Grading can be increased/decreased by adding jewels, damascening or adding levels of adjustment.Much like the model of a car, the model of a watch movement indicates the style of the piece and the level of labor and jeweling that went into the movement.The Illinois Springfield Watch Company was organized in 1869 primarily through the efforts of J. Watches produced under the Burlington name include some very fine (including some railroad grade) watches, which are nearly identical to Illinois movements. There is some question as to whether Burlington was actually a subsidiary of Illinois.While a certain number of jewels are necessary at vital points, an increase beyond this number does not always mean an increase in watch quality.The grade of a movement is the identification of the level of quality to which it is finished, generally reflecting the amount of labor that went into them. By serial number, the first watch made was the "Stuart" model, followed in order by the "Mason," Bunn," "Miller," and finally the "Currier. The early Illinois models were key-wound and key-set and are quite collectible today.
The larger the number, the larger the diameter of the movement.Model names and numbers are used to determine railroad eligibility use and level of construction. Because special tooling and manufacturing techniques are required for each model and grade of movement, mechanisms are produced in groups called “runs.” A run can consist of a hundred or less up to tens of thousands per group.The total run quantity of a model or grade is the complete number assembled before the factory ceased production of that model.There is some relationship to the cost of materials, but the greater cost was the labor to finish and adjust the parts to the precision necessary for good timekeeping and, to a lesser extent, the pleasing appearance of the movement.For cases, the value of the material was a much greater proportion, with some extra labor going into engraved designs.The movement configuration of a watch identifies whether it was manufactured to go in a hunting case – a watch case with a cover that opens when the crown is pushed; or, whether it is designed for use in an open-face case, which has no cover.The setting of a watch movement notes how the hands of the watch are moved to align with the correct time.The numbers used for American watch movement sizing have no correlation to the actual measurement of the piece.Only jewels have a surface hard and perfect enough to allow metal parts to turn unceasingly year after year with a minimum of wear and friction.The Illinois Watch Case Company was a major manufacture in the city of Elgin, Illinois. Click here for an explanation and example of how to use our serial number tables. Click here for instructions on how to identify and open most common case types.It manufactured watch cases under many brands, such as "Elgin Giant," "Elgin Pride," "Tivoli," "Spartan," and "Elgin Commander." The use of the name "Elgin" in their brand names, or marking the cases with "Elgin USA" often leads people to believe that a watch was made by the Elgin National Watch Company when it was actually made by another manufacturer, or to think that a watch no longer has its original case because it is "now in an Elgin case." Be sure to use the serial number on the movement (the works) of the watch. At Renaissance Watch Repair, we are experts in the repair and restoration of Illinois watches.