Good deal?

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  1. #1
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    Good deal?

    I just won this Illinois pocket watch on Ebay:

    Vintage ILLINOIS Pocket Watch 1 3/4" Diameter / Works | eBay

    Paid slightly less than $39.00 for it, shipping included. The seller says she does not know how to remove the case back, but it is apparently pendant-set, and still works. Hopefully I will have it by the end of the week and I can figure out how to get the back off so I can see what sort of movement is in it.
    Last edited by Rich K.; May 24th, 2011 at 02:00.

  2. #2
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: Good deal?

    You won't know if it's a good deal until you get it. But in general, Illinois made very good watches, so I'd call that a good buy, even if it turns out to be a 7 jewel.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  3. #3
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    Re: Good deal?

    Hi Rich,

    I have described two "cannot-open-its" here:
    Ranfft Watches, Troubles
    Ranfft Watches, Troubles

    Hope, you have more luck. If actually stainless steel, it would have been a
    good deal anyway, but sorry, it is more likely chrome- or nickel plated brass.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

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  5. #4
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    Re: Good deal?

    Well, at least I don't have to worry about this one being a dummy display watch - this one works. Plus, I can return it within 7 days of receiving it if there's something wrong with it.

    How will I be able to tell if it's stainless vs. plated brass? Will it be marked inside the case? Did Illinois even use stainless cases in the 1920's-1930's?

    Given the size description, would this likely be a 16s?

  6. #5
    Member sherwoodschwartz's Avatar
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    Re: Good deal?

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    You won't know if it's a good deal until you get it. But in general, Illinois made very good watches, so I'd call that a good buy, even if it turns out to be a 7 jewel.
    i wasn't aware illinois made a 7 jewel. i was under the impression they were 15 and up only.

  7. #6
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    Re: Good deal?

    Some of the smaller sizes (0, 4, 6, 8) had 7 or 11 jewels; some of the 12 & 13 size movements branded "Washington W. Co." had 11 jewels, and so did some of the 14 size movements. Lowest count I see in my book for 16 size movements is 7 jewels as well, though most seem to have 11 and up. If it is a 7-jewel model, it's probably a model 2 (the only one listed in my book that has 7 jewels, is 16 size, and pendant set)..

  8. #7
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    Re: Good deal?

    As it turns out, I think I made out like a bandit on this one! The case was easy to open - just a snap-back. The inside of the case is marked with the symbol of the Keystone Co., and below the logo it just says "metal". There is one jeweler's mark scratched on the inside back, very small, so it has been serviced at least once.

    The movement, as it turns out, isn't the 16s or 18s I usually prefer, but...

    Okay, okay, enough beating around the bush. What I ended up with is an Illinois "Marquis Autocrat" thin model, 17 jewel, adjusted 3 positions, motor barrel (all 3 are marked on the movement plates), and a serial number of 4,881,488, which I think puts it around 1927. It ticks smoothly, and the movement looks beautiful!

    Name:  illinois movement.jpg
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    Name:  Illinois front.jpg
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    Think it was worth a total cost of $38.50 US? ;)

  9. #8
    Member georges zaslavsky's Avatar
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    Re: Good deal?

    congrats on the great find. thanks for sharing
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