Sangamo Special question.

Old rookie

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Why did the Sangamo Special have such a short production life (3 years)?
 

John Cote

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Old Rookie,

There were several different types of Sangamo Special. Perhaps you are talking about the 16 size varieties which did not last too long before they became 17 size. The production of the Sangamo Specials in all of the grades lasted much longer than 3 years.
 

179

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From 1913 to 1930 , equals about 17 years. It is interesting that after 1928 when Hamilton purchased Illinois, they did not assign a number grade to the S.S. as they did the B.S. grades.
 

Old rookie

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From 1913 to 1930 , equals about 17 years. It is interesting that after 1928 when Hamilton purchased Illinois, they did not assign a number grade to the S.S. as they did the B.S. grades.
Where do I find that information?
 

terry hall

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I'd also suggest this link,

Sangamo Special Beginning to End Mike Chamelin

though presently the site has exceeded its bandwidth.

The compiled book is also available for loan at the nawcc library.

Also look at Megger's book on Illinois watches... even the 'reprint' can give info.
 

grtnev

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Agree with Terry on the Sangamo Special Beginning to End page - great resource - hopefully the site will be back up soon.

Richard
 

Dbailey

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That SS site by Mike Chamelin and others is back online now. I guess Mike isn't here anymore and I have a question for him or any other SS experts here. According to my partial research, it seems that only the first year (1913) model 9 19J SS has diamond endstones. Can anyone confirm or refute that? I have two of them in my collection and would like to know the rarity.
 
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Old rookie

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Thanks for the update. I was guilty of the logical fallacy of composition by making the statement I did at the start of this thread. :screwball:
 

terry hall

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That SS site by Mike Chamelin and others is back online now. I guess Mike isn't here anymore and I have a question for him or any other SS experts here. According to my partial research, it seems that only the first year (1913) model 9 19J SS has diamond endstones. Can anyone confirm or refute that? I have two of them in my collection and would like to know the rarity.
I'll see if Mikeee has some additional compiled infO...
 
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terry hall

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I asked.. and he responded... here is unedited response I received... enjoy!!

Hey.......feel free to quote me on this as you wish...........


Well, .........the gentleman was fairly close when he said 3 years........I suspect he was speaking of “ONLY” the early Model 8 and 9 Sangamo Specials made in only 1913 through 1916 of which “roughly” 8 thousand or so movements were produced in 19, 21 and 23 jewel in both true and false bridge. So that is only 4 years. .... And they are and were always an interesting and favorite watch of my fancy through the years.... as they were made in quite a few combinations....true bridge, false bridge, yellow engraving, red engraving, black engraving and naturally with sapphire and diamond end stones. Finding an example of all variants in all 3 jewel counts, would be quite an accomplishment and I do not know of any collector in the world that has ever achieved that goal,.... some have come close but to my knowledge it hasn’t happened, yet. It can be done but would be an extremely difficult investment of time not to mention a decent amount of money.


While I am certain that “most” of the diamond end stone examples are ”usually” found in the first year ....or the earliest runs of production.... there were some produced in the last half of 1914 and 1915 as well. I have seen several of the later examples, though I did not record the exact serial numbers of those, yet I remember specifically they were later as they did in fact have the “screw ends UP” with flat cap balance.... rather than “screw heads down” with gold jewel setting. That “screws up”, flat cap balance bridge set up is usually seen between the 2.6 million and 3.0 million serial number range.



Regarding production numbers of these, there are no known exact totals. While I did cover the subject regarding the diamond end stone examples in my book but briefly I never gave an estimate on numbers.... but I knew they were scarce. However, since the question has come up and been asked, it is my safe and solid opinion based on what I’ve seen over the last and more than 4 decades of collecting... that only 5 % to 6 % of the Model 8 and 9 SS production would have had a diamond end stone.... in any jewel count and as such, my suspicions are that only around 4-500 movements were ever made. This makes any diamond end stone SS , in good condition, a very, hard to find watch.



Again, as stated there are no hard and fast numbers on how many were made but they don’t show up for sale all that often today and never did for that matter. As a result, I always paid attention whenever or wherever I saw one for sale or trade. I can say without hesitation there would not be even 10% of them with a diamond end stone which tells you how scarce they are. 500 or less examples in all jewel counts, is not that many watches.



I’ve personally owned 4 or 5 dozen of the model 9’s in various jewel counts over the years, .....and seen probably well over a thousand examples for sale ....but all diamond end stone SS I’ve ever seen would be less than 4 dozen. Said another way, ....well, a few dozen diamond end stone SS’s.... in a life time of collecting or say less than 50 for sure... is not that many examples. So, as far as putting a fairly accurate number on them.... and in conclusion, 400 to 500 is right in the ball park of total production in my opinion. Of course, finding one that is clean and in good running condition is going to narrow the field even further. These watches are now over 100 years old and some have had hard RR lives. All the same, Best of luck to any one looking for one, they are certainly a quality watch worth finding in either or all of the 3 jewel counts. Happy Hunting!
 

Dbailey

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Thank you Terry and thank Mike for me...he and I had corresponded a few times many years ago as the model 9 Sangamo Special has been my favorite as well and his "The Sangamo Special-Beginning to End" has been my bible
 

Dbailey

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Yes, that is indeed a diamond endstone...it seems all (300) the first year(1913) 19J SS have the diamonds but maybe they were the only 19J SS that had them...I have two of them #2575084 and 2575175
 

John Cote

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Diamond or sapphire it is still a nice movement.
This is a very special watch in my collection. I started collecting with my father when I was a little kid in the '50s and '60s. My dad bought this watch when I was in college in the '70s. He bought it at an antique store. What he told me is that there were 4 watches in the store. 3 of them were 21 jewel watches and the guy wanted something like $200 each for them but he only wanted $125 for the 19j Sangamo Special because it only had 19 jewels. He called me to brag about his luck. I am proud it is still in the family.
 

Dbailey

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This is a very special watch in my collection. I started collecting with my father when I was a little kid in the '50s and '60s. My dad bought this watch when I was in college in the '70s. He bought it at an antique store. What he told me is that there were 4 watches in the store. 3 of them were 21 jewel watches and the guy wanted something like $200 each for them but he only wanted $125 for the 19j Sangamo Special because it only had 19 jewels. He called me to brag about his luck. I am proud it is still in the family.
That's a very nice looking movement...some collectors prize a nice case and dial far above the looks of the movement, but I'm very fussy about the condition of the movement as well
 
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terry hall

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great last run example!
One 'key' to the diamond endstone is the plate for the jewel on the balance cock.
"TYPICALLY' the flat plate with the non-exposed screw heads will not have a diamond endstone.

I did get a response from Mike after posting his commentary above... here it is unedited


Hey, Just reading the post and one of the guys said he had 2 of the 19 jewel SS from the first run and thought or was supposing that perhaps all of the 300 19 Jewel SS in their first run had a diamond end stone. I highly doubt that all of them did and hopefully other collectors will chime in on their examples if they have any...... but in my experience they are random in the end stone used, even in the earliest runs.

Just for the fun of it.....if you have time, you might want to check your inventory and see if you have one of those early examples (in any jewel count) and let us know if they all have the diamond end stone as well...... makes me wish I had kept better records when I was young and ambitious......lol........talk soon, mikeeee

i'm still trying to find the examples i have put up, did find 2615459 and it is like yours, flat plate and the same appearing endstone.

I'll document the others as i uncover them.... supposed to be 2575178 here somewhere....

"strange' in my search i fan across 21j version 3251199, it has the curved or dished plate and faceted endstone and is of course a false bridge...
 

John Cote

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That's a very nice looking movement...some collectors prize a nice case and dial far above the looks of the movement, but I'm very fussy about the condition of the movement as well
I'm with you, although I do like the whole watch to be nice. This one is as my dad found it in a nice but not mint 20 year GF case with no extra screw marks.
 
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Dbailey

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great last run example!
One 'key' to the diamond endstone is the plate for the jewel on the balance cock.
"TYPICALLY' the flat plate with the non-exposed screw heads will not have a diamond endstone.

I did get a response from Mike after posting his commentary above... here it is unedited


Hey, Just reading the post and one of the guys said he had 2 of the 19 jewel SS from the first run and thought or was supposing that perhaps all of the 300 19 Jewel SS in their first run had a diamond end stone. I highly doubt that all of them did and hopefully other collectors will chime in on their examples if they have any...... but in my experience they are random in the end stone used, even in the earliest runs.

Just for the fun of it.....if you have time, you might want to check your inventory and see if you have one of those early examples (in any jewel count) and let us know if they all have the diamond end stone as well...... makes me wish I had kept better records when I was young and ambitious......lol........talk soon, mikeeee

i'm still trying to find the examples i have put up, did find 2615459 and it is like yours, flat plate and the same appearing endstone.

I'll document the others as i uncover them.... supposed to be 2575178 here somewhere....

"strange' in my search i fan across 21j version 3251199, it has the curved or dished plate and faceted endstone and is of course a false bridge...
I didn't mean to imply that ALL model 9 19J first year movements had diamond endstones but there is a database elsewhere online where members have listed their model 9 Sangamo Specials and all of the 19J that were made in the first year 1913 had diamond endstones but no diamonds were reported in all the remaining years of SS 19J production...that certainly isn't definitive but it's something
 

terry hall

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i'm still trying to find the examples i have put up, did find 2615459 and it is like yours, flat plate and the same appearing endstone.

I'll document the others as i uncover them.... supposed to be 2575178 here somewhere....
to confirm 2575178 is here, true bridge diamond endstone, cupped cap, screws down...
 

Dr. Jon

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I have 2575118. It has a gold set diamond over the balance, screw heads up and gold inlaid engraving adjusted to six positions. It is in a rigid bow case witha double sunk dial with a red minute track with curved signature. dial.png
 

Dbailey

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Yes, Dr. Jon...that is another rare example of a SS 19J made in the first year with a diamond endstone...I'm waiting for someone to say/show they have a 19J with a diamond endstone made after the first year of 1913...I guess you know that case and dial aren't era correct for that movement as a high pendant case and straight line "ILLINOIS" would be right
 
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terry hall

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Terry,

Can you post pictures of the dial & movement?

Thanks,

Richard
I've STILL not 'mastered' this camera but first time i have picked it up in a while...

I''m pretty certain I put this dial on.... but so be it... I like it.
IMG_3647.JPG IMG_3648.JPG IMG_3649.JPG
 

Dbailey

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Nice Terry...one of mine is serial #2757175...just three watches before yours
 

Dr. Jon

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I looked into my example with the later dial and case. For the foreseeable future I am leaving it as it is and not attempting to make is "authentic". According to Meggers, my example, in post 28, has a movement from 1913 and a case that was patented in 1926 and a later dial. Meggers research was that some Sangamo Specials were sold uncased until 1920, so my movement probably went out uncased.

It may not have been sold until this style case was in vogue or was the new thing. It is also possible that when putting in in an up to date case, the jobber updated the dial and hands.

Another possibility is that the original owner had the dial and case replaced.

These two possibilities are at least as credible as later switching, especially since I bought it at an auction with much less competition than I expected (possibly because the smart bidders knew more than I about the case and dial mismatch). Also a switcher would have gotten the case and dial right since I bought it well after the illinois and Sangamo books were published.

All in all I believe it more likely that this is how the original owner had the watch, than that it has been switched recently. I am not going to switch it now.
 
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Dbailey

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Every collector has his or her reason for collecting, what they collect and what they do with the watches after they collect. I was initially attracted to the idea of owning vintage pocket watches that looked new, so condition was the number one priority from the beginning. I still want the watches that go in my collection to look like new old stock. Of course, most don't look like they've been in a drawer since their production when they are bought. Virtually all of mine have required repair or replacement of parts, new glass crystals, etc. I often have to change cases, dials and hands, not only to make them look better, but to make them look, as much as possible, like they did when they were new. I have them professionally polished, serviced and timed. I know that polishing the scratches out of cases to make them look new is controversial among watch collectors, but to have them looking as new and as era correct as possible has always been my motivation. It's an indulgence that costs me money and in most cases I lose money when I sell any of them, but I don't care. It's my hobby and one can't always expect that their hobby be income producing.
 
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Dr. Jon

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This hobby has many points of view and some very knowledgeable people favor making an item look like it did when it was new.

My view is that railroad watches were tools and that the dings scratches and blemishes they pick up i course of work are teh hallmarks of a successful working life. This is not universal even for railroad watches, specifically when examples turn up that are evidently new old stock, but the appeal to me of railraod watches is that they working tools, the first "tool watches". I do have an exception, a watch railroad with all of its original packaging and unworn that runs probably as it left the factory, but for my collection its a one of.

As such the deserve service if they are to be run frequently or show signs of recent mischief.

The Sangamo Specials are more complex class. These were top of the line watches. They were probably bought by supervisors who rarely their hands dirty. I expect these to be in very fine condition and restoring them is more likely undoing abuse by later owners.
 

rjb13

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Here is my 1914 SS with 23 jewels, and diamond endstone. The watch is in my safe so i will take new closeup shots, but this is an old picture i took years ago. I know its rather worthless for looking at the movement details because its not a closeup. But here is the details.... 23 jewel, true bridge, model 9, 1914 production, fish scale demaskeen, yellow gilt lettering, and diamond endstone on balance. The crack is on the crystal, not the dial, and has since been replaced. My father bought it at a flea market in Dayton, Ohio, while he was in training for working at National Cash Register in the 1950s. He wasnt a "watch guy", but was obsessed with trains, and wanted a railroad watch, and he chose very wisely for not having a clue what he was buying. It was given to me a few years ago for my 37th birthday, and started my very expensive journey of collecting. The hands and dial are original (and possibly the case).
 
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Dbailey

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Nice! Like one reply said, the demaskeen is called "crosshatch" not fishscale. It looks to be all original and with that serial number, likely has a diamond endstone. I collect model 9 Sangamo Specials...they are my favorites!
 

rjb13

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Geez, didnt know everyone would be so picky on demaskeen names. Ill refrain from posting in the future.
 

Dbailey

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no offense intended...many of us here want to learn what we don't know about watches/clocks and being corrected when we write something that is not factual is one way we learn...in this case there is a big difference between fishscale and crosshatch and members and guests here need to know which is which...please continue to post!
 

musicguy

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Geez, didnt know everyone would be so picky on demaskeen names.
Yea they are picky................... but the comments above were never intended to slight you
or insult your intelligence in any way. This is a educational forum where the names of any particular
part or design component (especially a high grade collectable watch such as yours)
are important to the collectors who post here. It may seem strange but "demaskeen names" are very important
to distinguish between rare, uncommon or scarce varieties that exist.

Thanks for posting your nice watch!

Rob
 

rjb13

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Yea they are picky................... but the comments above were never intended to slight you
or insult your intelligence in any way. This is a educational forum where the names of any particular
part or design component (especially a high grade collectable watch such as yours)
are important to the collectors who post here. It may seem strange but "demaskeen names" are very important
to distinguish between rare, uncommon or scarce varieties that exist.

Thanks for posting your nice watch!

Rob

Im a first time poster and new collector. Out of the whole story i posted about the watch and how personal it was to me, the only responses i get out of the whole paragraph was corrections to silly minutiae about cheezy demaskeen names. Its not why i collect, and frankly its off putting, so i wont be returning. I see why the hobby is dying though. Anyway, thanks for the "education", and good luck!
 

musicguy

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John Cote

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Im a first time poster and new collector. Out of the whole story i posted about the watch and how personal it was to me, the only responses i get out of the whole paragraph was corrections to silly minutiae about cheezy demaskeen names. Its not why i collect, and frankly its off putting, so i wont be returning. I see why the hobby is dying though. Anyway, thanks for the "education", and good luck!
Frankly, I don't get it. I think it is obvious that nobody here was giving you a hard time. There is a slight difference between Crosshatch and Fishscale. It is something that even the experts confuse. We are all sorry you took offense but I can assure you that no offense was intended.
 

Dr. Jon

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A bit of an explanation:

American watch collectors deal with a lot of watches that are superficially similar. They usually have the same layout and frequently parts are interchangeable between many models.

Physical features such as the position of a number or an inscription on a plate that are very superficial can make enormous differences in value. Many spend years looking for one variant .

This is especially true in the community of Illinois watches and even more so with Bunn Specials and Sangamo Specials. There is large book on Bunn Specials that explains all of these details that runs to over 350 pages. There is similar amount of material on Sangamo Specials but not as slickly compiled and bound. This is counter intuitive because the Sangamo was the better model.

You have one of the premier "Holy Grail" watches. Yours is very high quality and fairly rare. Those who have explained these minutiae did so so you to be able to describe to a very discerning community. They are very detail oriented but have no ill intentions.

We are far more interested in recruiting than showing off.
 

terry hall

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Those who have explained these minutiae did so so you to be able to describe to a very discerning community. They are very detail oriented but have no ill intentions.
i'd agree, it also pays homage to those that have passed before us and spent untold hours of research determining the minutiae... and If YOU use correct terminology, it helps you save face... and we'll overlook the cheezy insult.....

I've been looking for your image of your watch, but it is not appearing here for me.... Me likee the Sangamo Special model 9's and they are a part of my accumulation.
 
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ben_hutcherson

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21j DES Sangamo Special. I guess I didn't realize how low production these were. I bought this one from Fred at the old Louisville regional maybe 2012 or so-just knew it was a watch that caught my attention.

Somewhere along the way it lost a roller jewel and it's been sitting on my bench for WAY too long waiting for me to replace it.

IMG_2943.jpg
 

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