Home Forums General Discussion Forum Balance Jewel Loose – Illinois 16S

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      Illinois 16S grade 305 Serial 3008912

      Balance pivots in this watch are bent. Upon close inspection I notice that the upper balance hole jewel is loose.
      Not sure how this jewel is set. The jewel setting screws are on the underside of the balance cock. They appear
      secure. The oil well in the upper jewel looks very large to me. Have attached pics of the lower jewel as well.
      Any advice??



        To clarify – when I say that the jewel is loose – I am referring specifically to the stone. The brass setting
        setting is stable, but I can move the actual jewel around with a peg. It “wobbles” pretty easily.
        I have a suspicion that the jewel was replaced with one of an incorrect size.

        chris mabbott

          Hey Stu,

          Unfortunately your watch has been hacked, by a botchmaker, and it looks to me, although I’m seeing the pics over a mobile, that the damage is irreversible!

          For one, no American big 5 watch from this period have the balance jewel screws on the underside, always on top.
          Secondly, it seems that someone has altered the whole jewel mounting method on the upper side of the cock..

          This style of mounting is European which makes me wonder if this was in England during WW1 and was repaired there? Could well be because thousands of Americans volunteered to fight years before the US “officially” entered the conflagration.

          I think your best bets here are…

          1. Find a scrap movement with a good balance cock and replace this one..

          2. Try to repair the hack.

          3. Leave it as is and try to secure the loose jewel and change the balance staff.

          4. Keep this movement for parts.

          For me the only viable repair is #1. Reason… Even though you are introducing a none original part, you are still keeping the movements originally intended operating functionality to specs..

          If you choose 2-3 it’s basically a botched watch and your resale will reflect this and should be stated IF resold..

          Here is a link to how your watch should appear, notice that ALL the examples shown have the screws top down securing the cap jewel…



            Ugh – was afraid you’d say something like that. I was hoping for something like: “Illinois made 2 prototype movements with an alternate balance jewel configuration. They are extremely rare and you were lucky enough to find one”… But alas, it is not to be. I do agree with your suggestions though. It might be a good learning experience to attempt
            to repair the hack, and I can still do that on the side, but I agree that looking for a replacement is the best thing to do for the watch itself.



              Started looking for a scrap movement, and look what turns up:

              Take a look at the pics — looks like it’s got the bottom-up jewel mounting as well!

              chris mabbott

                Stu, you’re right, it looks exactly the same as yours, which leaves me a bit puzzled because I’ve never seen this config on these models, I have two 305s which are top screwed.. 😮
                I’m away until next week so I can’t check the Illinois book, maybe someone can have a look, now I’m curious 😆
                Let me try and email one of my buddies to see what he can come up with…


                  Thanks – let me know if you discover anything. I appreciate it.

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