Chapter Outlines

Illinois Watches,Hamilton Watches,Collectors watches,handmade,premium

Chapter 1 History

History of the Illinois Watch Company from its organization in 1869 until its sale

Factory construction and expansion over its life

Production commencement

Wall Street Panic of 1873

Rise of the Bunn family

Bunn family history

Astronomical Observatory construction

History of the Sangamo Electric Company

Watch company management

Sale of the company to the Hamilton Watch Company

Sale of its bricks and mortar

Chapter 2 The Strap Watch

The transition from the pocket to the wrist

Advent of “modern” warfare

Reluctant male acceptance

How early wristwatches were marketed

Chapter 3 Loyalty and Efficient Service

Watch Factory working conditions

Role of female employees in the factory

Employee interviews

Employee benefits

Company newsletter

Employee amenities and extracurricular activities

Watch Factory Band

Employee turnover

Employee reunion and 30 Year Club

Orders and Shipping Department

Chapter 4 Movements

How all Illinois pocket and wristwatch movements were constructed, by major steps

The balance



The escapement


The train

Intellectual property

Screws and Parts

Material Price Lists for all movements

Genuine Material


Detailed production records, quantities and dates movements were produced for all 3/0, 6/0.12/0, 18/0 and 21/0 size watch movements.

The wristwatch model each movement was cased in

Jobbers Material Price List

Private label movements

Pictures of Illinois factory employees performing the actual process being described in many instances.

Chapter 5 Dials

Porcelain dial making with pictures of the actual process being performed in the Watch Factory.

The Ottawa Society of the Living Dead

The radium lady dial painters – the tragic saga of the country’s first major industrial health hazard.

Pantograph and master dial plates

Factory catalog dial numbers

Dial shapes

Sundry dial features relating to dial blanks, feet, date stamps, subsidiary seconds, butler centers, gold tone, and more….

Custom dials

Private label dials

Dial numerals

Dial boxes

Prototype dials

Cleaning dials

Chapter 6 Case Makers and Cases

History of each watch case maker used by Illinois

The Keystone Watch Case Company

The Wadsworth Watch Case Company

The FAHYS Watch Case Company

The Solidarity Watch Case Company

  1. Milhening, Inc.

Pioneer Watch Case Company

Case model numbers for each factory-cased wristwatch for men’s and lady’s models

An Illinois Watch Factory List of all Factory-Cased Illinois watches dated December 1, 1932 for pocket and wristwatches. Officially issued by the Illinois Watch Company’s Materials Department.

A list of 36 names of Illinois wristwatches that have yet to be identified from that list!

Case design information

Case production quantities

Case information related to common case parts, matching serial numbers, common case colors, solid gold cases, 10K gold-filled cases, base metal ones, green cases, two tone cases, white only cases, case durability.

Chapter 7 Wristwatch Identification Guide

A huge compilation of information for each known wristwatch from the Illinois Watch Company.

Each watch has a matrix of data pertaining to its:

  • Name or names is was known as
  • Time Period it was issued
  • Case Color variations offered for sale
  • Karat/Material
  • Whether the bezel was engraved, plain, molded, etc.
  • Sides engraved or plain
  • Lug Size
  • Spring Bar Male or Female
  • Case Maker
  • Case Pieces
  • Case #
  • Dimensions
  • Durability
  • Movement Size
  • Movement Grade/Jewels
  • Subs at
  • Dial No.
  • Numeral Styles ,radium, painted, etched , applied gold numerals, etc.
  • Hands Type, radium or steel
  • Whether Cased in the Factory
  • Collectibility
  • Rarity
  • Whether it was advertised or not
  • Retail Price When New
  • Production Date
  • Whether it had a Unique Case Design
  • Whether it had a Unique Dial Design

There is a color picture of every men’s wristwatch in virtually every configuration as well as a color picture of every lady’s Illinois wristwatch that I could locate for this book.

Every watch has a complete narrative concerning its salient features, along with how it was advertised and copies of the advertisements for many watches.

“Fantastic Finds”

Dozens of “Fantastic Finds” from collectors and dealers describing how various models were found in unusual locations or at exceptionally good prices.

Design Patents

Several design patents for watch cases are included.

Chapter 8 Ephemera, Memorabilia & Miscellany

Dozens of images of items concerning advertising, advertisements, brochures, shipping containers, instruments, posters, correspondence, and related material primarily prepared by and for the Illinois Watch Company to help build, promote, and distribute its watches. Most applicable to both wrist and pocket watches.

Chapter 9 Values

Complete Value Guide – there is a price range for every watch in every known configuration.

Chapter 10 Notes

Footnotes for all the prior chapters.


Fourteen different appendices from the History of the Sangamo Electric Company, to movement parts price lists to Factory Dial Numbers and dial numerals utilized on each watch.

Historical Timelines

The first six chapters are tied to Historical Timelines that connect Factory events to contemporaneous world events and new product releases outside the world of watches.

PLEASE NOTE: Most of the information in this book with the exception of the Identification Guide is applicable to pocket watches as well.