Internet Horology Club 185
A tale of two interesting piece of history!

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July 01, 2010, 17:30
Steve Middlesworth
A tale of two interesting piece of history!
Just wanted to show a very interesting piece of Illinois Watch Co. history with a couple of very nice and unusual examples to come out of the past.

The watch on the left is one that has appeared on this site before and I used it as an example in my 19 jewel Bunn history lesson. It is the lowest numbered Model 9, 19 jewel, 16 size Bunn made. A very interesting piece of history in itself.

The one on the right is my latest find and it appears to be the highest numbered Model 9 made making it chronologically the very last one.

Now it has taken some research to verify this but for the moment anyway this would appear to be correct. Strange things happen in the tracking of this information as manufacturers documentation was not always the most accurate. Even getting to where I did stepped outside the boundaries of what was known and data that had been collected.

July 01, 2010, 17:36
Steve Middlesworth
The watch on the left is serial number 2649701 and is listed as the lowest number in two different reference sources that I have.

The movement on the right is serial number 3031000 which for all intents and purposes does not exist in any reference material (yet) but what you see is without a doubt what it is.

One may also notice that these two examples cover both the variants of the Model 9 that were made. You will note the first variant with "Temperature" spelled out and the second variant with the "Temp" abbreviation.

July 01, 2010, 17:36
Steve Middlesworth
Here is a little closer picture of the discussed areas.

July 01, 2010, 17:37
Steve Middlesworth
Now this is where it gets interesting. The Blue Book of Bill Meggars list the serial number range of 3031000 to be a run of 1000 21 jewel Model 9 Bunn Special which the example above clearly is not. But yet his checkmark in front of the serial range says he confirmed that run to be made up of those movements. What he didn't see was the entire range and assumptions were made.

My correspondense back and forth with a long time Illinois collector says he had seen a few of the 19 jewel movements appear above 3030900 range as well as some of the 21 jewel Bunn Special models in the upper 3030800 range suggesting there may have been a last run of 100 or so of these 19 jewel movements slipped in.

Original records indicated there were 300 of the second variant made but that may now be as high as 400.

July 01, 2010, 17:37
Steve Middlesworth
In a recent post I had questioned the viewers if any one had seen a 19 jewel Bunn in the serial number range circled first in the scan below. That is because it was listed as a run of Model 9's but without the checkmark it had not yet been confirmed by Bill Meggers when his newest addition to his book went to press (or photocopied). You will notice the second set of numbers circled were also originally set aside as Model 9's but corrected to Model 11's (marked as "Motor Barrel") as he made his discoveries.

I was eventually informed that there is confirmation of at least one movement out of the first circled set as being a Model 11 and if they all were, then 3031000 would be the highest numbered Model 9 example.

July 01, 2010, 17:37
Steve Middlesworth
I find this to be very interesting. First, from this information I have put forth, it would seem that there may have been about 2100 of these 16 size, Model 9, 19 jewel Bunns produced. 1700 of the first variant and 400 of the second.

I was excited to find the earliest one awhile back and now stumbling upon what may be the latest one now. I mean, what are the odds of that happening? So many of these have disappeared and are gone forever but the first and last may still survive.

Sure it is not like it was the first and last 163B IIEP but yet they were a high grade railroad approved watch that if they could talk, they would have have some stories to tell now they are reunited........

Now if I could just talk Eric into breaking into his rare wood pile and making a box to display and commemorate these rare jewels coming back together.

July 01, 2010, 20:52
Tom Dunn

THAT is a set of Bunns...LOL

The lowest and highest Jeweled Barrel

I will check mine and see where it falls.

Those red letter end of run models are the rarest...Illinois did the same thing in their 19 and 21J Sangamo Special models...only 200 of the 19J red letter made.

Interestingly enough, Meggars says 1600 of the later red letter examples were struck, but I haven't seen a handful...wonder what the true production was?

Tom Dunn...
July 20, 2010, 23:53
Steve Middlesworth
Just came across a listing which confirms my theory stated above. This watch came out of the missing run (3207001-3207300) and is clearly a Model 11.


July 21, 2010, 01:46
Ray Hallenbeck
Very informative Steve, Congrats on having the 1st and the last.

I checked my Bunns ( Big Grin) and alas, Nothin exciting to report Roll Eyes
November 24, 2020, 17:44
Dennis Bailey
I know this thread is old and many examples of these 19J Bunns have probably been found and collected since, but I just bought one from the last run of 100, variant 2....#3030938
November 24, 2020, 18:22
Dennis Bailey
I already had a 19J Bunn of the second variant #2991929
November 25, 2020, 17:41
Gary E. Cochran
I have a Bunn incomplete movement serial number 3207114..I hope to restore it someday...If you want a pic I could post one...Gary
November 25, 2020, 18:16
Dennis Bailey
Gary...then it's a model 11, like Steve's pic above, not a model 9 as written in Meggar's blue book
February 03, 2021, 08:25
Dennis Bailey
As fate would have it, I am now the proud owner of the above two Bunns! This is how it should work: the passing of fine timepieces for others to enjoy after a period of time enjoying them ourselves. I will, in turn, pass these along to another collector when the time is right, so he or she can have the thrill of ownership for a time, and so it goes....