open-face cases.
The Illinois has a dial just like this one. The Omega looks pretty standard, arabic numerals with a minute track, no small numbers for the minutes. Both have seconds at 6. The dial on the Illinois is a bit dirty, but it can be easily cleaned. I already have a vintage Omega Seamaster Deville, so another Omega would be cool, but I really like the movements IWCo used to make. They are just beautiful.
I want this watch for daily use, I will carry it 3 or 4 days of the week.
The thing is, I haven't seen the movements. This guy usually sells good stuff, but he's a bit out there, so he won't let me open the backs unless I'm going to buy one on the spot, so I can't see them until Sunday. So, assuming both movements are in good shape, which one should I pick? If the Omega turns out to have a low jewel count (like some Omega pocket watch movements with 7 jewels) should I go with the Illinois instead? How do these two brands compare?