Illinois Cushion 15j Grade 903 in a Wadsworth 14kgf Case.

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Illinois Cushion 15j Grade 903 in a Wadsworth 14kgf Case.

#1 Post by 441victor » Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:44 pm


This is how it begins. You are a contented vintage collector with a growing number of watches. Trying to narrow your range of interest to keep things manageable. In my case, 7 years of work has resulted in around 400 Elgins (the fastest moving field of vintage research during that period), 100 or so Walthams (cause everyone needs a challenge to keep them humble) and a good number of Hamiltons and Gruens. Illinois was a temptation easily satisfied by an occasional visit to the forum. The requisite drooling over Greg’s latest showcase post and all the gorgeous photos it would elicit from collectors. The knowledge and experience hurdles were high enough to keep me out of the market and I was convinced I could always wait for a better time to tackle them. Besides, opportunities to start a collection were rare. Illinois collectors almost never sold a watch once they got a hold of it and any watch offered by a non-collector was quickly snatched up. A Rick quote from an old Marquis thread: “There was a time when I bought every nice Marquis I saw selling too cheap”. About 3 years ago I started to lose interest to the point of completely avoiding the Illinois forum. Nearly every post had some version of the phrase “I know the answer to your question but I can’t reveal it til after Fred’s new book comes out”. I found it pretty insufferable. So what happened to change all that?


A little over a year ago Fred opened his web site along with a page called “Bargain Buys” and started offering watches for sale from his collection. ... gain-buys/

Now, new collectors had a path into the world of Illinois. The impending publication of his book set promised to significantly lower the pain of that journey. At the same time it had the potential to send the market for Illinois watches into a climb. It was definitely time to readjust my relationship from watcher to wearer. Snooze or lose. This isn’t the first watch from Fred’s collection that I have been honored with but it is the first to pass through the perilous maze I call a workbench.


It is a great example of a 6/0 size Illinois cushion produced in the mid twenties. It comes in a very nice Wadsworth 14k gold filled case. There are small areas of wear at the corners of the bezel. One of the nice features of white gold is its ability to age well and look amazing after 90 years. The dial has also survived beautifully and has exactly the patina and vintage colored lum that you should look for on an original dial. For wrist duty I’ve substituted a stainless steel back from a spare case. This solves the problem of keeping Fred’s inventory sticker safe. It’s tucked away along with the hand written note that he always includes with his watches.


So another USA made brand joins my collection and another forum will see a post or two in the near future. I may not be out-bidding anyone for the next Consul but I do plan on providing some additional competition for Fred’s Bargains and ebay’s parts movements.


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Re: Illinois Cushion 15j Grade 903 in a Wadsworth 14kgf Case.

#2 Post by semroc » Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:45 pm

Very nice. Great dial, and hands.

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Re: Illinois Cushion 15j Grade 903 in a Wadsworth 14kgf Case.

#3 Post by FJF » Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:34 am

What an awesome Post Joel!!

Thanks for posting it.

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Re: Illinois Cushion 15j Grade 903 in a Wadsworth 14kgf Case.

#4 Post by GJH » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:31 pm

Wonderful Joel!
Moderator Illinois Watch Forum
Still, Just living in Rick's world...

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Re: Illinois Cushion 15j Grade 903 in a Wadsworth 14kgf Case.

#5 Post by PedroA » Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:16 pm

Very nice model.

Best regards.

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