Illinois Currier and Miller Hunter KW/SW Transitions

Tom Walker

NAWCC Member
Feb 22, 2006
88
0
6
Looking through some watches that had been stored away for awhile, I noticed an Illinois Currier, serial # 330878 and an Illinois Miller, serial # 53215. Both are hunter movements, and both are transition models with beautifully engraved balance cocks. The Miller is adjusted with the word engraved across the balance cock. Since the serial numbers are over 187,000 apart, and supposedly separated by 5 years of production, what is the history of these transition models? Another question: the Currier is in a hunter case marked Mascot 14K, but it doesn't appear to be gold. I couldn't find this case mentioned in the "History of the American Watch Case" by Warren H. Niebling. Note: I noticed in the lastest issue of the "NAWCC Bulletin" that Mr. Niebling had passed away. Has anyone seen a Mascot case? I'll try to post pictures of these watches sometime, if there's interest.
Tom Walker
 

Tom Walker

NAWCC Member
Feb 22, 2006
88
0
6
Looking through some watches that had been stored away for awhile, I noticed an Illinois Currier, serial # 330878 and an Illinois Miller, serial # 53215. Both are hunter movements, and both are transition models with beautifully engraved balance cocks. The Miller is adjusted with the word engraved across the balance cock. Since the serial numbers are over 187,000 apart, and supposedly separated by 5 years of production, what is the history of these transition models? Another question: the Currier is in a hunter case marked Mascot 14K, but it doesn't appear to be gold. I couldn't find this case mentioned in the "History of the American Watch Case" by Warren H. Niebling. Note: I noticed in the lastest issue of the "NAWCC Bulletin" that Mr. Niebling had passed away. Has anyone seen a Mascot case? I'll try to post pictures of these watches sometime, if there's interest.
Tom Walker
 

Russ Snyder

Registered User
Jan 1, 2002
468
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0
Tom,

I'm not quite sure if you're using the term "transition model" the same way I do. Both the watches you mentioned are, according to my records, Model "2" movements. The so-called "Transition Model" is normally reserved for Illinois' Model "3" movements. More on this model below.

I am curious about the Miller watch. Again, according to my records, serial # 53215 fell in a run of unadjusted Miller Model 2 movements from 1880. It's possible, especially at this late date, that the company opted to "upgrade" the movement to an adjusted version, under the assumption that it would sell better. It's also remotely possible that the balance cock was replaced at some point, and the movement is only marked as adjusted. A photo of the back of the movement would be greatly appreciated.

As far as the Trnasition Model 3 is concerned, this version represented the first open-face watch made by Illinois. The transition (from hunter to open-face) is achieved by adding a fifth pinion and arbor to position the second hand at 6 o'clock, and the stem at 12 o'clock, rather than completely redesigning the movement (as was done with Model 4 & Model 6 movements.)

I hope this answers your question.

Russ
 

Tom Walker

NAWCC Member
Feb 22, 2006
88
0
6
Russ,
Thanks for the reply. Perhaps several people have been confused since your reply was the first. We do use the word "transition" differently. I was using the definition in the "Complete Price Guide to Watches," 2006 edition which states, "Watches sold with both key and stem-winding on same movement." Both the Currier and Miller have this feature. The cuvette in the Currier case is actually drilled to accept a key.

You may be right in that the balance cock on the Miller may have been replaced. It does have Adjusted written on it, and the cock is engraved more deeply than the cock on the Currier. The cock screw on the Miller looks right, but the cock doesn't mesh as perfectly with the movement as the Currier does. So this may be a clue that the cock was replaced for some reason.

So, what's the story on these key-wind and stem-wind Illinois watches? Apparently, the Illinois Watch Co. produced these watches over a period of years. Did other companies do the same?

BTW, I have seen your definition for "transition" used somewhere before. Maybe some of the experts will expound on the confusion in terminology. I still will try to get pictures of the movements of these two watches.
Tom Walker
 

Tom Walker

NAWCC Member
Feb 22, 2006
88
0
6
I finally used the "find" function and found all the history and info from past threads that I needed. It's a good review for anyone interested in this subject; i.e., Illinois transitions.
Tom Walker
 

bernie levine

Registered User
Aug 10, 2003
293
0
0
Idon't know who "hung the handle" transitional
model on 18 size illinios models 2 and 3.
As I understand is was used to explain those
models where the watch could either be wound
by the stem or the key. My guess it was a
time when the company wanted to use up its
existing inventory of keywind mainspring
barrel arbors and main spring bridges.
 

bernie levine

Registered User
Aug 10, 2003
293
0
0
Hi Tom,
One quick way to determine if the balance
cock is not original to the Miller watch is
to check the serial numbers underneath the
balance cock to see if they match the numbers
on the train bridge. If they don't then the
balance cock was changed. Also while you are at it
you can also check the underside of the balance
wheel to see if they match. Further you can also
check the underside of the hourwheel.
 

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