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illinois central


Barry G

Well, my Illinois serial number and grade book lists this watch simply as a Model 1, Grade 274. I recently saw a similar watch [also 12 size, 21j, 3 adj] that was marked "Paramount" on the movement, and that is also not listed under that name in any of the "standard" books.

I suspect these might be "private label" watches that were marked on the movement for special purposes, and were not separate grades.



My Online Pocket Watch Collection


I too have an Illinois Central. Mine is 17 jewel. If you send me your E-Mail adress, I can send a picture. There are MANY names on Illinois 12 size movements: The Master, The Autocrat, Vim, Relgus, The Elite, Time King, Executive, Federal, Penn Special,etc. I am collecting as many different that I can find. The list seems endless. It sure would be interesting to find out what Illinois had in mind... It seems there were three general types: Named grades which were A. Lincoln, Marquise Autocrat, and Illini, Secondly, the ones with names on the right, between the jewels, and third type, those where the name was on the left above the "Illinois, Springfield" logo. It would be interesting to see if there is a correlation of serial numbers (years) and name placement. Or was this just a case where Illinois would put any name on if a Jeweler bought a mimimum quantity?

Does any one know? Has Anyone made a "complete list of the names? Other that Meggers book.


Jon Hanson

Registered User
Golden Circle
Aug 24, 2000
Boston, Ma.
For Illinois info, please check with Russ Snyder and/or John Cote, as they are the resident Illinois mavens1

Jon hanson, nawcc#8801

PS I have found that 12s Centrals are quite common.

Jon Hanson, moderator, nawcc#8801

John Cote

NAWCC Member
Aug 26, 2000
Midwest USA
Hi Guys,

As has been said, Illinois made lots of watches with weird names. In fact, they may have made more watches with private label names of one type or another than all the other American watch companies combined.

Some of these private label names were in-house private labels, and some were for jewelers or large distributors. In some cases, it is hard to tell if a "private label is an in house name or not. In the case of "A. Lincoln" it is well known that this was an actual Illinois grade. In the case of "Illinois Central", this was probably an in-house private label, but it was not a grade in and of it self. "Pennsylvania Special" was a private label for the H.M. Jacobsen Co. There are books with lists of Illinois private labels, but none that I know of have them all listed. I know this because it is very easy to find them that aren't listed anywhere. Therefore, don't be surprised to find a watch that is not listed, and don't jump to the conclusion that it is rare or valuable just because you can't find it in a book. These watches are only worth what an interested party will pay.

I love private label watches in general and Illinois private labels in particular. I have some information and pictures related to this subject on my website at http://www.interstatetime.com/PrivateLabels/PL_Main.htm .

John Cote

Dan Alexander

Greg: In the American Pocket Watch, Illinois
Watch Co., Meggers, Heart of America Press:
Page 243 there is a listing for a 12 size
17 Jewels Illinois Central made by Illinois. Do you have the book?

Dan 0152247

Dan Alexander

Greg: The serial number shows it to be a
274 Grade 21 Jew

Dan #0152247