Off Duty

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randy van
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Off Duty

#1 Post by randy van » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:53 am

One of my favorite watches, the Off Duty, was according to "The Illinois Watch, The Life and Times of a Great American Watch Company", by Fredric Friedberg, intended to be worn by railroad men in conjunction with their Bunn Special Railroad Watch. Here is a picture of my Off Duty, along with my Bunn Special. The Off Duty dial is obviously intended to be similar to a railroad watch dial.

Image

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watchdoc
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Re: Off Duty

#2 Post by watchdoc » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:34 pm

Real sharp!!! :mrgreen:
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semroc
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Re: Off Duty

#3 Post by semroc » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:47 pm

Very nice. That case is epic on that off duty.

mrcardigan
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Re: Off Duty

#4 Post by mrcardigan » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:05 pm

Lovely watches.

Interesting how the numerals are pretty much identical apart from the 4,7 and 8 which are completely different! I wonder why?

Andy C

Findingtime
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Re: Off Duty

#5 Post by Findingtime » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:54 pm

Very nice! Thanks for sharing!

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GJH
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Re: Off Duty

#6 Post by GJH » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:02 pm

Super Randy!

For all the new folks... (a brief "general" history)
Railroad grade Pocket Watches were used by conductors due to crashes caused
by trains that were "off schedule."
Many lines were single line tracks and if 2 trains were sharing a track in different directions and
the schedule was off, you can imagine the results.
These hyper-accurate pocket watches were only able to be set by
Railroad Approved time setters and rail men were forbidden to use a
non-approved watch to tell the time. Wrist watches were almost unheard of
to be Railroad Approved (Help me with this one folks)
Anyway, Illinois marketed this "Off-Duty" to be worn when the rail folks
were just being regular citizens and not on the job. The font was very similar and
the familiarity would be nice... (makes sense)

Anyway,
These "Star" cases were marketed to different groups of travelers.
Skyway (pilots/air)
Greyhound (bus)
Motor Coach (bus)
Off-Duty (train folks)

Fred is going to go into much more detail in his new book and some very
rare photos are going to be shown of all the examples.

So nice to see one of these posted on the forum.

These cases were a screwback and bezel and SO many were destroyed by repair
folks who pried them open and destroyed the cases.
Surviving examples are extremely hard to come by.

G
Moderator Illinois Watch Forum
Still, Just living in Rick's world...

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vintagehamiltons
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Re: Off Duty

#7 Post by vintagehamiltons » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:10 pm

IMO, the bezel is screaming to be enameled similar to a Hamilton Piping Rock or Coronado. The stars would really pop.
Tom Diss
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randy van
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Re: Off Duty

#8 Post by randy van » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:19 pm

Thanks for the details, Greg. You brought up something I had never thought of before. The bezel and back of the Off Duty are a screw-off/on design, unusual for wristwatches of the day. The bezel and back of the Bunn Special are also screw-off/on design. This kept the user from adjusting the time, critical so that the time would be properly regulated. Maybe the Off Duty screw back design was intended, or maybe inspired, to be the same as the pocket watch. (?)

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GJH
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Re: Off Duty

#9 Post by GJH » Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:27 pm

vintagehamiltons wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:10 pm
IMO, the bezel is screaming to be enameled similar to a Hamilton Piping Rock or Coronado. The stars would really pop.
Fascinating you should say this Tom... I found an example of this case and
my watchmaker said the same thing. The case was almost in a raw state and he thinks
that there may have been enamel in it at one time.
Could you imagine how cool this would be?!?
randy van wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:19 pm
Thanks for the details, Greg. You brought up something I had never thought of before. The bezel and back of the Off Duty are a screw-off/on design, unusual for wristwatches of the day. The bezel and back of the Bunn Special are also screw-off/on design. This kept the user from adjusting the time, critical so that the time would be properly regulated. Maybe the Off Duty screw back design was intended, or maybe inspired, to be the same as the pocket watch. (?)
This was SO confusing to watchmakers that they literally drilled holes into cases to
try to get them off. Someone forgot the "Screwback" memo.
This design would totally make sense and keep elements out easier.
Moderator Illinois Watch Forum
Still, Just living in Rick's world...

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