Internet Horology Club 185
17J Special/New Railway question

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May 26, 2013, 14:18
Theodore J. Brown Sr.
17J Special/New Railway question
I'd like to ask if anyone has,or has seen, an 18s 17J 3rd. model Special or New Railway that was marked with Adjusted 5 positions and double roller? I have one of each, but my SN's are in the 1 million range, before those markings came out.Having never seen a fully marked one, I wonder if these 17J versions were ever made that way, or may have been dropped from the lineup before the 2 million #'s, when those extra markings became standard.I know at that time, 18 sizes were fading out, and 19 or more jewels was getting to be the railroad standard.Thanks, Ted.
May 26, 2013, 14:50
Edward L. Parsons, Jr.

A minimum of 17 jewels, a double roller escapement with a steel escape wheel, and adjustment to 5 positions were required by railroad time service rules from early-on in the 1890's. However, explicit markings on the movement for double roller and number of positions weren't required until rule changes that went into effect about 1905.

The rule change requiring a minimum of 19 jewels went into effect about 1923, which was the same year Illinois ceased 17-jewel Bunn production.

In practice all these rules were subject to "grandfathering" of older watches that had been accepted under earlier standards, as well as various exceptions and restrictions imposed by the individual railroads for their employees watches to be accepted for time service use.

Best Regards,

May 26, 2013, 20:14
Theodore J. Brown Sr.
Thank you,Ed.