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American After 1900 Seeking information on an AW Waltham / Illinois Watch Case pocket watch

ZR WON

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Jul 26, 2021
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Good afternoon all:

First time poster, long time fan of all things associated with timekeeping. Over the weekend, I was going through one of my watch boxes, and came across an old pocket watch that belonged to my Grandfather (non-functioning). I've often wanted to get it working again, but just one of those things, finding the 'time' to do it (hahaha).

I removed the back yesterday, am somewhat perplexed with what I saw, and hoping someone with more knowledge could possibly provide some insight. As you will see from the attached photos, it appears the *case* it that of a Illinois Watch Case Company, but the movement is a 17 Jewel AW Waltham. I know this watch has not been touched since the 60s, possibly even the 50s. With that being typed, my grandfather's Family was not one of high means, as such, it would not surprise me if, when he purchased (I'm guessing just after WWII), it was 'pieced together.' Not having a lot of insight on pocket watches, I would surmise a company might have made a case for a movement maker (this was the case in the late 17- early 1800s tall case clocks), again, just trying to find some history. Monetary value is almost certainly low, it's far more valuable for sentimental reasons.

Thanks, and I appreciate any and all information this valuable forum can provide.

Brian A.

64900150672__13430E7D-7A6C-4B7B-83E3-DEE9E56453F1.jpg 64900156517__6AB1F6C3-F09B-40EE-8463-FCD76F16C635.jpg 64900170395__E03892E3-9B84-4E7C-B714-A866605191E5.jpg IMG_7433.PNG IMG_7435.jpg
 
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Rick Hufnagel

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Hi Brian and welcome!

Your watch was made in the late 1920s. This watch, at the time of sale, could have been in any sort of case the purchaser wanted. The movement was sold separately from the case. There are no extra screw marks from other movements, and the case looks correct for it's age. There is no reason (in my opinion) to think it hasn't been a match since it's first sale.

The purchaser could have picked out the movement and the case, then the jeweler would pair them together. Alternatively any wholesaler, jobber or catalog could have put them together for sale. It did not come factory cased.

For not being of high means, they picked out a good movement and case. This watch is fully jeweled, and the gold filled case is a little higher quality than average.

Illinois watch case co

This link to an encyclopedia article should give you some insight on the case.
 
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ZR WON

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Thank you Rick!

Well, 'Granddaddy' did have good taste, always took very good care of his things. The back of the case has his name and relatively ornate. From what I can understand, the 'gold filled' means it isn't solid gold, the 'doublestock' (might) mean that it has two layers of 10K gold and another metal underneath? I believe 'giant' is the size of case, is that correct? In looking at the movement (I'm no watch repair expert, but pretty mechanically inclined), it would appear a spring that moves the gear for the second hand (apologies for not knowing the appropriate term for that) is broken. Is there someone reputable who could potentially repair it? I'm in Central Indiana, and would prefer not to ship it, given the sentimental value. Thanks again for the prompt reply, would be great to get it running again!

Brian A.
 
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Rick Hufnagel

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Hi Brian.

At the time your watch case was made, I believe Giant was a grade name. It's a little hazy for me to understand the Elgin Giant/Illinois Watch Case Co mess.

Gold filled means that the case is made from a material with brass center and layers of gold on each side. Double stock probably means the gold is a bit heavier than some of their other grades. It doesn't really have a definite meaning, unfortunately. It's a nice case.

Your watch has been hanging around for an age and probably just needs a good service. Old oil dries up, dust and dirt e t ect... It all comes together and stops the watch. Mechanical watches need periodic maintenance to clean and lubricate everything properly. Luckily parts for this Waltham are readily available if it requires any. I'm sure someone can recommend a watchmaker near you.
 
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musicguy

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Hi Brian and welcome to the NAWCC forum!!

Rob
 

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Hi Brian.

At the time your watch case was made, I believe Giant was a grade name. It's a little hazy for me to understand the Elgin Giant/Illinois Watch Case Co mess.

Gold filled means that the case is made from a material with brass center and layers of gold on each side. Double stock probably means the gold is a bit heavier than some of their other grades. It doesn't really have a definite meaning, unfortunately. It's a nice case.

Your watch has been hanging around for an age and probably just needs a good service. Old oil dries up, dust and dirt e t ect... It all comes together and stops the watch. Mechanical watches need periodic maintenance to clean and lubricate everything properly. Luckily parts for this Waltham are readily available if it requires any. I'm sure someone can recommend a watchmaker near you.
The dial also confirms the date.
 

ZR WON

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Jul 26, 2021
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Good morning all!

Thanks for the responses, would anyone have a recommendation for a watchmaker to repair this special (to me) piece somewhere in or near Indiana? Understandably I don't really want to ship it, but many of the 'high end' jewelers in the state pretty much turn their nose up at this piece (they aren't in the business of repairing old watches, to be fair). Seems to me this would need to go to a specialist in older movements, one who might have spare parts to get this functioning yet again.

Brian A.
 

musicguy

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Understandably I don't really want to ship it,
When I need work repair done(that I can't or don't want to do) I always ship it out in a USPS priority
flat rate box wrapped well in bubble wrap, I have never had
any real problems. During the height of Covid last year
the mail was a bit slow but still got there. If you want a few
different referrals send me a Private Conversation and I will
provide a few people who do good work and only work on
pocket watches.


Rob
 

musicguy

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(as requested)Watchmaker information sent to you. :)




Rob
 

ZR WON

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Jul 26, 2021
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Thanks Rob!

Brian A.
 

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