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Tuesday, February 12, 2013
1931 Illinois Ensign (Special Model B)
Hamilton acquired the Illinois Watch Company in 1927 and continued to make the line of Illinois watches into the 1930s. However, Hamilton also produced Illinois-branded watches into the 1950's. Most Illinois-purists consider the "real Illinois Watch Company" period to be the 1930's and earlier and don't consider the 1950's watches true Illinois watches.
I recently had the opportunity to overhaul a 1931-ish Illinois Ensign. I couldn't find a catalog image of the Ensign so I could be off on my dating but the serial number of the movement puts it in 1931.
As received, it was running off and on and was pretty dirty - but otherwise in very nice shape.
Under the dial is an 6/0 sized 17 jewel Illinois 607 movement.
After cleaning the movement, polishing the case and re-enameling the case engraving, I think it turned out really well.
If the Ensign looks familiar, it could be because it has a bigger brother called the Mate (Special Model H) which has a larger 3/0 sized movement. The Mate is a really nice sized watch and very large by vintage watch standards.