Maj Buehler's Illinois Watch Gallery
The Illinois Watch Company
The firm was founded as the Springfield Watch Company in 1869, and re-incorporated as the Illinois Watch Company in 1877. The firm was staffed by key machinists recruited from its upstate competitor, the Elgin Watch Co.
Illinois Watch was an innovator from the start. "A typical Illinois Watch took anywhere from eight to twelve months from the time work began on it until it was ready to leave the factory. In about 1914, the company stopped producing anything but high-quality watches, watches with a minimum of 17 jeweled bearings. Of the 11 watch models from several factories that passed an accuracy test posed by the National Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C., 10 were from the Illinois Watch Factory. One historian of the firm noted that these timepieces were as high-tech as computers are today, and indeed the Illinois Watch Company works resembled today’s meticulously clean and well-lit computer assembly plants...."
Major Buehler' cushion-shaped 14K gold Illinois watch has a 17-jewel movement.