Illinois Watch Case Co.

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  • #49558
    gary drainville
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    A bit of an observation here with an Elgin pocket watch I purchased. The case of the watch has Illinois Watch Case Co. – did Elgin use them for cases or would this be from an Illinois watch?

    #62569
    stevefitzwater
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    Back in the day, most pocket watches came to the jeweler sans case, then the client would come in, select the movement, then select his case. But then again, it could of been switch, check the area around the edge of the watch where the case screws are, and the case, normally you can tell if they have been removed by wear marks or scratches…

    #62570
    gary drainville
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    Thanks Steve, that’s interesting. The part that has the Illinois mark on it is the back which screws off so there are no marks or scratches – this is one bit of information I’m going to keep in mind. Right now I’m like a sponge because almost everything I’m reading is new to me.

    On another note, my wife wanted the watch on the night stand as she loves the ticking! And we all know about what a happy wife means! lol

    #62571
    randy
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    Hello Gary.
    The screw marks my fellow horologist Steve is referring to, would be on the lip of the case body, not the case back.

    Normally you have two long screws at the edge of the movement that hold it nice at snug into the frame. If your case has had more than one movement in it, you will usually see two sets of circular marks on the frame where the screws bit into the soft metal. If there is only one set of marks, then your watch and case are ” original partners “.

    Best

    Randy

    #62572
    gary drainville
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    Ah yes, thanks Randy – there isn’t a second set of marks so it looks to be original Thanks again

    #62573
    gary drainville
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    I found some good information about Elgin and Illinois casebacks at http://elginwatches.org/help/serial_number_info.html. The website refers to the inside of a watch case made by the Illinois Watch Case Co. of Elgin Illinois and the website states the following about serial numbers on the caseback:

    “The reason that the movement and case serial numbers are unrelated is because up until the 1920’s, almost all American watches were sold separately from the watch cases. People would go to the local jewelry store, pick out a watch movement that they liked, and then with the money left over, they would pick out a watch case.”

    Lots of stuff to learn! Thanks to everyone for your input.

    Gary

    #62574
    randy
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    You’re welcome Gary.
    There’s a lot of history behind this craft…makes it really interesting !!

    Take care…and welcome to the group !

    Best

    Randy

    #62575
    stevefitzwater
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    • Topics Started: 48
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    apprentice Horologist.. LOL or else I would of described the location of the screw marks correctly.. LOL

    and congrats Gary on getting an original pairing, a rare thing now a days!

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gary drainvilleIllinois Watch Case Co.