Illinois Watch Co. Serial # 1109904

Thread: Illinois Watch Co. Serial # 1109904

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  1. #1
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    Picture Illinois Watch Co. Serial # 1109904

    Hi All,

    I just bought a pocket watch for my fiance, and before I give it to him I am hoping to have a few more details for him. I really don't know anything about watches.

    It is an Illinois Watch Co. Serial # 1109904, gold filled and a pretty elaborate design with 2 birds (photos attached). It has blue hour and minute hands. On the clock face it says Hansen Bros, Seattle, Tacoma & Spokane. I believe that it is size 18.

    My questions are....

    1. What year was this pocket watch made? I believe 1892, but just checking.

    2. How many jewels? And what exactly does that mean?

    3. How much was it worth in it's day, and how much should it be worth today? It is in great shape and keeps time.

    :thanks Any information you can provide is appreciated!! Thank you!
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  2. #2
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Illinois Watch Co. Serial # 1109904

    1. Yes it was made in 1892.
    2. Can't find a jewel-count. The fact that it's not engraved on the movement plate suggests that the watch may have had a rather low jewel-count (below 15 jewels).

    Jewels are ruby jewel-bearings placed around the arbors and balance of the watch-movement and their job is to reduce friction and improve the performance of the watch. In time-only watches, the highest level of jewelling was 23 jewels, the lowest acceptable level of jewelling was 7, which I suspect, is what yours is.

    3. Couldn't tell you that, unfortunately. It's a site policy not to give out evaluations.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  3. #3
    Omega Forum Moderator emmanuelgoldstein's Avatar
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    Re: Illinois Watch Co. Serial # 1109904

    Quote Originally Posted by Shellgirl81 View Post
    Hi All,

    My questions are....

    1. What year was this pocket watch made? I believe 1892, but just checking.

    2. How many jewels? And what exactly does that mean?

    3. How much was it worth in it's day, and how much should it be worth today? It is in great shape and keeps time.

    :thanks Any information you can provide is appreciated!! Thank you!
    1) Year of production was 1892 -1893
    2) I have a similar production model with a 15J movement.
    3) In its day it could have gone from $3 up to a couple of hundred dollars. An 1898 Dueber Elgin went for 3.95 in its day.

    The watch is in excellent condition. Your boyfriend is very lucky. I hope he enjoys the gift.


    Last edited by emmanuelgoldstein; May 24th, 2010 at 03:07.
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  5. #4
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    Re: Illinois Watch Co. Serial # 1109904

    Your watch was made in 1892-3. The database I have lists it as an 18 size hunting case, lever set movement with 15 jewels.

    Lever set means that you have to pull out a small lever next to the dial to set the watch rather than pull out the crown as in a modern watch.

    The jewel count in a watch refers to the number of synthetic sapphires or rubies that are used as bearings for the watches wheels and gears to turn in. Generally the more jewels, the higher grade the movement is considered. For example, most of the more popular "railroad grade" watches were 21 jewels or more.



    Most message boards frown on giving appraisals on the forums. I am certainly not an expert in Illinois watches and I do not know how the private label dial would affect its value. However, there is another message board that has a watch valuation forum, if you are still interested. PM me and I will give you the name.

    Tony
    Last edited by arizzo24; May 24th, 2010 at 03:03.
    Rolex Submariner 16610/SS Datejust 16030
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  6. #5
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: Illinois Watch Co. Serial # 1109904

    It is a 15j grade 61 made in 1891. Total production of grade was 7345 pcs between 1889 and 1895. The Private Label dial might be of interest for some, but normally it is considered more desirable for PL collectors if both dial and movement is having the same PL markings. The watch was adjusted to temperature, positions, isochronism.
    Last edited by Erik_H; May 25th, 2010 at 04:53. Reason: Corrected first year of production from misspelled 1899 to correct 1889. Added comment on adjustments.
    Erik_H
    Member NAWCC Chapter 149

  7. #6
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    Re: Illinois Watch Co. Serial # 1109904

    Quote Originally Posted by arizzo24 View Post
    The jewel count in a watch refers to the number of synthetic sapphires or rubies that are used as bearings for the watches wheels and gears to turn in. Generally the more jewels, the higher grade the movement is considered. For example, most of the more popular "railroad grade" watches were 21 jewels or more.
    Tony
    One slight correction the process to make synthetic jewels was developed in 1902. Today, all jewels used in watchmaking are synthetic, in 1892, that was not true.

  8. #7
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Illinois Watch Co. Serial # 1109904

    A 15-jewel watch was considered good quality and was generally expected to keep good time. Properly serviced, cleaned and regulated, it should continue to do so. Your fiance is a very fortunate man to have this as a wedding-present (I assume that's what this is?)

    Lever-set watches are set by using the SETTING LEVER (in hunter-case watches like this, I believe the lever is at the 5 o'clock position). Do NOT pull out the crown to try and set the watch...A friend of mine tried to do that with my lever-set railroad watch and only quick intervention by yours truly prevented it being sent back to the watchmaker prematurely. The correct way is to pull out the LEVER, and then turn the crown to set the hands and then push the lever back in.

    To prevent damage to the case-lid and to the catch, always depress the crown FIRST before closing the lid and then release it. Don't snap the lid shut (like you see some people do in movies)...that's not healthy for the watch.

    Be sure to get a pocket-watch chain for the watch. If you're not sure which one to get, best to know how this watch will be worn, and then we might be able to suggest one. Do not give this to your fiance without a chain...it's a security risk.

    Thanks to the others for providing the price ($3.00-$4.00 in the 1890s).

    If $3 doesn't sound like much for a pocket watch, remember that a bottle of Coca Cola from the same period was 5c and a meal and drink could be bought for 15c. Tickets cost 1c and newspapers were 2c. $3 for a watch was a considerable amount of money in 1892.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  9. #8
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    Re: Illinois Watch Co. Serial # 1109904

    If you don't want to wear a pocket watch I've seen little stands to hang the watch from that look great on a desk.

  10. #9
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Illinois Watch Co. Serial # 1109904

    You can easily buy watch-stands online. They don't cost much and there are stands for both open-faced and hunter-cased watches. You can wind it up and put it on your fiance's desk as a desk-clock and surprise him :)
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  11. #10
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    Smile Re: Illinois Watch Co. Serial # 1109904

    Thank you so much for your help everyone All of your information makes this gift much more special. :thanks

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