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  1. #1

    Default 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search

    So, I have been looking for these watches pretty much all of my collecting life. At one time I needed one to complete (who ever really knows) my collection of 18s, 17j Bunns. In my search while I still had my 17j Bunn collection I only saw one of these in the flesh in 20 or so years and I didn't buy it because I thought the owner wanted too much. 10+ years ago I sold all of my 17j Bunns to another collector and he then bought one of these at an auction to complete the collection.

    I bought the example which is pictured on the cover of "Illinois Watch Co, Encyclopedia and Price Guide" (the Blue Book) from the estate of the author Bill Meggers when it came up for sale and I recently bought another when it came up for sale on eBay.....So now I have 2....and I have seen 3. Kent Singer and Ed Uberall have recorded 4 serial number total for these watches from what the factory records indicate was a run of 200 from 2,248,201-2,248,400 which include:

    2248209 ..........Which is the example which completed my friend's collection
    2248211 ..........From the cover of the Blue Book.
    2248253 ..........Which I just acquired
    2248264 ..........Which I believe is the one I passed up because it cost too much

    So...my question is where are the rest of these watches? So far none have been seen from the last 2/3 of the run. I know that these are not much sought after watches but I also know quite a few people who have looked for them. Does anyone have any other examples? Where are they. Does anybody have any watches from this run which are configured differently...Different name...private label? What gives?

    Here are a couple of iPhone snaps of the two I own. Both have the exact same typical Later Bunn/Bunn Special Gothic, pointed top 4, red 5 minute markers dial. HELP there have to be more than 4 of these around!

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    Last edited by John Cote; 02-19-2014 at 04:29 PM.
    John Cote
    Watch Collector (pocket & wrist), Clock Admirer, Time Nerd...

  2. #2

    Default Re: 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search (By: John Cote)

    Nobody? There have to be more than 4 of these watches around....
    John Cote
    Watch Collector (pocket & wrist), Clock Admirer, Time Nerd...

  3. #3

    Default Re: 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search (By: John Cote)

    I had one two years ago but its already on the list here. This latest variant of the 17J 18s Bunn hunter has always been a very tough one to find. Of course we need more than 4 recordings to draw any solid conclusions, but eventually more will show and it will be interesting to see if they end up spreading out over the full 200 serials or if they do all cluster at the early part of the run to suggest that only part of the run was actually made.
    Fred Hansen
    NAWCC #109682

  4. #4

    Default Re: 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search (By: Fred Hansen)

    Fred, I guess what bugs me about this is that I sort of actually look for them. I look on the Bay. I look at NAWCC Marts. I look in collections. I ask friends. The only examples I have ever seen are at least 3 and maybe all 4 of the ones listed here. I've seen about as many 18s 26j Ben Franklins. I have seen about as many 16s 25j Ben Franklins. I have seen about as many or maybe more 161b's. I have seen a hell of a lot more 23j Interstate Chronometers. I have seen as many or more of a lot of watches with lesser listed production numbers.

    Where are they all. I always thought they probably made them all. I think they at least made 100. More of them should be known about. OK...enough Bunn Mania for tonight.
    John Cote
    Watch Collector (pocket & wrist), Clock Admirer, Time Nerd...

  5. #5
    Registered User grtnev's Avatar
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    Default Re: 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search (By: John Cote)

    John,

    I have the following earlier variant - not what you're looking for, but I'll post it as an alternate example from an earlier time.

    Richard

    From the Illinois Database:

    18s; 17j; Model 5; BUNN; s/n 1282703; ca: 1895; hunter movement; Adjusted


    Full Plate; ruby jewels in gold settings; gold balance screws; Chalmers patent regulator; Circular (first) pattern, damaskeened nickel with gold-filled engraving; Run of 100 (from 1282701  1282900); 1,770 made in 14 runs between 1891 and 1897

    Double-sunk glass enamel Arabic numeral dial marked "Illinois Watch Co." in Old English
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    Last edited by grtnev; 02-20-2014 at 11:27 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search (By: grtnev)

    I have got to say I agree with you John. In the last 5 years of my 10 years of collecting I have been looking hard for 18s Bunn variants and. I have only seen 2 for sale of these 17J Hunters, which are ones you have spotted. That definitely does not add up for supposedly having 200 made, I should have seen more. I would agree and say 100 or less made.
    Regards,
    Nigel Harrison

  7. #7

    Default Re: 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search (By: grtnev)

    Quote Originally Posted by grtnev View Post
    John,

    I have the following earlier variant - not what you're looking for, but I'll post it as an alternate example from an earlier time.


    Richard

    Nice watch. I think the reason why there were more of the early hunters including this one and the one with wavy rose or yellow gold lines (I think if you are picky there may be 4 varieties of those) was because at the time they were made 2 things were going on. First hunters were more popular and second they could still be accepted as RR watches. By the time what I will call the Double Roller version was produced there were specific rules against all but grandfathered hunters in RR service. The early hunters are still harder to find than the open face but.....

    This brings up another point. I am relatively sure that more than 2% of the listed production of these early hunters still exist in collections. What gives?
    John Cote
    Watch Collector (pocket & wrist), Clock Admirer, Time Nerd...

  8. #8

    Question Re: 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search (By: John Cote)

    Quote Originally Posted by John Cote View Post
    .... By the time what I will call the Double Roller version was produced there were specific rules against all but grandfathered hunters in RR service. ...
    John:

    Do you have any examples of those specific rules from the 1905-1915 era that prohibit hunting-case watches from entering railroad time service?

    Such a prohibition of hunters entering service is lacking from the examples I can find:
    Last edited by Kent; 02-21-2014 at 04:29 PM. Reason: Added B&O 1915 rules to the list.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  9. #9

    Default Re: 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search (By: Kent)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kent View Post
    John:

    Do you have any examples of those specific rules from the 1905-1915 era that prohibit hunting-case watches from entering railroad time service?
    Nope Kent. I will certainly defer to you in all matters RR time service. I have just always heard that hunters were at least frowned upon after a certain time. I have always considered the hunter versions to be RR grade anyway.
    John Cote
    Watch Collector (pocket & wrist), Clock Admirer, Time Nerd...

  10. #10

    Default Re: 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search (By: John Cote)

    I am going to bump this up to the top again in hopes that someone who has another one will see the post and let me know about it. If there aren't any more, I guess there aren't but I have a hard time believing it.

    Thanks
    John Cote
    Watch Collector (pocket & wrist), Clock Admirer, Time Nerd...

  11. #11

    Smile Re: 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search (By: John Cote)

    John, et. al.:

    I wouldn't be too discouraged if only four out of 200 watches have shown up thus far.

    In a recent thread about Canadian Railway Time Service watches, three runs of model 1908 CRTS movements were looked at:

    From S/N - To S/N - - Run Qty - Examples Reported
    22023001-22023100 - 100 Mvts - 1
    22066651-22066700 - -50 Mvts - 2
    22168501-22168600 - 100 Mvts - 7

    Although plenty of examples showed up from the last run, the number of examples from the first two runs aren't too different from what has been seen from these Bunns. I'm reasonably sure that most of them still exist, hang in there.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  12. #12

    Default Re: 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search (By: Kent)

    Kent,

    I am sure you are correct. We all know there are more of them out there. My bet though is that we never see a Bunn Hunter watch after the first 100 in the run....or that we may see watches from this run that are not Bunn Hunters and were made into something more sell-able.
    John Cote
    Watch Collector (pocket & wrist), Clock Admirer, Time Nerd...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search (By: John Cote)

    Mr Cote,

    I've also been looking for those 17 Jewel Sunburst Hunter Bunns, and am the current owner of S/N 2248209; which was acquired from a Jones-Horan auction. I currently don't have the ability to post a photo, but it is marked exactly like the ones you've posted and have the exact same typical Later Bunn/Bunn Special Gothic, pointed top 4, red 5 minute markers dial. I have also seen S/N 2248205 on E-Bay in May 0f 2008. At the time I felt the asking price was too much for me, so I did not entertain the thought. Hope this info helps...

    Derek
    Last edited by Bunn Addict; 06-18-2014 at 07:03 PM. Reason: Spelling errors

  14. #14

    Default Re: 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search (By: Bunn Addict)

    Thanks Derek. I am very familiar with '09 which you own. It was bought at JH by my late friend Jerry and sold again at JH when he died. It is a very nice example. I am so glad it is owned by someone who appreciates it. Thanks also for the info on '05. I guess this means that 5 of these have been seen.
    John Cote
    Watch Collector (pocket & wrist), Clock Admirer, Time Nerd...

  15. #15
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    Default Re: 17j 18s Illinois Bunn Hunter Search (By: John Cote)

    If Mr. Cote's previous suppositions are correct:
    My bet though is that we never see a Bunn Hunter watch after the first 100 in the run....or that we may see watches from this run that are not Bunn Hunters and were made into something more sell-able.
    Then these last 18-S Hunter Bunns should be "highly sought after" and attract the attention of even more collectors. Hopefully, a few more of these will show up in the not to distant future.

    Other than the Illinois Watch Co., Encyclopedia & Price Guide, by Meggers and Ehrhardt; is there any other literature available concerning these watches? Any advertisements or offical/un-official documentation? It would be great to see a copy of the original ledgers, attached to this thread...

    With permission from Jones-Horan; photos of my 17-Jewel, 18-S Sunburst Hunter (model 5) Bunn, SN 2248209, before it was cleaned.
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    Last edited by Bunn Addict; 07-10-2014 at 03:00 AM.

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