Yesterday I had the opportunity to save an Illinois from the scrap gold dealer. Not being very knowledgeable on 12sz Illinois watches, I thought I’d just take a quick look at the “book” to get an rough idea on it’s value, but there is no Grade 850 listed, The Ehrhardt/Meggers book does not show a Grade 850 either. The watch has a gold train, steel escape wheel, double roller and marked 19 jewels, but neither the pallet pivots or the escape wheel pivots have cap jewels, so it appears to be a 17j watch to me. Can any of the resident Illinois experts shed some light on the Grade 850 for me? Does Illinois have hidden jeweled barrels maybe to get the count to 19? Is this an unusual grade?
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