Questions Regarding Illinois Stuart 5th Pinion Model 3 and 1884 Fahys OF Case

vintageguy

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Oct 27, 2013
329
540
93
59
Minnesota
Country
Region
All,

I have a question for the Illinois experts. I just acquired a beautiful Illinois Stuart with the 5th Pinion, Model 3 transition movement. Meggers' Vol. 2 shows the serial number -- 55,193 -- as a Model 2 Miller Grade, but that appears to be wrong. If you take a look at the picture of the movement, it shows every indicia of being a legit Model 3 Stuart. Another interesting point is that the "Stuart" is engraved in script, and not the Old English font shown at p. 277 in the complete guide. Have the serial numbers in the Meggers reference been known to be inaccurate from time to time? Any thoughts about the time period that the script "Stuart" grade signature would have been correct?

Also, I have a question about the case. The Stuart was re-cased in the Fahys Monarch No. 1 shown in in the pictures. The case shows a patent year of 1884. I know that the literature establishes that Fahys Monarch cases dating from the late 1880s are gold-filled. But this one is either the best gold-filled case I've ever seen, or it is actually solid rose gold. I own many watches in gold-filled cases, but this one has a palpably different look and feel to it. Total weight of the watch and case is 143 grams. Any thoughts? If no one can definitively tell me that this is a gold-filled case, I'm going to ask my jeweler to test it.

306613.jpg 306614.jpg 306615.jpg 306616.jpg 306617.jpg 306618.jpg 306619.jpg

As always, I appreciate the insights and comments.
 

Dave Chaplain

NAWCC Member
Feb 16, 2001
2,171
37
48
sites.google.com
Country
The Meggers list, and Russ Snyder's upgraded lists, are guides - not rules. There are many discrepancies found since the watches themselves tell the story better than the lists do. Hopefully Russ will see your example and can add it to the list of observations that will make the lists more accurate.

Engraving styles changed over time, seemingly arbitrarily. My 2064 (model 1) is a PL in a script font, and 61698 (model 2) is signed like the font in the guide.

Nothing to offer on the case.

Nice watch! :)
 

John Cote

Director
NAWCC Member
Aug 26, 2000
4,782
1,760
113
Midwest USA
www.johncotephotography.com
Country
Region
These early Gold Filled Fahys cases have really thick gold inside and out. I am sure it is gold filled but it is a beautiful GF case. All in all a lovely watch.
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,408
6,440
113
New York State
Country
It's a very nice watch, it's my favorite Gothic "Illinois Watch Co" font.
On a very nice double sunk dial.



Rob
 

onsite

NAWCC Member
Mar 6, 2011
412
20
18
CehNehDeh
Country
Region
These early Gold Filled Fahys cases have really thick gold inside and out. I am sure it is gold filled but it is a beautiful GF case. All in all a lovely watch.
I have a Fahy's Monarch Pat. 1884 case #246840, it does have some heft to it but I believe it to be gold filled, feels wonderful in hand and is among my favourite cases.

Here is a thread on Jewelled 5th Pinion Model 3 Illinois Movements
 

terry hall

NAWCC Silver Member
Apr 12, 2001
7,192
783
113
Central North Carolina
Country
Region
What a nice watch !!! One of my Favorites....

I've a couple of model 3, but no immediate access...

here is info on one example here which was on display at national convention in Chattanooga few years ago...
Serial # 55519
Produced Jan 1880
Model 3, Stem Wind-Stem Set
17 Jewels
, Jeweled Fifth Pinion OPEN FACE
Adjusted to Temperature and Isochronism
Gold Jewel Settings, Timing Screws
Wheeler Patent Regulator
Total Production 1304 movements
Rail Road Grade in the Time Frame
This variant Old English signature
found a pic of it from the fifth pinion thread....

and
50432 was a recent addition, also fifth pinion, and I see it is Script Stuart signature....

Oh.. IMHO I'd say gold filled, be careful if you still get it tested.... i don't think there is a need to do so.

BTW one case screw on yours needs a bit of tweaking, do not think it is making contact.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

vintageguy

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Oct 27, 2013
329
540
93
59
Minnesota
Country
Region
Wow, what a terrific set of responses! Thanks All. I'm now convinced the case is gold-filled, so I won't risk any damage by testing it. Right now I'm going back to the link that onsite referred me to.

If anyone is interested, NAWCC member (member emeritus?) Al Melchior is selling his collection of 600+ fine American early-model pocket watches. He's listing them on Ebay under his moniker "aceal1watches". Right now he's got 34 of them listed on Ebay, but if you message him he'll send you an Excel spreadsheet that lists out the entire collection with detailed info on each one. And he's willing to entertain reasonable offers. Definitely worth a look if you're in the market.
 

pmwas

Registered User
Dec 12, 2010
2,269
1,710
113
Sosnowiec, Poland
Country
Region
Very nice watch indeed! Monarch is definitely a gold filled case and you'll probably see brass in the extra screw marks on the rim made by the previous movement.
It's a - sort of - transition movement, apparently finished and sold by the 'new' Illinois Watch Co., but still having script signatures and the SWCo monogram typical for Illinois Springfield Watch Co. watches.
Obviously after reorganization they were initially finishing what was already in stock. If you search the Forum, there is a nice thread of two Bunn 18s watches with very close serials, finished in a completely different way and clearly far away in time from each other...

EDIT:
there - post No 12 by Fred Hansen:

https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?40049-Jewelled-5th-Pinion-Model-3-Illinois-Movements
 
Last edited:

vintageguy

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Oct 27, 2013
329
540
93
59
Minnesota
Country
Region
Very nice watch indeed! Monarch is definitely a gold filled case and you'll probably see brass in the extra screw marks on the rim made by the previous movement.
It's a - sort of - transition movement, apparently finished and sold by the 'new' Illinois Watch Co., but still having script signatures and the SWCo monogram typical for Illinois Springfield Watch Co. watches.
Obviously after reorganization they were initially finishing what was already in stock. If you search the Forum, there is a nice thread of two Bunn 18s watches with very close serials, finished in a completely different way and clearly far away in time from each other...

EDIT:
there - post No 12 by Fred Hansen:

https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?40049-Jewelled-5th-Pinion-Model-3-Illinois-Movements
Yup, that's a very interesting juxtaposition . . .

In the same thread at Post #63, Nigel indicated that the script Stuarts were phased out by serial 51700. Mine must be an exception . . .
 

pmwas

Registered User
Dec 12, 2010
2,269
1,710
113
Sosnowiec, Poland
Country
Region
Probably a run with few pieces almost finished when the factory was reorganised. The runs were not finished in sequence (someone said in IWCo they were finished in small batches of like 10 identical pieces) and probably one or two of such batches were already finished/engraved by then.
 

Dave Chaplain

NAWCC Member
Feb 16, 2001
2,171
37
48
sites.google.com
Country
Yes, the numbers were reserved in small batches and then finished when they were finished - and not necessarily in strict number sequence. There are known examples of product being finished / refinished by the factory a year or more out from the expected sequence. And the engraving designs changed over time, as seen even (seemingly) mid-batch, probably due to stock moving slowly and the finish engraving style changing by the final finishing date. So date lists are generally guides and not rules, as well.
 

Greg Frauenhoff

NAWCC Fellow
NAWCC Member
Aug 25, 2000
5,137
3,053
113
Yes, the numbers were reserved in small batches and then finished when they were finished - and not necessarily in strict number sequence. There are known examples of product being finished / refinished by the factory a year or more out from the expected sequence. And the engraving designs changed over time, as seen even (seemingly) mid-batch, probably due to stock moving slowly and the finish engraving style changing by the final finishing date. So date lists are generally guides and not rules, as well.
"And secondly, you must be a pirate for the pirate's code to apply and you're not. And thirdly, the code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner."
 

Tom Huber

NAWCC Member
Dec 9, 2000
3,101
252
83
77
Indiana PA
Country
Region
Vintageguy, FYI-- Your case is screw back and bezel. That is a 99.9% indicator that it is gold filled. generally solid gold will not hold the threads over time and will strip or cross thread. Solid gold cases were mainly hinge back and bezel

In the 20th century Hamilton made its 16S model 2 case in solid gold, but few were made and even fewer have survived.

tom
 

Dave Chaplain

NAWCC Member
Feb 16, 2001
2,171
37
48
sites.google.com
Country
"And secondly, you must be a pirate for the pirate's code to apply and you're not. And thirdly, the code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner."
Exactly Greg! It took me a while, but I'm finally getting it, possibly due to my kids having me watch that series of movies, over and over ... :p
 

Kent

Gibbs Literary Award
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Silver Member
Aug 26, 2000
18,576
2,172
113
Country
There should be no doubt that the [main="Joseph Fahys & Co."]Joseph Fahys & Co.[/main] Monarch case is a gold-filled case The only exception is that the name "Monarch" was applied to coin silver cases at one time.


attachment.jpg
 

vintageguy

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Oct 27, 2013
329
540
93
59
Minnesota
Country
Region
"And secondly, you must be a pirate for the pirate's code to apply and you're not. And thirdly, the code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. Welcome aboard the Black Pearl, Miss Turner."
The thing I l love about this club, apart from the huge knowledge base, is the number of experienced collectors who are willing to give of their time and resources to help beginning collectors get their "sea legs". Case in point: the many terrific responses that were listed on this post. I learned a ton. It's also comforting to know that the club's leadership is dedicated to furthering the art and science of horology, and that one very important goal is to maintain and promote a large and diverse membership. Of course, our responsible leaders never take cheap shots at exactly the kind of new members that the Club is trying so hard to recruit and retain. Nor do they impute petty ass, personal grudges from years gone by to newer members. They recognize that the goals of the organization are for more important than their personal egos.

Am I right, Greg?
 

Forum statistics

Threads
175,064
Messages
1,531,026
Members
52,551
Latest member
kbecker
Encyclopedia Pages
1,063
Total wiki contributions
2,972
Last update
-