Pocket Watch Database

Illinois Watch Co.

Location: Springfield, Illinois

Years of Operation: 1869-1948

Production Jewels: 7-23 Jewels

Production Sizes: Wide Variety

Total Production: 5,600,000+

Factory Building Status: The original Illinois Watch Company factory building no longer exists. However, a later expansion was built to serve as a new frontage for the factory. Part of this addition still stands, and a modern structure has been built around it.

Average Rarity:

Purchased by Hamilton Watch Co., 1927

Serial Number Lookup

Company Timeline

January 25, 1870

The Springfield Watch Co. begins operations with a capital stock of $100,000.

November 1870

Construction of the Illinois Sprinfield Watch Co. factory is completed.

December 23, 1871

First watch finished: 15-Jewel Model 1 Stuart Keywind/Keyset

1873

A New York office is opened at 11 Maiden Lane to faciliate sales for the Illinois Springfield Watch Co.

1875

The Illinois Springfield Watch Co. offers its first stem-wind movement.

1875

After struggling financially for a few years, a new company is organized to assume the Illinois Springfield Watch Co. with a capital stock of $250,000.

1876

The Illinois Watch Co. begins offers 8s watches to fulfill growing demand in the ladies market.

June 4, 1877

The Springfield Watch Company is reorganized as the Illinois Springfield Watch Company with a capital stock of $100,000.

1879

The Illinois Springfield Watch Co. is reorganized as the Springfield Illinois Watch Co.

1879

All Illinois Watch Co. movement manufacturing is transitioned to use quick train.

1879

A Chicago office is opened to faciliate sales for the Illinois Springfield Watch Co.

1882

The Illinois Watch Co. begins manufacturing its own mainsprings for usage in movements.

1883

The Illinois Watch Co. first uses soft enamal dials.

1885

The Springfield Illinois Watch Co. is manufacturing 400 movements per day.

1885

The Springfield Illinois Watch Co. is rebranded as the Illinois Watch Co.

1886

The Illinois Watch Co. begins to offer a 4s watch marketed toward ladies. This is the smallest watch avaialble for purchase in America at the time.

1888

The Illinois Watch Co. is manufacturing roughly 400 movements per day and employs about 900 people.

1903

The Illinois Watch Co. decides to manufacturer primarily higher grade movements, those containing 17-23 jewels.

1927

The Illinois Watch Co. is purchased by Hamilton Watch Co. following the death of company president Jacob Bunn, Jr. The factory continued operations in Springfield, Illinois until 1932. Illinois movements continued to be finished at the Hamilton factory until 1948.

Successor: Hamilton