This Illinois 16 size open face Pocket Watch is simply spectacular. The 21 jewel movement is unsurpassed for this era and the "Bunn Special" iterations are some of the most desirable Railroad watches ever made! The case is yellow gold filled and is what is called a "Railroad" case with a non-pull out, fancy bow. These cases were designed to have a screw back & screw bezel thereby preventing dust and debris from entering the movement. The user would simply unscrew the front bezel to access the lever for setting, and, if he wanted to see the movement he would unscrew the back of the case. When you take a look at the"Zoom-In" photos of the movement you can see that it is as clean as the proverbial whistle. Our master watchmakers have it timed to within an inch of its life and it is performing like new. Make sure you notice the interesting damaskeening pattern on the plates. Pride of workmanship is everywhere on this watch. The double sunk, porcelain dial is a spectacular "Montgomery Dial" displaying red numeral 5 minute indicators and well as all the minutes in an hour. Railroad watches were the most accurate watches of their time and they rival many mechanicals made today. This particular "Bunn Special" was made circa 1925 and was well cared for over the years. When you take a gander at the "Zoom-In" photos you will see what we mean...it is beautiful! The sixty hour designation means that it has a full 30 power reserve (twice the normal mainspring). The movement is a 3/4 plate nickel killer that has gold jewel cups and a gold center wheel. It is a double roller with a motor barrel, micrometric regulator, and is adjusted to temperature and 6 positions. It is all housed in a 10K yellow gold filled railroad case that is marked "Bunn Special Model" just as it should be.
The Illinois Watch Company had its beginnings in several other incarnations starting in December of 1870 at Springfield, Illinois. The two founders were John Whitfield Bunn and John C. Adams. They started the Springfield Watch Company by attracting several other investors until they had amassed the princely sum of $100,000.00 which in those days was no small task. William B. Miller was to be their first secretary as they started production and a journey over what was to be a bumpy financial road. By 1877, after some difficulty, the company was reorganized and renamed the Illinois Springfield Watch Company and Erastus Newton Bates was chosen to lead them out of the financial difficulties they had encountered, but by July of 1878 they were once again faced with a re-organization and the named changed once again to the Illinois Watch Company, the final iteration that we know today. The chief executive was Jacob Bunn Sr. (1814-1897) and he was an all round entrepreneur with his fingers in finance, newspapers, land development, coal, banking, railroads, wholesale groceries, politics and even the manufacture of rope. The Bunn brothers, John & Jacob, were close friends with Abraham Lincoln and whose political career was financed and managed by them. The growth of the enterprise grew steadily from this point on under the management of the Bunn brothers. The fortunes of the company were starting to rise and by 1880 they had over 400 employees up from 260 in 1879, and ultimately 1200 at their apex. Production was up as well from 33,285 in 1879 to 47,065 by 1880. Just ten years later they could boast offices in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. With the advent of the Railroad Commission, in 1893, Illinois became one of the leading forces behind the design and manufacture of the highly accurate railroad timepieces that became world standards for accuracy and reliability. If you are longing for a very accurate, high-grade, railroad watch then this may be the one for you. It is fully restored and warrantied for a year for parts and labor so that you may buy with confidence.