Men’s 1929 Illinois Jolly Roger Wristwatch

Men’s 1929 Illinois Jolly Roger Wristwatch

Item: W2480

Watch's origin: American

Number of jewels: 17

Case: Keystone Watch Case Company

Manufacturer: Illinois

Type of Watch:  Wrist

Type: Open-Face

Lug Width: 16mm

Dimension: 35mm by 25mm

Composition: Gold-Filled

Other Attributes:   With Box

Price: $2,995.00

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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 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.

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.

Early advertising for the men's Illinois "Jolly Roger" wristwatch described the model as "A sturdy strap watch of … unconventional design – with an appeal to the adventurous spirit." Truer words were never written.

One look at its magnificent design and one realizes how brilliant Illinois designers were. Everything about the watch is innovative, from the "exploding" numerals of its meticulously restored dial to its tapered corners and rococo enameling. This 35mm by 25mm white gold-filled example is as gorgeous a work of wrist art as anyone could hope to find, right down to its black cordovan strap with matching buckle. It is the very definition of exquisite.

Open its crisp, un-engraved back and you'll find another triumph: A cleaned, oiled and calibrated 17 ruby-jeweled movement with patent regulator and jeweled settings. In both form and function, this timepiece is a perfectly balanced tribute to American watchmaking and the gifted designers of the Illinois Watch Company.

We're pleased to offer this work of wrist art in a period presentation case.