Need help with 3 pocket watches

Thread: Need help with 3 pocket watches

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Need help with 3 pocket watches

    Hi everyone. My grandmother was cleaning her basement yesterday and found 3 old pocket watches. She says that one belonged to her father (my great-grandfather).

    I've identified it as being Illinois Watch Company circa 1916. The movement serial number is 2,843,148 The face and case are a little dirty but the internals look pretty good, even if they aren't running. The case is copper colored (maybe from corrosion, I don't know). It says 17 jewels inside. The inside of the back cover says "Emperor, BASE METAL, 759,358). The outside of the back cover has a train on it, but it's barely visible from corrosion. I haven't been able to find what model it is.

    The other two watches are missing their internal components. One is from the Illinois Watch Case Company and is tin/silver colored. Inside it says "Illinois Watch Case Co., Nickel, Elgin, USA" and the case serial number? is 424,576.

    The third watch is from the Hamilton Watch Company. Inside the case it says "Wadsworth, Refereee, Warranted 20 years" and the case serial number? is 2,765,323. The back of the watch has a floral and stripe pattern.

    What I'd like to do is get a confirmation that the Illinois watch was made in 1916, and get an estimate of when the other two were made. I haven't been able to find that out since there aren't records for case serial numbers. Thanks for any help.

    Illinois front


    Illinois internal


    Illinois inside back cover. It says "Emperor, BASE METAL, 759,358".


    Hamilton back (I couldn't get a good picture of the front)


    Illinois Watch Case Company


    All three watches together

  2. #2
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Almonte ON Canada
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    23,771

    Re: Need help with 3 pocket watches

    Thanks for posting and welcome.
    I can confirm for you that the Illinois was made in 1916. It looks to me like a Model 4 18S movement. When new it was a decent quality watch but it needs restoration for sure. The subsecond hand needs replacement to start with.
    I am not sure but it sounds if you just have the cases for the other two. If so we can't identify them as case serial numbers are not available. If the movement is still inside the serial number off the movement is the only way to tell when it was made. None of the cases are particularly valuable, sorry. I'd guess from the case styles that they are probably contemporaries of the Illinois. Certainly the Wadsworth is older than 1924 as "Wear Guarantees" were prohibited after that date.
    Last edited by Ray MacDonald; April 7th, 2008 at 21:45.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    2

    Re: Need help with 3 pocket watches

    Thank you Ray. I'm going to get the Illinois watch restored.
    My dad suggested that I turned the other two cases into compasses. If anyone else has ideas about the watches you are welcome to comment.

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