General Funston Illinois Case w/ Original Strap & Compass!

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Literustyfan
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General Funston Illinois Case w/ Original Strap & Compass!

#1 Post by Literustyfan » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:34 am

Hey guys!

I have FINALLY obtained something that I have always wanted!

I have been searching for this for the better part of the last decade.

Pictured below is a 1918 WWI General Funston Trench Watch Case with swivel lugs that was made by the Illinois Watch Case Company in Elgin.

This is the more desirable model as the case is "semi-hermetic" and it's the bigger size 0s version.

Here is the kicker.................

This case still has the flared end of the original factory leather strap featuring the original factory compass that was sewn into the leather!

The other end of the strap was missing, but I just happen to have one that I have been hording for many years that has the exact same color and aging to it.\

The buckle was missing from the flared end of the original strap but I just happen to have that component too.

All of the pieces that make this strap possible are now all together!!!!!

The "named" Illinois Watch Case Company cases advertisement came out on September 5, 1917.

This advert gave us the names Admiral Evans, General Joffre, Admiral Benson and General Funston.

If you study the adverts from the IWCCo the leather straps in 1917 did NOT have the compass or the sweetheart picture options, this options did not show up until 1918 on the straps.

This original leather strap has definitely seen better days, the leather is brittle and torn, as of right now it is a "show piece" only.

But, I think I am going to move heaven and earth and find a leather smith that can make me an identical pigskin leather strap using the original IWCCo buckle.

I will of course have him/her transfer the original IWCCo compass over to the new leather strap, seems easy enough just punch a large hole for the compass and sew it all together.

But, with the good comes the bad sometimes and this is one of those times..................

Somebody in their infinite wisdom thought that it would be a great idea to take a case opener to a semi-hermetic General Funston case and try to crank it open ! ! ! ! !

From the pictures you can see what they did, almost makes me want to cry!!!!

Semi-hermetic General Funston cases and VERY hard to come by these days!

If you do not know what you are doing for the love of God DON'T try to open a watch case ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

The seller actually stated in the auction that the case "will need an adjustment".

"Need an adjustment"? More like the case has been completely destroyed by some moron who did not have a clue ! ! ! ! !

The crown, stem, sleeve can be salvaged for another Illinois case, the swivel lugs can also be salvaged, they are always in demand for other projects.

The compass is STILL in PERFECT working order too, pretty amazing ! ! ! ! ! ! !

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Author of "Elgin Trench Watches of The Great War"

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Re: General Funston Illinois Case w/ Original Strap & Compass!

#2 Post by Literustyfan » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:00 am

The stitching on the flared end of the original leather strap has disintegrated.

So, I was able to simply pull the two pieces of the strap apart a bit and remove the compass with ease.

It came out fully in-tact!!!

It will also go right back in, it has not been destroyed.

Now I just need to find a leather smith that can make me another identical strap and install the original components so it can be worn once again.

Once done it will be correct for any Evans, Funston, Joffre or Benson case from the Illinois Watch Case Company.
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http://www.LRFAntiqueWatches.com

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Re: General Funston Illinois Case w/ Original Strap & Compass!

#3 Post by GLADIATOR » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:13 am

Still a SUPER find
Its a Museum piece and should go in the collection - The History of the Wristwatch
Best
a
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Re: General Funston Illinois Case w/ Original Strap & Compass!

#4 Post by GJH » Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:01 am

AMAZING FIND Stan!!!

I have only seen them in ads and this is the first one in the flesh.

It is Museum stuff for sure!

Another Stan find for sure... WOW!

It always amazes me the stupidity of folks who get their hands on watches...
If things aren't opening easily, YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG MORON!!!

This has happened over the years to SO many Illinois Skyway cases and that is why they are so hard
to find. Fred and I have seen holes drilled in the back of them to get them off, UGH!

Congrats on the band!

G
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Re: General Funston Illinois Case w/ Original Strap & Compass!

#5 Post by Literustyfan » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:41 am

RIGHT!

You can see where somebody tried to open the case with a screwdriver and a hammer just whacking the hell out of it.

If you don't know how to do it just ASK SOMEBODY ! ! ! ! !
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Re: General Funston Illinois Case w/ Original Strap & Compass!

#6 Post by GLADIATOR » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:52 am

Literustyfan wrote:
Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:41 am
RIGHT!

You can see where somebody tried to open the case with a screwdriver and a hammer just whacking the hell out of it.

If you don't know how to do it just ASK SOMEBODY ! ! ! ! !
Who will probably loan you the hammer.
Its called "The Blind Leading The Blind"
This is how we repaired clocks, so wristwatches MUST be taught the same!
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Re: General Funston Illinois Case w/ Original Strap & Compass!

#7 Post by HandyDan » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:20 am

Stupid question probably - but how do you properly open the case?
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Re: General Funston Illinois Case w/ Original Strap & Compass!

#8 Post by GLADIATOR » Mon Aug 14, 2017 11:30 am

It unscrews!!
Its not friction fit
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