1 Burlington Special S/N: 2056302 1887 7 Jewel
Hello Roy and Mike,
Thank you for sending in this pocket watch to mearto.com for an appraisal.
Gent’s, gold filled base metal, 16s, pendant wound and lever set, savonette, hunting case pocket watch, grade 174 (based on the Illinois Model 5 and Model 9), Burlington Special movement, S/N 2056302, made by the Illinois Watch Company for the “mail order” Burlington Watch Company of Chicago, Illinois, USA & Winnipeg, Manitoba, watch made circa 1908.
Case – Size 16, gold filled, four leaf, hunting case pocket watch. The outside of the front and back covers are not shown. The inside of the covers has no gold markings, only a case number which indicates this is most likely a gold plated or gold filled base metal watch case. There is a fluted suppressed gilt ball pendant and oval bow placed at the three position (savonette) opposite the case hinge.
Dial: Triple tiered, double sunk, white enameled dial with upright Arabic hours ornamented with extra scroll-work, open bar minutes with red Arabic markers placed every five minutes around the periphery of the dial along with black diamond shapes at the five minute markers, sunken subsidiary seconds dial @6 and Continental type steel Spade hands. The upper dial center is recessed and marked, “Burlington Special”.
Movement: This is a damascened nickel split three quarter plate, size 16 pocket watch, the grade 174, model 4, made by the Illinois Watch Company of Elgin, Illinois, and made on special order contract for the Burlington Watch company (see history). Serial number is 205630 and the watch was made in 1908 in a production run of 790 such units, each with 19 jewels, some in gold screw settings. The watch is pendant wound and lever set and has a going barrel, bimetallic balance wheel, Illinois Whip-spring index regulator, a variant of the Reed patent, the original patent dating to Feb 5 1867. The plates are signed for the Burlington Watch Company, USA. The movement has no adjustments and is not of railroad grade.
Condition: Watch case is a gold filled or rolled gold base metal four leaf savonette case in very good condition. The outer covers are not shown for condition evaluation. The inside of the covers are in good condition. Dial: I cannot see a clear close-up photo of the dial but it appears to have a vertical hairline in the dial center and perhaps a small crack coming off of that. It may have no fractures, but there is a shadow present on the left side of the dial. In good condition with no apparent fractures or hairlines on the dial. Movement: Considered original to this case for this appraisal, genuine and in functional condition.
Analyzing 30 sales between 2018 and June 2021 the pocket watch database places a value on this particular grade watch in the range of $145-$155 at the start of that period but over the past 12 months the value has dropped to $125+/-
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/90741129_burlington-special-pocket-watch (Very much like your watch, sold for $100 in 2020)
~ https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/90741131_burlington-special-pocket-watch (sold for $100 in 2020)
HISTORY: (taken from http://www.pocketwatchrepair.com/histories/burlington.html)
The Burlington Watch Company, was a mail-order sales company. By selling directly to the consumer, they were able to eliminate the costly sales and distribution channel. Watches were sold on the "installment plan," which allowed them to be paid off at $2-$3 dollars per month, thus making high-quality watches available to those who otherwise might not be able to afford them. The majority of watches sold by Burlington were "privately labeled" movements made under contract by the Illinois Watch Company i.e. they are Illinois watches. Some contend that the Burlington Watch Company was a subsidiary of the Illinois Watch Company, but this claim has not been documented. Burlington also sold a small number of movements made by Henry Moser & Co, in Switzerland. These movements may have been sold only in Canada and appear to have been cased in Canadian-made cases. Most American Burlington watches were sold in Burlington-signed gold-filled cases of good quality.
In the early years, most of the watches sold by Burlington were 16-size, 19-jewel movements, based on the Illinois Model 5 and Model 9. Many were designated "Burlington Special" and were so signed on the dial. It is curious to note that the "Burlington Special" designation only appeared on the dial, and not on the movement. The 19-jewel watches were discontinued in 1917 when the company began selling a complete line of 21-jewel watches, adjusted to temperature and positions. The most common of these was based on the Illinois Model 9
Burlington often advertised their watches as "Anti-Trust" watches because they were sold directly to the consumer with "no middleman." Burlington's direct-sales, installment payment model was intended to put "... the highest watch value within reach of all." They were in business from the last years of the first decade of the 20th century and closed circa 1925.
The fair market value of your watch in its current condition would be in the range of $120-$130 if there are no dial hairlines and $90-$110 is there is a hairline fracture on the dial. Thank you for choosing mearto.com for this appraisal.