Illinois Private Label

M

Michael R. Dutton

My latest addition to my collection is this Illinois 19 jewel with a private label dial - "Staudt & Co. Columbus, Ohio." Does anyone know if this was a watchmaker / jewelry store? Would it be possible that this watch was one of those that used to be handed out as a loaner while the customer's watch was being repaired?

The watch movement appears to be a good quality movement. It looks like the entire train uses gold wheels. Based on the serial number look-up that I did, it was manufactured around 1918. Are there any other details about this watch that any of you can tell me about? Thanks!! The photos are courtesy of the previous owner whose handle is "clasicantiques" on eBay.
 

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Kent

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Michael said:
...
Would it be possible that this watch was one of those that used to be handed out as a loaner while the customer's watch was being repaired? ...
Michael:

This is a pendant-set watch, adjusted to three positions. At the time it was built, it would not have met railroad time service requirements and thus, could not be used as a loaner for railroaders. Here's a contemporary set of rules that cover the situation. The April 1 1919 [colour=red]NYC - USRA Instructions to Local Watch Inspectors, Page 1[/colour] shows, in Rule 4, the watches which would be allowed to enter service (which includes other watches of equal or greater grade). [colour=red]Page 2[/colour] of the same document contains Rule 8 which requires Loaner Watches and Rule 9 which states that they must meet the standard described in Rule 4.

It might have been used as a loaner for non-railroad customers, but it is more likely that was sold as the store brand watch.

It is a pretty watch, nice catch,
 
M

Michael R. Dutton

Thanks, Kent, for the information. I've done a bit more research and it seems to be a model 10 movement. I finally found my 2004 Cooksey-Shugart. For the serial number range, the book lists the model 10 16s as a lever set movement. (??)

No argument at all about the fact that this is not a RR Standard watch. It certainly is not the highest end movement, but I believe it is a nice one.

I don't have the watch "in hand" yet. So I'll find out for sure when I have it in my possession.
 

Kent

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Michael:

I was pretty sure that you knew it wasn't a railroad standard watch, but I wasn't sure if you realized that only watches meeting the current requirements could be used as loaners for railroad service.

Oh yeah, according to [colour=blue]Russell W Snyder's Illinois Data Base CD[/colour], which may be obtained by an email to Jon Hanson at jonontime@aol.com, it is a model 7, grade No. 306, of which over 28,000 were made.

 

Fred Hansen

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Hi Michael -

16 size model 7 Illinois can be recognized by the combination of pendent-setting and 2 visible winding wheels. A fair number of grades were made in this model 7 design, and some of these had different plate designs than your watch.

The model 10 represents a combination of bridge model design, jeweled motor barrel, and a non-60 hour mainspring. I believe the only grades made in the model 10 were the Sangamo Special and the grade 710.

Fred
 
M

Michael R. Dutton

Hmmmm.................... there are always lessons to be learned, thanks for teaching me!!

The regulator and the balance cock look very much the same as that used in the model 10. The screw set gold jewel settings are what really fooled me into thinking this was a model 10, that and the gold train.

When I looked at the picture of the front of the watch, I saw the indent in the case for a lever, so I also may have convinced myself that I was looking at what must have been (in the shadow) the end of the lever.

Is it reasonable to assume that this watch of mine is a relatively high end grade of the model 7? I would certainly think so.

I had read the standards for the RR watches as set forth in the NYC document, but I just did not remember the part about the loaner having to meet the exact same standard - but that certainly makes sense. I must have been blinded by all that gold - :eek: !!

I'll have the watch in-hand in a few days, so then the proof will really be in the hand and not lost in the pudding somewhere!!!
 

Fred Hansen

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The jewel settings on a grade 306 are I believe composition rather than gold. Composition jewel settings can be clean and bright looking but when the watch is set alongside an Illinois with gold settings (such as a Bunn Special) the difference is more apparent. The train wheels are I believe gold plated rather than solid gold.

The 306 is definitely a nice solid quality watch, but was not adjusted or finished to the same degree as the contemporary Illinois railroad grades were.

The way I look at the model 7 movements is in five quality levels ... unadjusted, adjusted to temperature only, adjusted in 3 positions, adjusted in 4 positions, and adjusted in 6 positions. Here is some info on these ...

Among model 7 movements the lowest end were the unadjusted grades. Around 140,000 of these were made in total across six grades.

The next step up in the model 7 movements are the grades that were adjusted to temperature only. Around 165,000 of these were made in total across three grades.

Above these in the model 7 line are the grades that were adjusted to three positions. This is the level where your watch is at, and around 50,000 of these were made in total across three grades.

The next step in the model 7 movements are those adjusted to four positions. An earlier thread on this board discussed 4 position adjusted watches, and three 4 position model 7 Illinois grades can be viewed at this link ... Four position watch thread, page 3. These are the only 4 position 17 jewel pendent-set (model 7) Illinois grades I am aware of, and I believe the production of each of these three is likely somewhere in the hundreds.

The top level of the model 7 line is the six position adjusted grade 310. This was as fine a watch as Illinois ever made with top quality features throughout and these are marked "23 Diamond Ruby & Sapphire Jewels" on the movement. Only 20 of these were made in the model 7 (and in the hunting case model 6 equivalent another 20 were made, for a total production of 40 on this top pendent-set Illinois grade across open face and hunting case).

Fred


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Fred Hansen

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The jewel settings on a grade 306 are I believe composition rather than gold. Composition jewel settings can be clean and bright looking but when the watch is set alongside an Illinois with gold settings (such as a Bunn Special) the difference is more apparent. The train wheels are I believe gold plated rather than solid gold.

The 306 is definitely a nice solid quality watch, but was not adjusted or finished to the same degree as the contemporary Illinois railroad grades were.

The way I look at the model 7 movements is in five quality levels ... unadjusted, adjusted to temperature only, adjusted in 3 positions, adjusted in 4 positions, and adjusted in 6 positions. Here is some info on these ...

Among model 7 movements the lowest end were the unadjusted grades. Around 140,000 of these were made in total across six grades.

The next step up in the model 7 movements are the grades that were adjusted to temperature only. Around 165,000 of these were made in total across three grades.

Above these in the model 7 line are the grades that were adjusted to three positions. This is the level where your watch is at, and around 50,000 of these were made in total across three grades.

The next step in the model 7 movements are those adjusted to four positions. An earlier thread on this board discussed 4 position adjusted watches, and three 4 position model 7 Illinois grades can be viewed at this link ... Four position watch thread, page 3. These are the only 4 position 17 jewel pendent-set (model 7) Illinois grades I am aware of, and I believe the production of each of these three is likely somewhere in the hundreds.

The top level of the model 7 line is the six position adjusted grade 310. This was as fine a watch as Illinois ever made with top quality features throughout and these are marked "23 Diamond Ruby & Sapphire Jewels" on the movement. Only 20 of these were made in the model 7 (and in the hunting case model 6 equivalent another 20 were made, giving a combined HC and OF total of 40 made for this top Illinois pendent-set grade).

Fred
 
M

Michael R. Dutton

Thanks Kent and Fred. Although I've been building a small collection of pocket watches over the past three years or so, I am still quite the newbie when it comes to the small details. Learning, but still have a long, long way to go.

I greatly appreciate the information that everyone shares with me. I'll have this particular watch in my hands in a few days and will post some close-up photos of the works.

Fred - when you spoke of compositon metal - what is the make-up? I am not familiar with the term (other than knowing it means a mix of various metals).
 

Fred Hansen

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Fred - when you spoke of compositon metal - what is the make-up?
I believe composition settings are mostly brass ... but I'm not sure what the exact make up is or what other metals might be included.

In Illinois Watch Co. advertisements you will find that the 5 position and 6 position adjusted grades will usually be specifically described as having "gold settings" ... but the lower priced grades will usually use the terms "composition settings", "polished settings", or sometimes just "settings".

Fred
 
M

Michael R. Dutton

I have the watch and I do like it. It is stem wound, stem set. It appears that this watch was either very well taken care of or was put away and safe-kept. There are some small, very fine scratches on the case, no brassing. There is some wear, but the design on the back of the case is still quite visible.

I am including links to the photos I've taken thus far of the watch - These two photos were taken with a 4.1 MegaPixel camera with the macro mode enabled. The photos are large and require some scrolling to see everything. But the detail is certainly there.

The train sure looks like gold to me, are you sure it is plate? I thought the wheels were either stamped or cast and that the stamped wheels would be gilt - which is why they have a "speckled" appearance. The wheels in this watch have round spokes which seems to imply they were cast, not stamped.

I hope there enough detail to tell whether or not the jewel settings are gold or are composition metal.

Thanks for looking and commenting, I appreciate the discerning eye of other collectors and am looking forward to your comments.

Details

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Fred Hansen

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Hi Michael -

Looks like a nice one and thanks for taking and posting the great photos of it.

In looking at your photo I believe the center wheel may be gold, but the third and fourth wheels are I believe plated. If this is correct you should be able to see a small difference in tone and surface appearance between the center wheel and these other two. The combination of gold center wheel with plated 3rd and 4th wheel isn't unusual to the better quality 16 size 17 jewel and higher Illinois that were adjusted but not to the 5 position level.

Each of the settings look to me to be composition, which I posted above is I believe a mainly brass alloy.

Fred

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M

Michael R. Dutton

Kent said:
Michael said:
...
Would it be possible that this watch was one of those that used to be handed out as a loaner while the customer's watch was being repaired? ...
Michael:

The April 1 1919 [colour=red]NYC - USRA Instructions to Local Watch Inspectors, Page 1[/colour] shows, in Rule 4, the watches which would be allowed to enter service (which includes other watches of equal or greater grade). [colour=red]Page 2[/colour] of the same document contains Rule 8 which requires Loaner Watches and Rule 9 which states that they must meet the standard described in Rule 4.
This watch was most likely manufactured in 1918. The rules you quoted were dated 1919. Were the rules established at an earlier date? That would make my enquiry a moot point. But if the watch was built before the rules, it could have, briefly, been a RR watch, couldn't it?

Maybe I am just splitting hairs............

Thanks!
 

Kent

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Hi Michael:

I'm sorry, no. Although there are some roads that may have allowed watches adjusted to less than five positions to enter service after 1906-1908 (as opposed to being grandfathered), this watch, having been built in 1918, cannot be considered a railroad standard watch.

Thanks to Jeff Hess, I have copies of several earlier NYC rules. I don't have access to my files at the moment, but I think that they are for 1916 and pre-USRA 1918. I haven't compared them closely to see what the differences might be, but I remember checking to see what was allowed to enter service. I specifically looked because Waltham (and Waltham-Ball) railroad standard watches were in short supply during the war and I was curious to see if the rules were relaxed to allow lesser grades into the service (they weren't).
 
M

Michael R. Dutton

Kent said:
Hi Michael:

I'm sorry, no. Although there are some roads that may have allowed watches adjusted to less than five positions to enter service after 1906-1908 (as opposed to being grandfathered), this watch, having been built in 1918, cannot be considered a railroad standard watch...........
Thanks for that bit of information. I appreciate your taking the time to respond. The person who sold the watch insisted that it was a PL RR watch, even after I questioned that statement. I am now certainly convinced that the description was in error.
 

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