Illinois pocket watch 'The Delux'

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jjpietro
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Illinois pocket watch 'The Delux'

#1 Post by jjpietro » Thu Dec 08, 2016 5:10 pm

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This is a pocket watch my Grandfather had, he was a watchmaker and did work on the side for neighbors. I have this watch which has Illinois on the face. on the back, opened, it shows the model as 'The Delux". Based on the serial number I believe this was made in 1923? the crystal is yellowed plastic? and I don't know if this is original.
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Any information would be greatly appreciated as I can not find anything specific to 'The Delux". The serial # is 4148830. Basically is it worth it to have this watch cleaned etc?
Thanks

Magpie
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Re: Illinois pocket watch 'The Delux'

#2 Post by Magpie » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:06 pm

Your date of 1923 is likely pretty accurate (a database I have shows 1922, but that may or may not be any more exact). The watch is 12 size, a "gentleman's pocket watch," as that graceful size was often called. As for the name "The Deluxe" on the movement, that is an example of what is known as a private label -- many jewelers that sold Illinois watches had Illinois put special names, unique to the particular jeweler, on the movement of the watch and/or on the dial. Because so many jewelers carried Illinois, there are thousands of such private labels, many of which have been identified as to the particular firm. (As far as I know, The Deluxe unfortunately has yet to be identified.)

I understand that Fred Friedberg's upcoming new book on the Illinois Watch Company will have a large list of Illinois private labels, augmenting the list that was in the Meggers and Ehrhardt book.

mrtoad
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Re: Illinois pocket watch 'The Delux'

#3 Post by mrtoad » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:17 pm

Your watch looks like it has a very good example of an engraved dial; these are popular among collectors. The crystal does look like a plastic one that has aged. It shouldn't be hard to find a replacement either in plastic or in glass.

I like the Illinois 12-size watches; they're very nice to carry. Illinois must have found them popular, too, because they made almost 400,000 of this particular movement between 1911 and 1929, under their own name and many private labels.

I'd certainly think it worth getting serviced and getting a new crystal. A well-made movement like this probably has another century of use in it with a bit of care.

And then, if it's a family watch, it is a good candidate for being kept as an heirloom.

jjpietro
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Re: Illinois pocket watch 'The Delux'

#4 Post by jjpietro » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:27 pm

Magpie wrote:Your date of 1923 is likely pretty accurate (a database I have shows 1922, but that may or may not be any more exact). The watch is 12 size, a "gentleman's pocket watch," as that graceful size was often called. As for the name "The Deluxe" on the movement, that is an example of what is known as a private label -- many jewelers that sold Illinois watches had Illinois put special names, unique to the particular jeweler, on the movement of the watch and/or on the dial. Because so many jewelers carried Illinois, there are thousands of such private labels, many of which have been identified as to the particular firm. (As far as I know, The Deluxe unfortunately has yet to be identified.)

I understand that Fred Friedberg's upcoming new book on the Illinois Watch Company will have a large list of Illinois private labels, augmenting the list that was in the Meggers and Ehrhardt book.

Excellent information and explains why I haven't been able to pin it down. Now makes me think it may have been a private label for some jeweler in Connecticut (where this is from). I greatly appreciate your help, thank you very much!
jj

jjpietro
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:43 pm

Re: Illinois pocket watch 'The Delux'

#5 Post by jjpietro » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:32 pm

mrtoad wrote:Your watch looks like it has a very good example of an engraved dial; these are popular among collectors. The crystal does look like a plastic one that has aged. It shouldn't be hard to find a replacement either in plastic or in glass.

I like the Illinois 12-size watches; they're very nice to carry. Illinois must have found them popular, too, because they made almost 400,000 of this particular movement between 1911 and 1929, under their own name and many private labels.

I'd certainly think it worth getting serviced and getting a new crystal. A well-made movement like this probably has another century of use in it with a bit of care.

And then, if it's a family watch, it is a good candidate for being kept as an heirloom.
Thank you very much for the info. I will have to see if I can locate a glass crystal as I think it would be more appropriate (?)
The dial is interesting, unfortunately it is dirty, so a good cleaning most definitely. The size is great, not bulky at all. I have no idea how this watch came to my grandfather, it was one of dozens he acquired over the years. And it will be kept in the family, as I have a German 8 day walnut wall clock that was his as well.
Thanks again,
jj

mrtoad
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Re: Illinois pocket watch 'The Delux'

#6 Post by mrtoad » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:43 am

My mentor in watch repair always recommended saliva on a tissue as the first step in cleaning dials. A lot of what gets on dials is oil that migrates from the movement, and watch oil is somewhat soluble in saliva.

A second step, which requires removing the dial from the movement, is to rinse it in a good jewelry cleaner like Connoisseur's, which is available in many pharmacies and department stores. However, cleaners have to be used carefully, as they may dissolve the print on the dial if it's not stable.

jjpietro
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Re: Illinois pocket watch 'The Delux'

#7 Post by jjpietro » Fri Dec 09, 2016 8:32 pm

mrtoad wrote:My mentor in watch repair always recommended saliva on a tissue as the first step in cleaning dials. A lot of what gets on dials is oil that migrates from the movement, and watch oil is somewhat soluble in saliva.

A second step, which requires removing the dial from the movement, is to rinse it in a good jewelry cleaner like Connoisseur's, which is available in many pharmacies and department stores. However, cleaners have to be used carefully, as they may dissolve the print on the dial if it's not stable.

My limit of delicate work is at the furniture making level, taking apart a watch isn't something I want to undertake, instead I'll look for a respectable watch repair guy. Thanks again.
jj

jjpietro
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Re: Illinois pocket watch 'The Delux'

#8 Post by jjpietro » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:36 am

To impose a bit further, any explanation for the partial numeral 6 at the bottom of the watch?
And any guesses what value I should insure it for?
Thanks again,
jj

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Illinois281989
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Re: Illinois pocket watch 'The Delux'

#9 Post by Illinois281989 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:25 pm

I would highly recommend only using Burgeon Rodico on the dial if you are going to clean it. Rodico is a green putty that will remove contaminates that have accumulated on the dial. It is used by many a professional. You want to avoid touching the dial and movement with your bare hands. If you do, Rodico can remove the salt and sweat left behind. This salt and sweat, whether on the dial or movement will eventually start to rust the spot touched. Rodico can be found on eBay for around 6 to 10 dollars. Dials are somewhat delicate and you want to take the upmost care when it comes to restoring this watch. If you do go with the Rodico route: Rip a small piece off the roll, remove the watch hands, or move them via the crown, and roll the Rodico gently on the dial back and forth. When the Rodico looks dirty, fold it over in your hands over and over until it looks clean again. Excellent tool used by many in the watch trade. Any mishap on that mint original dial can not be replicated again unless refinished which destroys the originality of the watch. Nice watch and great story behind it! Recommended to take it to professional unless you work on watches yourself.

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

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