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Interesting Illinois Bunn Serial Number

Jerry Treiman

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Aug 25, 2000
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Fascinating! Apparently not a serial number as that number is for an 0-size movement. Is there a different number on the pillar plate or under any of the bridges?
 
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Jim Haney

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Sep 21, 2002
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Typically the numbers should be under the Barrel Bridge and also under the Balance Bridge and under the arms of the Balance wheel ?
 
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grtnev

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Jan 18, 2009
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A very interesting movement indeed - definitely a keeper.

Another item I find interesting is this is one of the 17j Bunn grade ADJUSTED TO 6 POSITIONS which pretty much dates this movement to ca: 1905.

During 1905, Illinois decided that the new series of 17-jewel "Sunburst" damaskeened Bunns would be adjusted to "Temperature, 6 Positions, and Isochronism" in the same way as the higher jeweled 18 size Bunn Special grade. This was done by Illinois most likely as a marketing ploy to try and elevate the status of the Bunn grade in the market and sell more units.

The Adjusted to Temperature, 6 Positions, and Isochronism marked 17j Bunn grade nickel movements occur between serial numbers 1,742,001 and 1,823,700 with a total of 2,300 movements produced during 1905..

After serial number 1,823,700 the factory decided to go back to adjusting these watches to "Temperature, 5 Positions, Isochronism" which lasted from s/n 1,836,501 (1905) until the end of production; s/n 2,858,200 in 1915.

Richard
 
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John Cote

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Aug 26, 2000
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Another item I find interesting is this is one of the 17j Bunn grade ADJUSTED TO 6 POSITIONS which pretty much dates this movement to ca: 1905.
I am with Richard. Unless we are really missing something, if there is anything "different" about this watch, other than the Date/SN it is the 6 positions marking. I used to talk to Bernie Levine about this 6 position "variant" and he agreed that it was a marketing scheme which didn't work.

Both Illinois and Hamilton made a bunch of these production demonstration pieces. I guess you could loosely call them prototypes but they were only prototypes of a certain look variation. The more common examples from Hamilton generate a little bit of interest from serious collectors but don't seem to be highly desired enough to generate much extra value in the market. This watch is certainly interesting but not what I think of as a true prototype.

I like it. It's a true oddity.
 

Fred Hansen

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Aug 18, 2002
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The jewel settings and balance screws appear to be brass, rather than the typical gold expected with a 17 jewel Bunn grade. This could be the reason for this piece's existence as perhaps Illinois was considering the concept of a lower priced version of the 17 jewel Bunn.

This date of this movement also falls fairly close in timeline to other high grade Illinois prototypes I've seen such as the 25 jewel 16 size bridge model, the 19 jewel Sangamo, and the 18 size prototype for the internally jeweled barrel.
 

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