21K gold. Jewels on the inside. Engravings on exterior.
thank you for your patience and for sending in this watch to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that tonight.
Unisex, Art Nouveau era, 6-size, 14k gold filled, Pendant wound and lever set, keyless, savonette, hunting case pocket watch, Grade 140, made by the Illinois Watch Company, Springfield, Illinois, circa 1887. Watch is accompanied by an interlocking solid brick style gilt watch chain with no obvious hallmarks.
Case: 6-size, 14k gold filled, four leaf, hunting case pocket watch with fluted ball gilt pendant and round bow placed at the three position relative to the dial (savonette) and opposite the case hinge. The outer covers are engraved in foliate and floral forms very much in the style of the Art Nouveau period of c. 1880-1910. One cover has a diamond shaped cameo for the owner’s initials (blank) while the other cover has an engraved landscape. The barrel of the case has small foliate engravings. The interior of the covers carry the case no. 1208859 and the Scales of Justice surmounted by a crown, the James Boss logo for a 14k gold filled metal case. (James Boss was one of the early casemakers in America during the 1860’s developed a means of mass producing gold filled cases. His company was eventually bought out by the Keystone Watch Case Company and Keystone continued to use both his name and his logo.)
Dial: A knurled edge bezel surrounds this white enameled dial with Roman hours, closed minute ring, sunken subsidiary seconds ring @6 with steel Spade hands and the upper dial marked, “Illinois”.
Movement: This is a split three quarter plate, size 6 movement, the grade 140, model 1, made by the Illinois Watch company of Springfield Illinois, serial no. 851342, made in 1887 in a production run of 2600 such movements, each made with seven jewels, hunting cases, pendant wound and lever set with going barrel, safety pinion and bimetallic balance with American made index regulator. Properly signed as to name and location of the watchmaking firm.
Condition: Case – very good condition. Dial – Good with speckling of oxidation throughout the dial. No hairlines. Movement – Considered original, genuine and functional.
HISTORY of JAMES BOSS & KEYSTONE WATCH CASE COMPANY:
In 1853 Randolf & Reese Peters were making watch cases in Philadelphia, employing James Boss in their movement department. In 1859 - J. Boss received a patent for "spinning up" cases made of "gold-filled" type material. That is, material made of a sheet of composition metal (usually brass) sandwiched between two thin sheets of gold. Boss formed cases by rolling sheet metal as opposed to the traditional method involving soldering and cutting. Rolling increased the molecule density of the metal. His patent, No. 23,820 of May 3, 1859, revolutionized the watch case industry by enabling the production of not only less expensive, but considerably stronger cases. ... Unlike gold washed cases, which were made using electroplating, cases produced by means of rolling had much harder gold surfaces and were thus less apt to wear. In 1871 Boss sold patent rights to John Stuckert of Philadelphia. By 1875 - T.B. Hagstoz & Charles N. Thorpe at 618 Chestnut St. Philadelphia purchased the "J. Boss" patent from the estate of John Stuckert. Hagstoz & Thorpe seems to have made only gold-filled cases using the J. Boss patented method. Orders increased so rapidly that larger quarters became necessary immediately. A new plant on Brown Street was erected. In 1877 the E. Tracy case company, a manufacturer of solid gold and silver watch cases, was acquired. In 1880 - the company moved to a six story building on Nineteenth St., with an equal-size annex on Wylie Street. Between 1883 - 1885 - T.B Hagstoz withdrew from the company which became C.N. Thorpe Co. and shortly thereafter it was reorganized as the KEYSTONE WATCH CASE COMPANY. The firm was producing 1,500 cases per day by 1889. By merging with and purchasing other watch case and watch making companies Keystone, by 1911 was the largest watch case company in America.
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/77653640_elgin-watch-co-ladies-hunter-case-pocket-watch (Sold in 2019 for $175)
(Three gold filled watches, one Illinois, sold for $130 in 2019)\https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/59610504_imperial-watch-company-gold-filled-pocket-watch (sold in 2018 for $120)
The pocket watch database for your watch in its current condition provides a fair market value of approximately $125-$160 and taking that into consideration along with the comparables I find that your pocket watch has a fair market value in the range of $150-$175 with retail pricing about twice that amount.
I hope this appraisal has helped you to understand the age, place and time of your 19th century Art Nouveau example of timekeeping.
Thank you for choosing mearto.com for your appraisal.
Thank you for sending in your pocket watch to mearto.com for an appraisal. A tropical storm just blew through New Jersey, as you know, and took out my power. So I have temporarily lost my computers. It seems like the loss of electricity is very widespread so I do not know how long this will last.
I will get your appraisal done when power returns, so I ask for your patience in the timing of this appraisal.