Internet Horology Club 185
Illinois Burlington Special Resurrection

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November 19, 2020, 20:11
Mort Denison
Illinois Burlington Special Resurrection
At the beginning of the year I purchased an Illinois 1913, 16s, 19j hunter movement in a wrist watch case. The case is excellent. with screw off bezels and a glass bezel on the back.

Unfortunately, It didn't run when I got it but I planned to send it off for a COA, which I did. When I received it back, it still would not run so it was returned for an additional look. No luck the second time & no explanation.

A few months went by and I sent it off to another watch repairman. The work was paid for but returned not running. Back it went the second time and returned not running with no explanation.

I finally sent it off to yet another watch repairman who straightened out a number of cumulative 'repairs' and 'adjustments' that had been made.

Here's what he found and fixed:

1. Incorrect balance staff
2. Superglued weights
3. Ruined collet
5. Loose stones
6. Warped escape wheel
7. Cracked jewels
8. Missing dust band
9. Wrong mainspring
10. Broken gooseneck
11. Wrong hands
12. Incorrect screws
13. Discarded minute wheel plate

The balance staff was reduced to proper specification, the hairspring re-colleted, and the glued weights removed. The donor pallet had staff pivots of 0.19 and 0.21 mm, which were too small, and was replaced with one with 0.21 and 0.22 mm, respectively, and both pallet stones and the loose roller jewel were reset. The escape staff was being pinched between both cap jewels, so that was reduced for proper endshake, and the banking pins were run back out to allow the pallet bridge to sit down where it's supposed to. The balance wheel was repoised.

The missing minute wheel plate was replaced and the mainspring anchor was altered from a brace to a T-end. The odd case screw was replaced and correct minute and seconds hands were installed, and the dial whitened up considerably in solution. A small amount of enamel was missing from the lower Burlington signature, and that was replaced as well.

Because the collet was stretched when forced onto the incorrect balance staff and touching the hairspring, the watch sped up, so the repairer added timing washers to the balance weights, but they were for 12-size watches with a diameter that was too small. He forced them on the balance weights anyway, ruining the threads, so he superglued them to the balance wheel.

I'll post pictures in a while of the finished watch. If anyone is interested, I can post pictures of the 'repairs' made to the watch prior to it being properly repaired.

It's now one expensive wristwatch Big Grin


Mort Denison
November 19, 2020, 20:12
Mort Denison


Mort Denison
November 19, 2020, 20:13
Mort Denison
Front with band

Front Band

Mort Denison
November 19, 2020, 20:13
Mort Denison
Back with Band

Back Band

Mort Denison
November 19, 2020, 21:32
Bila Wirriganwalters
Very Nice MortSmile
November 19, 2020, 23:21
Roger Stephens
Horror story with good ending.
It is a beauty Mort.
November 20, 2020, 10:35
Mark Cross
Sounds like a watch I have in MY collection. Once you get far enough 'in', you can't back off.

Sadly mine still isn't 100% and not the greatest time keeper, but at least it runs.

Yours is a beauty!

Regards! Mark
November 20, 2020, 20:45
Mort Denison
Here's one of the most interesting 'repairs'. The hairspring collet was replaced for whatever reason. The replacement was too small since the screwdriver gap is big enough to drive a matchcar through. It's elongated and cracked on both sides. The arrow points to where it's touching the hairspring. Since it wasn't able to grip the shaft, superglue was used to hold it to the shaft.

Hairspring collet

Mort Denison
December 08, 2020, 16:40
Jon Beeman
Well, you have a real beauty now. It would have been a shame to lose such a nice watch to poor repair workmanship. Kudos to you for not giving up on it.
January 15, 2021, 13:24
Dave Keefe
This must be fun to wear! Thanks for sharing