Men’s 1918 Illinois Trench with Shrapnel Guard

Men’s 1918 Illinois Trench with Shrapnel Guard

Item: W2280

Watch's origin: American

Number of jewels: 15

Case: Fahy's

Manufacturer: Illinois

Type of Watch:  Wrist

Type: Demi-Hunter

Lug Width: 16mm

Dimension: 37mm by 33mm

Composition: Silver

Other Attributes:   Military
 Wire Lug

Price: $1,750.00

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The Illinois Watch Company is, without question, one of the jewels in the crown of American Watch Houses. Its team of craftsmen and designers produced pocket watches with names such as "Bunn Special," "Sangamo Special" and "Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire," as well as wristwatches such as the "Piccadilly," "Marquis" and "Speedway" — all of which went from innovating, to wide reception to legend. Illinois was farsighted enough to be one of the first American manufacturers to chase the silly idea of marketing a wristlet 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.

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 its original, solid sterling silver case with rare integrated shrapnel guard. We cannot overstate the beauty of this 37mm by 33mm watch, from its original black dial with oversized boxcar numerals and restored "stained-glass" hands. This timepiece represents the first wave of the wristlet watch — later the wristwatch — coming from WWI era Europe. Influenced by the trench watches of the era, this watch sports a gorgeous, beefy case and substantial look men felt comfortable wearing. Remember, this timepiece is 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 WWI era military timepiece and know you will be, too.

Open its engraved back and you'll find a magnificent little time-machine: a completely restored 15 ruby jeweled mechanical mechanism that keeps accurate time as it was intended. Engineered during a time when the automobile still sported wooden spokes, this historic wrist-machine, in all its perfection, is glorious. Few mechanisms today are as well engineered as this example.

We are delighted to offer this work of wrist art with a correct WWI era two-piece black cordovan strap, faithfully re-created right down to its sterling silver buckle.