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  1. #1
    Technical Admin Tom McIntyre's Avatar
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    Default The best 12 size watch

    The recent discussion on the interesting Illinois Extra Thin models encouraged me to start taking pictures of some of my smaller watches. I was originally interested in the Illini (and still am) but also got fascinated with the other 12 size Illinois high grades.

    Here are a few I have been taking pictures of the last few days.

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    Tom McIntyre Click me.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: The best 12 size watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    I'm crazy about high grade 12s watches! Thanks for the wonderful pictures. I'm not very familliar with the Illinois 12s having mostly Elgin and Waltham so this was very interesting.

    Thanks again,
    Tom O.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The best 12 size watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    The most impressive 12 size watch I've ever seen is the one with your name on it Tom ... the 19 jewel McIntyre Watch Co. that was sold at Sotheby's a few years ago.

    I really like the grade 510 you've posted there with the banner type signature!

    The favorite 12 sizes I've owned are the 23 jewel Rockford models ...




    [edit=723=1171637837]Typo on IL grade number[/edit]
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    Fred Hansen
    NAWCC #109682

  4. #4

    Default Re: The best 12 size watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    Just to add a Hamilton to this thread. Not the highest grade, but nice.



    Larry

  5. #5

    Default Re: The best 12 size watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    An Illini marked Extra.



    Larry

  6. #6

    Default Re: The best 12 size watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    I'm with young Fred, my favorite (the "best" can be rather nebulous) 12 size watch (and the only 12s in my collection) is the 23j Rockford.

    P. S. Kudos to Fred on his taking on the moderator role. It's no doubt a generally a thankless job, but a big thanks anyway.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The best 12 size watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    I love 12 size watches too. Is this thread open to Swiss ones? The American 12's have the prettiest plates but the Swiss have to finest levers and escape wheels.

  8. #8
    Registered User Jerry Treiman's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best 12 size watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    I have a couple of small disagreements with two of the posts above.
    Larry - I think the Hamilton 400 is on par with the highest grade Hamiltons. And this relates to Dr.Jon's comment, too. The Hamilton 400 is one of a very few American watches with a beautifully finished escapement that includes a recessed hub escape wheel. Another one with this feature, more common to high-grade Swiss watches, is my own favorite -- Waltham's "American Watch Co." grade bridge model.
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    Jerry Treiman, NAWCC member since 1971
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  9. #9
    Technical Admin Tom McIntyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best 12 size watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    Larry,

    Your pictures are a bit too big. You might try reducing them the 600 x 800.

    I would have to agree with Fred that the 12 size McIntyre is the best, but as a prototype, I am not sure it counts. I hope Jon won't be angry if I post a picture of it here.

    Of course I agree with Jerry that the 12 size American Grade is the best production watch. However the Illinois 510 is pretty close and the Rockford 300/305 might actually be better.


    Illinois 510, note the diamond end stone (of course the bridge model has a bunch).


    McIntyre 12 size prototype by C. E. DeLong (courtesy of Jon Hanson)
    [edit=19=1171602826][/edit]
    Tom McIntyre Click me.
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  10. #10
    Technical Admin Tom McIntyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best 12 size watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    My mind must be wandering. I see I posted the 510 earlier. There are a pair of Elgins in this class also.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: The best 12 size watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    you guys about have it covered.

    Lots of other great ones though. Way under studied and under appreciated.

    Mr. Treiman has certainly been ahead of the curve on this.

    I like some of the Marquis Autocrats for more resonably priced hi-grade 12 sizes. (I once had one in a case marked "Superior 18k White Gold" which I was told meant it was 3/4 gold and 1/4 platinum. (I do not know if this is true or not).

    Also let us not forget the old mainstay the Masterpiece.

    Jeff Hess
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    Jeffrey P. Hess, collector, historian, writer, CEO Ball WATCH USA

  12. #12
    Technical Admin Tom McIntyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best 12 size watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    I think there are actually two Hamilton Masterpieces, but the 10 size does not get much credit because they did not mark the movements. Maybe Don has some information on the subject.

    Sorry about the duplicate. Jeff's picture was not showing when I started editing the post originally.

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  13. #13
    Registered User Jerry Treiman's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best 12 size watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    I must agree that the Rockford 23-jewel movement has some nice details (even though the cap jewels on the 3rd wheel seem a bit superfluous). For instance, how many (besides the watchmaker) ever see the finish details under the dial
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  14. #14
    Technical Admin Tom McIntyre's Avatar
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    Default Re: The best 12 size watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    I like to think that the cap jewels on the 300/305 represent a joke that Rockford is telling the industry. They are perfectly functional although superfluous. By not capping the top of the 4th wheel, they are making it clear that they aren't trying to fool anyone. The settings under the dial are wonderful. Thanks for showing them Jerry.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: The best 12 size watch (By: Tom McIntyre)

    this is a test
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