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Let's See Your Sangamo Specials

John Cote

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After Fred's great Hamilton 938-9 thread I thought I might start another. Let's see how many interesting Sangamo Specials we can show each other. I will start with my favorite. It is my favorite not because it is the rarest or the sexiest, but because it was found by my father. Some of you know my dad, Louis from seeing him at marts over the last 40 or more years. One of his collecting passions was 19 jewel watches. He found this one at an antique store in Lafayette, Indiana. The owner thought, because it was only a 19 jewel watch it couldn't be worth all that much so my dad got it for...well let's just say he got one of his usual great deals.

20.jpg

After taking this little fella's picture tonight, I realize that dad never cleaned it. Oh well, he's 87 this year so I can forgive him this one little transgression.

JohnCote
 

John Cote

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Come on...somebody else come out to play.

23.jpg

This is the early 17 size 23j model with the special "pointed bow" case. The case is hinged in the front and screw off back...odd but very nice factory marked case.

This one has a single sunk dial that looks much like the typical 16 size Bunn Special dial with a curved "Illinois" in block letters. The big difference is that it is a 17 size and not a 16 size dial.

JohnCote
 
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Fred Hansen

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Great thread John and nice set of watches! The pics/scans aren't too bad either ...

:thumb:

Mike Chamelin, Robert Smothers, Terry Hall and a few others put together some terrific info covering the Sangamo Specials recently and this can be viewed as an eBook on Sam Kirk's "Special Projects" page at this link ...

http://www.kirxklox.com/project/editorial_cms.php?id=2

This info was also made into a book and I believe Mike Chamelin still has a few copies of these remaining.

Fred
 

harold

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John

I would interested to know what camera you used and what program. I like the way you have stiched the pictures together. Did you use a black cloth for the pictures or were you able to create the backgound with the computer program? I would like to use this set up when I do the inventory on my collection.

Any help would be appreciated.
 

John Cote

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harold said:
John

I would interested to know what camera you used and what program. I like the way you have stiched the pictures together. Did you use a black cloth for the pictures or were you able to create the backgound with the computer program? I would like to use this set up when I do the inventory on my collection.
Hi Harold,

The most important thing about taking watch pictures is light. I used what is called a Photek Lighthouse for a lot of my watch movement shots:

http://www.photekusa.com/

I bought mine through a wonderful photo store in Indianapolis called Roberts Distributors (317-636-5544) but I am sure you can get them lots of places. What the lighthouse allows you to do is get a nice even light and eliminate reflections from extraneous crap in the room where you are taking the photos. I think the one I have cost less than $100.

I use studio strobe lights but any kind of light will work. Depending on the watch you may need to move the lights around or the watch to get the damasceening or engraving to show up best. Sometimes I put black light killers in the lighthouse to make the reflections look different. You can take this as far as you want.

As far as cameras are concerned, the brand of camera is not that important. I would recommend a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) if you really want to take high quality photos. I say this because with this kind of camera you can use different lenses and for watch pictures you really need some type of "macro" lens that lets you focus close. The other thing about most DSLRs is that they let you shoot in manual mode, with manual focus and manual exposure. You can autofocus a watch but I don't recommend it. Both Nikon and Canon make great DSLRs. I have been a Nikon man since the early '70s but I have used the Canons too.

The other think everyone wants to know about is "Mega-pixels. DSLRs range from 4-24 mega-pixels. More mega-pixels do not necessarily make for better pictures. If you want to take pictures of watches and make 8x10 inch prints, you really don't need more than 6 or 8 megapixles. I would always go for buying a less expensive camera and a good macro lens.

I took these pictures with a Nikon D3 and a Nikkor 85mm macro lens. This camera is way overkill for most people but I am a photographer for part of my living.

As a professional photographer I use Adobe Photoshop CS-3 to work on my photos. The background of these photos was almost pure white when I took them and I just turned it black in Photoshop because I thought it looked better. Photoshop is a whole different story and would take a book to explain.

Hope this helps.

JohnCote
 

Larry S

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I only have one that most have seen many many times, but what the heck, here it is again. And yes, this one has been photoshopped a bit. I just wanted to see what it might have looked like when new.

http://www.soochx.org/samsung-2-19-56/sangamo2.jpg

Larry
 

s. smith

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Charlies where did you get that old rough watch bring that to chattonga Tn. and i,ll give you a 1000.00 for it..:cool:

Just kidding beautiful watches everone..:clap:
 

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best offer I've had today, Samie.

Probably won't make chatt this yr. Going to hillsville Va gunshow/flea market. Will miss seeing some old friends.

tell everyone I said hello.
 

Nigel Harrison

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Hello,

I have not ventured out and purchased any Sangamo Specials yet so I don’t have any to post unfortunately but I do have some questions. These questions are all from memory from what I have seen and read in books so bear with me it I have something not quite correct as I have no books in front of me.

I am usually pretty good at seeing why some watches are rarer than others but I have to say the 23J Sangamo Specials have me a little puzzled. I have watched these watches quite regularly over the last few years to try to get educated on what rarity sells for what to try and determine what is rare and what is not. I am still obviously a bit uneducated about some of these Sangamo Special specifics as the values don’t always seem to keep with the book values when it comes to the 23 jewel watches. I understand the 21J and 19J values quite well and these seem reasonably consistent. I can see that the 23J 60 hour is worth a bomb so that is all good and if I find one for a good price I should buy it. J

Some 23 jewel’s are marked 60 hour and I know these are the rarest, but some are apparently 60 hour but unmarked – how do you know if this is for real as a lot of people say their 23J Sangamo Special that they are selling is an unmarked 60 hour one? Though they may have just put a 60 mainspring in it! From memory I don’t think the Meggers Illinois book doesn’t identify these unmarked 60 hour ones in the run details. Are the true unmarked 60 hour watches worthy of marked 60 values? (I don’t want to talk about prices as this is not allowed, I just wanted to know about comparative value in rareness).

Obviously Dial and Cases matter a lot in rareness and value as well. Original case seems to matter massively when looking at the prices sold for. Condition counts for a lot as well.

The Complete Price Guide to Watches show different cases and values and that some original cases are worth more than others but there is not a really big fluctuation in value by looking at the guide book (unless of course it is 14K solid) however in real terms when you see one 23J and another 23J, one with say a rigid bow GF case it can go for a much higher value over a hinged back one. Then a week later it can be the reverse situation.

In general some 23J watches sell for well under any 23J Sangamo Special book value listed and this is what scares me off going for one. I do know it is a guide but this is all I can go by at the moment.

I see some cross hatch ones go for sale and they seem to be a bit rarer to come across from what I can see but the value on these sales are about the same as a standard one with plain plates. I have seen that fishscale is very rare.

Monty dials seem to increase value a fair bit too, but this is up and down as well. Same as angular numbered dials.

Some markings on the non 60 hour watch plates are slightly different as well and this is quite normal with Illinois watches as the ones made early have a slightly different wording on the plates which make them rarer.

From memory I think there is a rarer one with a different type of capped pallet jewel or 4th wheel:???: from memory:???:

How am I going so far? Have I made anyone else as confused as I am? I am sure there are more of

Are there some unwritten list of rarities that are not in the guides and that I don’t know about that I need to take into consideration here?

As I said I am pretty good at seeing trends in rareness and why watches are worth what they are but these Sangamo Specials seem to have a lot of very subtle variant options which seems to translate to rareness and values all over the place.

Any comments would be great.

Regards,

Nigel Harrison.
 

John Cote

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Purdy nice lil' ol' watch Charlie.

Also, I took a look at the Sangamo Special info on Sam Kirk's site, as recommended by Fred. Wow, that is a real wealth of information. Thanks to all who put that together.

JohnC
 

John Cote

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Nigel said:
I am usually pretty good at seeing why some watches are rarer than others but I have to say the 23J Sangamo Specials have me a little puzzled. rareness).
Nigel,

I think if you really want to understand "rarity" of this grade you can find all you want at Sam Kirk's "Special Projects" page at this link ...

www.kirxklox.com/project/editorial_cms.php?id=2 as Fred suggested.

However, I think you may be talking about desirability, which more than rarity is really what makes a watch worth something. Who knows why more people want an ugly, pressed in jewel Bunn Special 161b enouth to pay 40 grand for one (they made 50 of them so they are not really what I would call rare). But, one thing is for sure. The only reason why they bring that much is because, for whatever reason, enough people want them that badly.

JohnC




 
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Fred Hansen

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Nigel -

Definitely give the info at Sam's page a read.

Here are a few of my thoughts on the desirability of the Sangamo Special series ...

Hunting case model 8 Sangamo Specials are rare and very sought after. These were not factory cased and were only made at the early end of Sangamo Special production.

Solid gold Sangamo Special cases are rare and very sought after when in good condition ... whether stiff bow, rigid bow, or one of the earlier models.

Original engraved pattern back stiff and rigid bow gold-filled Sangamo Special cases are very desirable when in sharp condition.

Marked 60 hour Sangamo Specials are not rare, but are uncommon, and are a high demand item. These are the latest watches of the Sangamo Special series.

Any Sangamo Special with original box/papers is a very desirable item.

Private-label Sangamo Specials are very tough to find, but might not capture as widespread of collector interest to raise their demand too much in line with their scarcity.

19 jewel Sangamo Specials and 21 jewel Sangamo Specials were not factory cased, and 23 jewel Sangamo Specials with crosshatch damaskeen pattern were also not factory cased. These are all top quality and beautiful watches made at the early end of Sangamo Special production, but are overlooked sometimes by collectors that don't understand that these earlier watches did not come with Sangamo Special factory cases.

Fred
 

Nigel Harrison

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Hi Fred and John,

Thanks for the replies. I will definitely have a read of Sam's info.

John, I can sort of see what you mean. I think desirable in regards to the Sangamo Specials has a lot to do with the detailed history and advertising of the watch by the sound of it. The history is something I do not know a lot about and I guess this will make people chase certain features that is undocumented in the basic guides.

I am a bit of a statistics man so I go by numbers and run records and try to find things made in the limited numbers. I do need to spend more time reading up on historical events and marketing.

Fred, Thanks for a brief rundown on uncommon Sangamo Special features. Is there a serial number from where they started putting Sangamo's in factory cases? Are the earlier Sangamo Special watches made better quality than the later ones?

In the end condition is usually paramount by the sound.

Thanks and Regards,

Nigel Harrison.
 

Kent

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John Cote

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Nigel said:
John, I can sort of see what you mean. I think desirable in regards to the Sangamo Specials has a lot to do with the detailed history and advertising of the watch by the sound of it. The history is something I do not know a lot about and I guess this will make people chase certain features that is undocumented in the basic guides.

I am a bit of a statistics man so I go by numbers and run records and try to find things made in the limited numbers. I do need to spend more time reading up on historical events and marketing.
Nigel,

While I do think things like "history and advertising" have something to do with desirability of a watch, I think there is more to it than that. People who think the stock market can be predicted by numbers or by history or by any quantifiable sort of information are wrong a lot of the time. The market is, more often than we would like, ruled by a lot of qualitative or irrational action or whim. I believe the same is true about the watch market.

Among Illinois watches, why would any 16 size Bunn Special be more desirable (worth more on the market) than a 5th pinion grade 105? If this is somehow quantifiable or understandable because of history etc, I would like to know how. I guess Bunn Specials are easier to understand and more modern. I don't know.

Why one watch is worth more than another has always baffled me. I don't mean that I can't follow the trends and make smart buying decisions when I buy watches for resale. I guess I have always been sort of happy that the market's tastes are generally different from mine.

Fred and I and Fred's father and a lot of other people have had this discussion around mart tables many times.

JohnC


 

Fred Hansen

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Is there a serial number from where they started putting Sangamo's in factory cases?
Sangamo Special factory cases came into use with the change from model 9 to model 10 production, and then continued on with model 13 production and until the end. The first serial number for a model 10 was 3178901. There is only one model 9 run past this serial number, a 21 jewel run at serials 3251001-3251400. So besides these 400 watches in this run I would say a Sangamo Special case would be expected for any Sangamo Specials at 3.178 million and above, and would not be expected for any watch under 3.178 million serial number.

So model 8 and 9 Sangamo Specials aren't expected to be in SS cases, but model 10 and 13 Sangamo Specials are expected to be in SS cases. The model 10 and model 13 were motor barrel Illinois designs, and these model Sangamo Special movements will be marked "Motor Barrel". So an easy way to remember the casing is that Sangamo Special movements marked "Motor Barrel" should be expected to have SS cases, and Sangamo Special movements not marked "Motor Barrel" shouldn't.

But two things to add to this factory case story ...

Some of the earliest model 10 Sangamo Special cases were not actually marked with the words "Sangamo Special", but are Wadsworth cases of the same distinctive style as the ones that were later marked "Sangamo Special". These cases have a hinged front, screw off rear, and a pyramid bow and the "unmarked" version is marked with patent dates for the bow and crown design.

The 60 hour Sangamo Special was advertised in the familiar late Sangamo Special style gold-filled cases and these are what most are seen in, but was also actually was advertised as available in a plain finish screw back and bezel nickeloid case. I haven't seen one of these yet and assume they are pretty scarce, and I don't know how these cases are marked.

Are the earlier Sangamo Special watches made better quality than the later ones?
Probably not ... the fact is that all Sangamo Specials rank near the very top end of anything that Illinois ever produced and this is a big part of their high desirability to collectors.

I personally prefer the look of the earlier model 8 and 9 Sangamo Specials, but many collectors have the opposite view and prefer the model 10 and 13 Sangamo Specials due to the nice factory cases of these. Some of the model 8 and 9 Sangamo Specials had a diamond endstone on the balance, but this was no longer used by the time the models 10 and 13 were made. So this may be one area of higher quality to some of the early movements, but again I'd say that all Sangamo Specials are very fine watches.

The only 16 size Illinois grades which are equal to or maybe even a little above the Sangamo Special quality are the numbered grades 310, 709, 710, and 770.

Fred
 

Robert Smothers

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Here is an interesting piece, a SS model 10 printing block. Everything you would expect to see: pyramid bow, acorn crown, gothic numerals, arrows out, single sunk dial signed Illinois, hinged bezel, and Sangamo kite style hands.

 

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Robert Smothers

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The watch below is from my Sangamo Special collection, and I refer to this watch as number 12. According to the Illinois ledger this SS would be the 12th one made. Meggers spoke of the straightline signature that is seen on this movement in the "Illinois Encyclopedia." Since Meggers saw a different movement from this one, there are at least two marked this way and likely more.

Other interesting features of this movement include: 21 jewel marked on a finger bridge, nothing marked under the balance wheel(where double roller, or Illinois Watch are often marked), and the lack of a turned down area under the balance wheel. Six positions is also marked with the numeral 6.

One feature that this watch has that would be expected on an early true bridge 21j SS is the diamond endstone.
 

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terry hall

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daz the 'gothic' dial also on the one block !!

nice!

The other movements are Seldom Seen !!!

I was fortunate enough to get to see it torn down to verify the plates and parts...

:thumb:


 

Robert Smothers

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Cons14...Great watch all the way to the last detail. Finding a false bridge before the ink was changed to red is a good find indeed....Robert
 

grtnev

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...one more, Model 9, 21j, false bridge, red lettering, s/n 2968340, ca 1916.

As an aside, when I entered the serial number in the Illinois data base, the database identifeis the movement as being 23j. while the article "Sangamo Special - Beginning to End" (http://www.kirxklox.com/project/editorial_cms.php?id=2) identifies this serial number as a 21j false bridge movement from run #25.
 

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crsides

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Great find Robert. can't be too many of those left floating around out there.
thanks for sharing a really rare sangamo.
 

grtnev

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"..............The 60 hour Sangamo Special was advertised in the familiar late Sangamo Special style gold-filled cases and these are what most are seen in, but was also actually was advertised as available in a plain finish screw back and bezel nickeloid case. I haven't seen one of these yet and assume they are pretty scarce, and I don't know how these cases are marked...............Fred"
The above statement is excerpted from an earlier post in this thread by Mr. Hansen. In the post, Mr. Hansen uses the words "actually advertised". Does anyone have any documentation that they can share showing that Sangamo Specials were available is plain finished screw back and bezel nickel cases from the factory?

Thanks,

Richard
 

terry hall

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grtnev

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direct link to image of ad... see the notation at bottom of the ad.
Editorials Image Library

contained in Mike Chamelin's work on Sangamo Specials, web hosted by Chapter 149 and the late Sam Kirk.

The Sangamo Special - Beginning to END
Thank you Terry - I have looked at "Beginning to END" previously but missed the notation on this ad.

I just acquired a 19J Sangamo Special (Model 9, True Bridge) that is in a Philadelphia Watch Case Co. Silverode (nickel) case. This 19j Model precedes factory cased Sangamo Specials. I don't see any additional case screw marks, looks possibly original, but for the time being (until I actually receive the watch) I'm just looking at the seller's online pics which are not the best.

My conjecture is that this Philadelphia Watch Case Co silverode case was selected by the original buyer to hold this 19j movement and his preference was nickel vs. gold filled.

Nickel cases make a lot of sense for a working railroad man's watch. Not as pretty as gold filled, but no wear through or brassing either.

Mr. Hansen also stated: "I haven't seen one of these (nickel cased Sangamo Specials) yet and assume they are pretty scarce, and I don't know how these cases are marked". I am assuming that his comments refer to the Wadsworth Case Co. nickel case as referenced in the referenced ad above (Model 10/13 Sangamo Specials) and not to an earlier Model 9 that finds itself in a nickel (non-factory) case.

Thanks for your help.

Richard
 
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179

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When all is said and done, this was a working man's watch. Thanks Terry for posting this, a lot of good information from a lot of collectors went into this thread and book.
 

Jerry Freedman

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Meggers Illinois book shows a model 10 Sangamo Special as having a 48 hour motor barrel. See EA 473 page 72. Did all model 10 Sangamo
Specials have this feature? I know the model 13 had a 60 hour motor barrel. I never really heard of a 48 hour motor barrel.

Jerry Freedman
 

terry hall

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Meggers Illinois book shows a model 10 Sangamo Special as having a 48 hour motor barrel. See EA 473 page 72. Did all model 10 Sangamo
Specials have this feature? I know the model 13 had a 60 hour motor barrel. I never really heard of a 48 hour motor barrel.

Jerry Freedman
YES, 48hr jeweled motor barrel on the model 10 and remember model 10 made in both 16 and 17 size... see the above link to Mike's book.......
 

vintageguy

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My Avatar, and my absolute favorite watch: Sangamo Special Model 10 17S 23J, Movement # 3862706, Original Sangamo Special Case # 5680003.

b8ad6063615bbdf33dd95ec82dfb4235.JPG IMG_6131.JPG IMG_6148.JPG IMG_6151.JPG IMG_6159.JPG
 

grtnev

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Illinois Watch Company, Serial Number 2575029, ca: 1913, 16 Size, 19 Jewels, Model 9 "Sangamo Special"; 3 Finger, True Bridge; Broad Transverse Damaskeened Band Pattern on Nickel; Yellow Gold Engraving on Movement; Diamond Endstone, Ruby & Sapphire jewels in raised gold settings, oval top & bottom pallet jewels, sapphire jeweled barrel, gold balance screws, rounded & polished gold train wheels, gold guard pin, patent regulator, double-sunk glass enamel Arabic numeral dial, Adjusted to Temperature, Isochronism, 6 positions, Nickel (Silverode) case material

Sangamo Special production: 86% were 23 jewel, about 9.5% were 21 jewel, and only about 4.5% were 19 jewel

Dial.JPG Movement.JPG Inside Back Cover.JPG Case Back.JPG
 
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grtnev

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Illinois Watch Company, Serial Number 2728630, ca: 1915, 16 Size, 21 Jewels, Model 9 “Sangamo Special”; Small inset escape cap jewel, 3 Finger, True Bridge; Red Engraving on Movement (only 900 total 21j Sangamo Specials were False Bridge movements); Diamond, Ruby, & Sapphire jewels in raised gold settings, oval top & bottom pallet jewels, sapphire jeweled barrel, gold balance screws, rounded & polished gold train wheels, gold guard pin, patent regulator, Open Face; double-sunk glass enamel Arabic numeral dial, Adjusted to Temperature, Isochronism, 6 positions, Gold Filled case material - Factory Cased

Dial 1.jpg Movement 1.jpg Case 3.jpg Case 2.jpg Case 1.jpg
 

grtnev

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Illinois Watch Company, Serial Number 2968340, ca: 1916, 16 Size, 21 Jewels, Model 9 "Sangamo Special"; Small inset escape cap jewel, 3 Finger, False Bridge; Red Engraving on Movement (only 900 total 21j Sangamo Specials were False Bridge movements); Diamond Endstone; Ruby, & Sapphire jewels in raised gold settings, oval top & bottom pallet jewels, sapphire jeweled barrel, gold balance screws, rounded & polished gold train wheels, gold guard pin, patent regulator, patent regulator, open face; double-sunk glass enamel Arabic numeral dial, Adjusted to Temperature, Isochronism, 6 positions, Gold Filled Case

DSC00147.JPG DSC00167.JPG DSC00143.JPG
 

grtnev

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Illinois Watch Company, Serial Number 4556147, ca: 1925, 17 Size, 23 Jewels, Model 13 "Sangamo Special"; 3 Finger, False Bridge; Red Engraving on Movement; Diamond End Stone, Ruby, & Sapphire jewels in raised gold settings, oval top & bottom pallet jewels, sapphire jeweled barrel, gold balance screws, rounded & polished gold train wheels, gold guard pin – Patent regulator; Motor Barrel; Double Roller; Unmarked 60 hour mainspring, double sunk glass enamel bold Arabic dial; Gold Filled case material - Factory Cased

[

DSC01884.JPG DSC01874.JPG DSC01880.JPG DSC01883.JPG
 

grtnev

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Also posted this in the "most recent acquisition" thread.

Illinois Watch Company, 16 size, 23j, Model 9, s/n 2970044, ca: 1916 - "Sangamo Special"; 3 Finger, False Bridge; Red Engraving on Movement (2210 total 23j Sangamo Specials were False Bridge movements produced from 1915-1917); Adjusted to temperature, 6 positions, isochronism. Diamond, ruby & sapphire jewels in raised gold settings, oval top & bottom pallet jewels, sapphire jeweled barrel, gold balance screws, rounded & polished gold train wheels, gold guard pin, patent regulator, crosshatched damaskeen pattern, nickel movement, small inset escape cap jewel. Open Face; Double-sunk glass enamel Arabic numeral dial, 10K Gold Filled NAWCo “Security” Railroad Model Case

Richard

Dial 1.JPG Dial 2.jpg Movement.JPG Movement Detail 1.jpg Movement Detail 2.jpg Movement Detail 3.jpg Movement Detail 4.jpg Case Back.JPG Cuvette.JPG Inside Case Covers.JPG
 

179

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AFAIK, not without the original box.
 
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