Biltmore Chronicles

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Illinois281989
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Biltmore Chronicles

#1 Post by Illinois281989 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:17 pm

While working on the Speedway, I have started on another early 30's Illinois. This Biltmore sports an incorrectly re-finished dial. I am planning on selling this watch once mechanically restored. I find the Biltmore model rather interesting. On top of it's deco styling I have read in the past that this watch was first marketed for women but then for men shortly after, labeling this watch a "unisex" watch for men or women. The Biltmore is a rather small 18/0 piece. I acquired this piece originally to add to the collection but have since decided against it as too small for my wrist. A very striking model though!!!

Aside from the incorrectly re-finished dial, which is in good shape, the watch is all original. Sporting the correct 807A grade movement, this watch just needs a cleaning. If I am correct, the Biltmore movement came in two variations, 807 and 807A? Can anyone confirm this please?

The correct case of this watch is in good shape with normal wear on the lugs and crown and bezel. Original glass crystal which is a plus! I started with a basic strip down. Removing the movement from the case, then the dial, then the balance assembly. These 18/0 size movements sure can be a bear to work on!

Overall, the movement looks to be in good shape. With the balance assembly out of the watch, time for a good cleaning in the Zenith watch cleaning machine!

Jon
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"A Minute of Care is Worth an Hour of Repair" circa 1930.

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Illinois281989
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Re: Biltmore Chronicles

#2 Post by Illinois281989 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:18 pm

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"A Minute of Care is Worth an Hour of Repair" circa 1930.

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GJH
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Re: Biltmore Chronicles

#3 Post by GJH » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:12 pm

Member "Magpie" is a huge fan of the Biltmore and has quite a collection.

Yes, this is a bit of an odd Illinois and the "unisex" aspect is interesting...
I still like though.

It is small on the wrist and hard to believe it was a man's watch at all.

Here are a few of mine...

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afire
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Re: Biltmore Chronicles

#4 Post by afire » Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:24 pm

GJH wrote:Member "Magpie" is a huge fan of the Biltmore and has quite a collection.
She does, including a couple of the Gruen versions. Pretty much identical case dimensions.
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Nookster
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Re: Biltmore Chronicles

#5 Post by Nookster » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:21 am

Love the gloves, but you know the most important time to have them on is while handling the movement.....LOL Just having fun with ya. They all look great.
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mrtoad
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Re: Biltmore Chronicles

#6 Post by mrtoad » Fri Dec 02, 2016 11:49 am

The 807 is the most common series of 18/0 Illinois movements. The original 807 used screw-down chatons for the jewels. The later, and more common, 807A had press-fit jewel mountings. (There is also a later, and fairly uncommon, 807B which is similar to the 807A.) The 807A is correct for this relatively late Illinois model.

More about movements in Fred's forthcoming book!

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Illinois281989
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Re: Biltmore Chronicles

#7 Post by Illinois281989 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:28 pm

Thank you Mr. Toad for the movement insight. I was wondering about the 807 series as their are several different variations. Glad to hear this one is correct for the model!

Nookster, hahaha, agreed! kind of timed that one wrong didn't I. The bare hand holding movement picture was before cleaning. All I have left as of now is to clean the balance assembly, oil the movement and time the watch.

afire, very nice Gruen you have. I have heard before this model and your Gruen model are near copies. I like the Gruen watch company just as much as Illinois, they have a lot of first in the industry back around the turn of the century!

Thanks Rick for example pictures, wish this one I am working on had it's original dial, I like the look of the originals!!!

More to come with pictures soon!

Jon
"A Minute of Care is Worth an Hour of Repair" circa 1930.

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