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The Bunn story...Part One... "The 16 size 17 jewel." "Click" to Login or Register 
IHC Member 1101
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Picture of Steve Middlesworth
posted
I thought I would kick off this somewhat of an educational series for those of you interested in collecting the 16 size Bunn and Bunn Special series of watches. I will try to pass off as much useful information as I can but I also encourage you to post your insights or opinions on the subject as well as any pictures of your watches that you would like to share with the membership.

I am starting this first discussion off with the 17 jewel Bunn. It came in a hunter and open face configuration with the hunter in two variants and the open face had three. I will start it off with the open face models and for all intents and purposes these are identical with the exception of the "D'bl Roller" versus "Double Roller" in the first variant and the "Temperature" versus "Temp" wording regarding the adjustments in the second and third variants.

All three of the open face movements were adjusted to temperature, five positions, and isochronism, contained ruby jewels in raised gold jewel settings, gold balance screws and train wheels, patent regulator, Sunburst (third) pattern, damaskeened nickel, black filled engraving and double sunk Arabic or Roman numeral dial.

The first variant was produced in one run in 1913 and was within the serial number range of 2,571,701-2,571,900 and had approximately 200 made. This movement was marked "D'bl Roller" on the pillar plate and was changed to "Double Roller" on the next variants. It also had the "Temperature" fully spelled out.

The second variant was produced from 1914-1916 and was within the serial number range of 2,576,101-2,991400 and had approximately 2200 made in six runs. It had the new "Double Roller" on the pillar plate and still had "Temperature" spelled out.

The third variant was produced from 1917-1923 and was within the serial number range of 3,076,001-4,383,000 and had approximately 13,400 made in 25 runs. Here the wording was changed over to the abbreviated "Temp."

Most railroads would not accept 17 jewel or hunting style watches for railroad service after about 1920. The 17 jewel "Bunn" grade was made with only one demaskeeninng pattern and it was essentially the same as that used on the last group of 18 size 17 jewel "Bunns".

Much of the technical information is almost word for word out of the Bill Meggars Illinois Bible as we have often heard it referred to as. However, what is not mentioned in the book is one rare oddity or a sub-variant within the first variant. During the time period of about 1914-1917 The Illinois Watch Company experimented, or maybe deviated would be a better word, with the mounting of the upper balance jewel setting by bringing the screws up from the bottom as opposed to the normal "screws down" method that had been so typical for many years. Not all movements had this feature but many did. You can read more about this here....Click

Also not mentioned is that it is more likely to see the first and second variant with a straightline dial as this was the correct dial for that time period but was phased out shortly after the last of the production of the first variant in 1915. It was to be replaced by the more common "Arched" signature that appeared on the third variant.

The same holds true for the hunter models except they are much rarer as they were produced in much smaller numbers but used the same materials and construction.

The first variant was produced only in 1913 and was within the serial number range of 2,577,301-2,577,400 and had approximately 100 made in only one run. The different wording on these was "Adjusted" Temp. & 5 Pos’ns. These would have had a "Straightline" Illinois dial.

The second variant was produced only in 1918 and was within the serial number range of 3,347,609-3,347,700 and had approximately 92 made in only one run. The different wording on these was "Adj." Temp. & 5 Pos’ns. These would more than likely had an "Arched Illinois" dial.

So lets look at some movements and await your contributions to the subject……

Steve
 
IHC Member 1101
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Picture of Steve Middlesworth
posted
Here is the second variant....note the "Straightline Illinois" dial and the "Temperature" fully spelled out.....

 
IHC Member 1101
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Picture of Steve Middlesworth
posted
Here is the third variant.....note the "Arched Illinois" on the dial and "Temp" abbreviated.

 
IHC Member 1101
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Picture of Steve Middlesworth
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Here is the sub-variant of the second variant...you can see it has the "Straightline Illinois" dial, the "Temperature" spelled out but look at the screws for the jewels in the balance cock, they are coming up from the bottom of the balance....neat huh.

 
IHC Member 1101
Site Moderator
Picture of Steve Middlesworth
posted
Here is the second variant of the Hunter Movement....notice the "Adj." abreviation and "Double Roller" spelled out in full. I wish I had a better picture but I don't own this one so we will have to make it work.

 
IHC Member 1101
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Picture of Steve Middlesworth
posted
Not a great photo but it will do for now. This first variant Hunter model has the "Adjusted" spelled out.

 
IHC Member 1101
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Picture of Steve Middlesworth
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I didn't realize at the time that I do have one of the first variant. Note the D'BL ROLLER on the pillar plate. Only 200 of these were made.


Steve

 
IHC Member 1101
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Picture of Steve Middlesworth
posted
This will be the first of this series and I hope to get to the 19 jewel Bunn next followed by the 21 jewel Bunn Specials. Hope you all find some useful information here and can gain a greater appreciation for these fine timepieces.

Steve
 
IHC Member 1101
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Picture of Steve Middlesworth
posted
I have made the corrections so here it is.....

Steve
 
posted
Nice work, Steve. Start-to-finish layout and your excellent camera work make for an informative post Smile.
 
Picture of Mary Ann Scott
posted
Thank you, Steve! This is going to be very helpful and informative in comparing the different variants among Bunn's. I, and everyone here, greatly appreciates the work that you have done compiling and posting the data and pictures.
 
IHC Life Member
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Picture of Tom Brown
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Steve

Can't wait to see the rest, I think your 2nd 17J OF has the wrong numbers, shouldn't it be 2576101-2991400, the ones you have listed also include the 1st variant.

Tom
 
IHC Member 1101
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Picture of Steve Middlesworth
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Tom,

Thanks, I fixed it I think. Do you have any you would care to post pictures of?

Steve
 
IHC Life Member
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Picture of Tom Brown
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Steve

I think you have a lot more of these than me, I thought if by chance you didn't have one & I did I would post it.

Tom
 
IHC Member 1101
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Picture of Steve Middlesworth
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I would like to encourage anyone that has one to put a picture up. That's what this post is all about.

Steve
 
IHC Member 1213
posted
Steve,

My knowledge is limited but I have Illinois "Bunn Special S/N 337680. The bridge is identical with your watch. Is the "Bunn" just a stripped-down version of the "Bunn Special?

Robert
 
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
This is going to be a very valuable string, Steve, and one that a lot of us will learn a great deal from....

Thank you for your time and it will be exciting to see all the Bunn watches that will be posted and since you have opened it up to the rest of us I would like to also encourage those that have them to show us what they have....
I just won, today, the Bunn that Lin had at auction and apparently it is of the third variant variety....

See there, I'm learning already.... Big Grin

Thanks again for bringing this very valuable information to us....

Regards,
Jerry
 
IHC Life Member
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Picture of Tom Brown
posted
Robert

Are you missing a number in your serial number, that is way too low to be a Bunn Special I believe.

Tom
 
IHC Member 1101
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Picture of Steve Middlesworth
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Here's one I came across while looking for something else. It is a second variant but what is unique about this one is the case, dial and hands combination. These weren't just put together as railroad watches but could be dressed up to be a gentlemans watch. There were advertisements that showed Illinois offered these movements as watches you might carry in the vest of your Sundays best. Very beautiful and quite stately.

Steve

 
posted
What is this watch, the serial number does not match anything on the forum.
Bunn Special model,front and back screws on. 14k gold filled,Wadsworth quality,Illinois Watch,Co,
21 ruby jewels, Padient's Pend'G 7063308,
Adjusted Temp and six positions, Double Roller & #4542595. That is the writing on watch. Pictures are not coming out good. How does everyone get their's so clear?


raba
 
IHC Life Member
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Picture of Tom Brown
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Joel

If 4542595 is the movement serial number your watch is a 16 size, model 9 Bunn Special made in 1924.

Steve hasn't gotten to those yet in his Bunn Story series yet.

Tom
 
IHC Member 1101
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Picture of Steve Middlesworth
posted
Joel,

Welcome to our site. Regarding photographing your watch, check out the "How to photograph your watches and clocks" forum. There is a lot of useful information there and if you still have questions feel free to ask and we will try to help you out.

I will be posting the 21 jewel Bunn Special in the not to distant future.

Steve
 
IHC Life Member

Picture of Jerry King
posted
Steve & Tom, A thought just occured to me after reading Joel's post....Since most of us are not as familiar with the Bunn's as you guys are and someone posts photo of a, lets say, 21 jewel Bunn Special, here in this string what is going to happen to your 'Bunn Story' series...? How will you handle the mingling of different models within a single heading...?

Would it be safer to have folks post the serial number of their watch first and check out whether the watch falls under the topic of discussion first before posting the photo, much like Tom did in his post above....

Just a thought that you may want to consider....

Regards,
Jerry
 
posted
Steve-

I just picked this 17j Hunter model up. I haven't received it yet, but will try to post better pictures when I do.

Jared

 
IHC Member 1508
posted
Very nice Jared! I just bought an Illinois Bunn 19 jewel that I'm still waiting on. I'll be looking for one of these someday soon. Regards, Brad
 
IHC Member 1101
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Picture of Steve Middlesworth
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Jared,

Very, very, nice and quite rare.....only 100 made in a single run in 1913. We would like to see more pictures when you get it. Thanks for sharing.

Steve
 
posted
Steve-

I got the Bunn 17j hunterwatch in today. Here is a better picture of the movement. Looks pretty clean and running well.

 
posted
Here is the dial. Not perfect, so I will have to locate a better one! Case also looks to be original with no extra screw marks. It does have some dents and a plastic crystal that will need replaced.

 
posted
Here is the hunting case. It is worn, but still fairly decent.

Jared

 
IHC Member 1357
posted
Old thread but I thought I would add my 17 Jewel
BUNN S/N 4382794=1923

Roger

..
 
IHC Member 2075
posted
nice one roger
 
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