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.
This particular Illinois is quite handsome. It is a 12 size, 17 jewel (adjusted nickel movement), Art Deco watch housed in a chrome open face case that is beautifully engraved on the case bezel, bow, and back edge with a great looking Deco design on the back. There is a cartouche that is un-engraved and awaiting your family initials. It has a tick glass crystal that protects the silvered dial. At the 6 o'clock position there is a large seconds bit and all three blued steel hands have pierced ends. All-in-all this is a wonderful watch in great running condition that can be yours. If you are longing for a very accurate, high-grade, everyday pocket 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.