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  1. #1

    Default 1909 Illinois watch company 17J watch

    I recently inherited a Illinois Watch company pocket watch. After calling the manufacturer. They told me it was made in 1909. It is a 17 jewel. I'm not sure our old pocket watches are but the case for it says it's made by philidelphia case company after doing a s/n search it says the case was made between 1868 and 1886. The watch is in great shape for the most part it just doesn't work. It says on it 20 years guaranteed. Can anyone give me any other information on this watch?Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: 1909 Illinois watch company 17J watch (By: Dferriel)

    Your watch was sold by the Illinois Watch Company as a movement with dial and hands only. Illinois did not sell cased watches or certainly not very many cased watches at this time. The movements were sold to jewelers who would put them in a standard sized case to the taste of the buyer of the watch. Philadelphia Watch Case Company had nothing to do with Illinois except that they made cases which would fit their movements. The case is a gold filled case guaranteed to wear for 20 years. The case serial number unfortunately doesn't tell you anything about the date because the case company did not keep serial number records.

    Unfortunately I can't make out the serial number from the works/movement of your watch. If you post that number we will be able to tell you all about it. I can tell you that it is a 16 size Getty model with 17 jewels.
    John Cote
    Watch Collector (pocket & wrist), Clock Admirer, Time Nerd...

  3. #3

    Default Re: 1909 Illinois watch company 17J watch (By: John Cote)

    I believe the serial number is 2134870, which would be a 16-size, model 4, grade 174, 17 jewel movement. About 25,000 of this model/grade were manufactured. Yours was indeed made in 1909. I'm curious about your saying you called the manufacturer. Who did you call?

  4. #4

    Default Re: 1909 Illinois watch company 17J watch (By: John Cote)

    The serial number is 2134870. I called Illinois watch company and they are who told me that the watch was made in 1909. What would you say you think the value of this watch is, the case is pretty much in flawless condition. I grandfather said it's been sitting in its original box since it was given to my great grandfather it also came with this gold medal like thing that I'm not sure what it is either

  5. #5

    Default Re: 1909 Illinois watch company 17J watch (By: Dave Coatsworth)

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  6. #6

    Default Re: 1909 Illinois watch company 17J watch

    The Illinois Watch Company ceased to exist in 1928 when it was purchased by Hamilton. Thus my question about who exactly you called. Can you be more specific? They did give you the right information. Is there some entity out there with access to company records that we don't know about?

  7. #7

    Default Re: 1909 Illinois watch company 17J watch (By: Dave Coatsworth)

    Illinoiswatchcompany.com there's a phone number on there and that's who I called

  8. #8
    Registered User musicguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1909 Illinois watch company 17J watch (By: Dferriel)

    I'm not sure if anyone asked, but can you post a photo of the dial.


    Thanks
    Rob

  9. #9

    Default Re: 1909 Illinois watch company 17J watch (By: musicguy)

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    Can someone tell what they think the possible value is of this watch, I'm going to send it off to have it fixed to working condition, it was working when it was put in a safe over 50 years ago but it has quit working now and I'm trying to figure out how much to insure it for?
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  10. #10
    Registered User musicguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1909 Illinois watch company 17J watch

    Can someone tell what they think the possible value is of this watch
    In this section of the forum we can only point you to completed
    sales of similar(or the same) watch that have been sold.
    You can search ebay (as an example) for sold listings(not what people are selling them for)
    We have a "what is this worth" section, where you can post the $$
    question.

    Good luck
    Rob

  11. #11
    Technical Admin Tom McIntyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1909 Illinois watch company 17J watch (By: Dave Coatsworth)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Coatsworth View Post
    The Illinois Watch Company ceased to exist in 1928 when it was purchased by Hamilton. Thus my question about who exactly you called. Can you be more specific? They did give you the right information. Is there some entity out there with access to company records that we don't know about?
    Apparently these folks in Quincy IL applied for and received trademark coverage for Illinois Watch Company. They appear to have multiple CW21 certified watchmakers on staff, but no CMW21 certificates. They have a serial number lookup form that carries a fee for information on your Illinois watch. From this thread it would seem that if you call them, they will look it up for free.

    Without information to the contrary, I would presume they are using Russ Snyder's database but perhaps not.
    Tom McIntyre Click me.
    If you don't learn to laugh at trouble,
    you won't have anything to laugh at when you're old.
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  12. #12

    Smile Re: 1909 Illinois watch company 17J watch

    Hi Dferriel:

    To add to the good information posted by the others, and to add links to explain a number of terms:

    Please excuse me if I repeat some of what you already know, or has been posted by the others, it's easier for me this way. Checking the references listed in the Illinois Watch Company Encyclopedia article (and looking at your pictures), Illinois movement serial number 2134870 can be seen to be
    an 16-size,
    model 4,
    grade No. 174,
    unadjusted,
    lever-set,
    hunting movement,
    having 17 jewels,
    and a Whipspring-type Patent Regulator.
    As you were told, it was built in about 1909, give or take a year or so. This was a popular movement of which over 25,800 of this variation were made from about 1896 to 1911.

    You can see a catalog description of the No. 174 grade, along with a picture (whose 'click' is on the opposite side of the Ratchet wheel - the large winding wheel - because an open-face movement is shown) and where it fits in Illinois' line of 16-size movements, on pages 80 & 79 of the Otto Young & Co. 1903 OY Company Jewelry Catalog.

    Your watch case is gold-filled and was made by the Philadelphia Watch Case Co.

    Your watch can be serviced and made to run properly again. It may be helpful for you to read the Encyclopedia article on Watch Service and its related links, especially the one to the message board thread on the subject. The Encyclopedia article on Choosing a Pocket Watch Repair Person may be useful as well.

    Having gathered and printed out information about a family watch, it is a wise idea to write out as much as you know about the family member to whom the watch originally belonged - or as far back as you can go, including (and clearly identifying) what you can guess. Then, add the names and relationships of the family members who passed it down to the current holder. Make up a booklet with this and all of the watch information and try to keep it with the watch. You might even include a CD or, better yet, a USB thumb drive with copies of the pictures or information, in addition to the printouts. Even though they may not be readable 100 years from now, some more recent descendent may transfer the files to the then current format and media. This way, the watch has real family heritage instead of it just being an old family watch, the identity and relationship of the original owner having been lost in the distant past.

    Please feel free to ask about anything that isn't clear to you.

    Good luck,
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

  13. #13
    Registered User musicguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1909 Illinois watch company 17J watch (By: Kent)

    Kent, I must say that you have consistently improved your
    introductory welcome posts to the point that they are truly informative, as well as
    your embedding of links that point new collectors in the right direction
    helping them learn where to find current source information, as well as a tool
    for researching future acquisitions.


    Thank you
    Rob

  14. #14

    Red face Re: 1909 Illinois watch company 17J watch (By: musicguy)

    Rob:

    Thanks for your kind comments.
    Kent
    That guy down in Georgia

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