Watch's origin: American
Number of jewels: 17
Type of Watch: Wrist
Lug Width: 16mm
Dimension: 39mm by 31mm
The Illinois Watch Company is without question one of the jewels in the crown of American Watch Houses. Organized in Springfield, Ill. shortly after the Civil War, the company turned out during its 58-year run some of the most magnificent timepieces ever to come to light in this country. Pocket watches with names such as "Bunn Special," "Sangamo Special" and "Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire" and wristwatches such as the "Piccadilly," "Marquis" and "Speedway" — all went from innovation, to wide reception to legend. Illinois was farsighted enough to be one of the first American manufacturers to chase the then-silly idea of marketing a wristlet – or wrist watch – for men (!) Having made "convertible wristlets" for women, which could be used as a pendant, hung from a pin or worn with a cord or chain around the wrist, Illinois saw the rabid reception that wristlets received during WWI and felt the time had come for expanded wristwatch manufacture.
Illinois Watch Company, known for their obsessive attention to detail, produced watches that were exciting, elegant, and extraordinarily well-crafted. Today these watches are prized by collectors and designers for their look and reliability.
Magnificence has many forms, one of which is this WWI era Illinois wristlet watch in fixed-lug case with original patina. We cannot overstate the beauty of this 39mm by 31mm watch, from its stunning, correctly restored black dial with oversized "boxcar" numerals and "stained-glass" hands to its wonderful fixed lug case. This timepiece represents the first wave of men's "wristlet" watches — later the wristwatch — coming from WWI era Europe.
This work of military wrist-art sports a gorgeous, beefy case and substantial look men felt comfortable wearing. Remember, this timepiece represents one of the first commercially manufactured wristwatches in the world: Prior to WWI, men considered wristlet watches effeminate. From this first wave of watches springs every wristwatch in the world today. We're exceedingly proud of this piece of history and know you will be, too.
Open its back and you'll find a magnificent little time-machine: a completely restored, fully calibrated 17 ruby jeweled "Illinois" mechanism that keeps accurate time as it was intended. Engineered during a time when the automobile was still in its infancy, this futuristic wrist-machine, in all its perfection, is glorious. Few mechanisms today are as well engineered as this example.
We've taken the liberty of fitting this watch with a custom-made cordovan leather strap in the style originally worn with the piece. We are glad to hand-fit the strap to your wrist measurements.
Those blessed with excellent taste do not wear cheap watches; instead, they wear bits of horological history so their friends can become furiously envious.
Cast off the chains of mediocre timepieces; the garish banality of glancing at your cell-phone for the time; Transcend the commonplace and wear such a work of horological history!