My Vintage Illinois Watch Co pocket watch

Thread: My Vintage Illinois Watch Co pocket watch

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  1. #1
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    My Vintage Illinois Watch Co pocket watch

    Since I already posted pics of the vintage Benrus and Hamilton I picked up in the past couple weeks (https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/new...my-480244.html and https://forums.watchuseek.com/f11/new...us-489915.html), I figured I'd go ahead and post the third vintage watch in my collection, an Illinois Watch Co. 14kt gold filled pocketwatch that dates to 1902 (according to the serial # identification websites). This watch had been passed from my great grandfather to my grandfather (both of whom had worked on the railroads), and after my grandfather died years ago, my grandmother had kept it in a domed display case over her desk. I spent my entire childhood admiring that watch, and for Christmas four years ago, my grandmother shocked me by passing it down to me. The watch still works great and is in very good condition (considering the age), and is bar none my favorite watch that I own.










  2. #2
    Member watch origins's Avatar
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    Re: My Vintage Illinois Watch Co pocket watch

    That is quite nice. It is always nice to have a story behind a piece.

  3. #3
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: My Vintage Illinois Watch Co pocket watch

    Keep the history documented - it adds to the provenance of the piece and adds to it's special nature to collectors and, most importantly, to the family. Thanks for posting!
    "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
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: My Vintage Illinois Watch Co pocket watch

    Nice watch and a special heirloom. Be sure to write down every bit of family information you can gather about the watch and keep that piece of paper in the same box including how you received it. That way the watch will have meaning for the next generation.

  6. #5
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: My Vintage Illinois Watch Co pocket watch

    Your Illinois 16s grade 186 was manufactured about 1901. It may interest you that total production of this grade was 2820 movements between 1898 and 1910. A modified variant (double roller) was being made between 1910 and 1913, 1420 made.
    Erik_H
    Member NAWCC Chapter 149

  7. #6
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    Re: My Vintage Illinois Watch Co pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik_H View Post
    Your Illinois 16s grade 186 was manufactured about 1901. It may interest you that total production of this grade was 2820 movements between 1898 and 1910. A modified variant (double roller) was being made between 1910 and 1913, 1420 made.
    So there were only 2820 or so of this watch made? I've been able to find almost no information about this model online, so outside of the family history behind it, i know almost nothing about the watch itself. Any information you could offer would be great, I've been digging through google and found very similar watches, but nothing that matches exactly
    Last edited by orange fury; January 19th, 2011 at 17:58.

  8. #7
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: My Vintage Illinois Watch Co pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by orange fury View Post
    So there were only 2820 or so of this watch made? I've been able to find almost no information about this model online, so outside of the family history behind it, i know almost nothing about the watch itself. Any information you could offer would be great, I've been digging through google and found very similar watches, but nothing that matches exactly
    Illinois 16 size 17 jewels model 5, grade 186. Open face lever set. Adjusted to temperature, 4 positions, isochronism. Ruby jewels in settings, rounded spoke gold plated train wheels. Patent regulator. However, this model is supposed to have polished gilded oval-headed plate screws according to Dr. Snyder's Illinois database, and those I have seen have had gold screws. As mentioned there were a total of 2820 made of this variant, over 18 productuion runs. Only one production run of 100 pcs (1572601 - 1572700) were produced during 1901. This movement design is also called the 'Getty' model, recognizable by its single visible rachet wheel and half-moon shaped click, and made in about 20 different grades.
    Erik_H
    Member NAWCC Chapter 149

  9. #8
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    Re: My Vintage Illinois Watch Co pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik_H View Post
    Illinois 16 size 17 jewels model 5, grade 186. Open face lever set. Adjusted to temperature, 4 positions, isochronism. Ruby jewels in settings, rounded spoke gold plated train wheels. Patent regulator. However, this model is supposed to have polished gilded oval-headed plate screws according to Dr. Snyder's Illinois database, and those I have seen have had gold screws. As mentioned there were a total of 2820 made of this variant, over 18 productuion runs. Only one production run of 100 pcs (1572601 - 1572700) were produced during 1901. This movement design is also called the 'Getty' model, recognizable by its single visible rachet wheel and half-moon shaped click, and made in about 20 different grades.
    That is just too cool, I hadn't heard any of that before. As I said, my knowledge about this watch is limited to the family history on it. Thank you for all the info!

  10. #9
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: My Vintage Illinois Watch Co pocket watch

    A fine watch worthy of heirloom status. Be sure to, as others have said, make a record of its history, ownership, service and use.
    "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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    Re: My Vintage Illinois Watch Co pocket watch

    Absolutely. I'm keeping a leather bound journal with the family history as well as the info you provided Erik_H (thank you very much). Out of curiosity, did Illinois Watch Company ever make any sort f chain to use with the watch? My grandfather never had one, and I would like to start wearing this watch with my 3 piece suit, but I wanted to find a period correct one.

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