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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After seeing Tom's fantastic Guardian,
I thought I would do a little posting on a
very cool feature that Illinois did...

It is a Rotor Secometer... a little wheel for the sub seconds.

I have seen a few out there on other brands, but Illinois
seemed to have several models they used this on.

I always get excited to find one.



A few fun ones:

An odd Speedway case:


Blackhawk:


Another odd one:
A generic period case with correct dial (I got this from Fred awhile ago)


Uber Rare Guardian with Custom dial and Speedway 178 case:


And...
A One of a kind Guardsman Military with an "O" size movement!


ENJOY!:thumbup1:
 

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It's an interesting feature, the secometer dials. You'll see them on PWs of the time, too. And having a bunch of them all together is pretty cool. Did Illinois make secometer PWs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's an interesting feature, the secometer dials. You'll see them on PWs of the time, too. And having a bunch of them all together is pretty cool. Did Illinois make secometer PWs?
I am pretty sure I have seen them on PW's, not positive
if they were Illinois...

OH BEN???
 

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Illinois did produce a few thousand 12-size pocketwatches with the "Rotor-Second" dial. That's the way they referred to them in their advertising.

So the real question is... Did Illinois ever call these dials "Secometer"?

"Secometer" was Hamilton's trademarked name for the feature, used on some of their 912 grade pockets, and also on the sweep-seconds wristwatches produced after WW2 using the 987S movement.

Were Illinois watches produced with this feature after their acquisition by Hamilton called "Secometer", or did they stick with "Rotor-Seconds"?

Waltham, for what it's worth, called the feature a "Seconds Indicator". Don't know that I've seen an Elgin like this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Illinois did produce a few thousand 12-size pocketwatches with the "Rotor-Second" dial. That's the way they referred to them in their advertising.

So the real question is... Did Illinois ever call these dials "Secometer"?

"Secometer" was Hamilton's trademarked name for the feature, used on some of their 912 grade pockets, and also on the sweep-seconds wristwatches produced after WW2 using the 987S movement.

Were Illinois watches produced with this feature after their acquisition by Hamilton called "Secometer", or did they stick with "Rotor-Seconds"?

Waltham, for what it's worth, called the feature a "Seconds Indicator". Don't know that I've seen an Elgin like this.
Hey Cary...
Always nice to have you around... and always appreciate your Horology!

Interesting, I got that name from a reference in Fred Friedberg's book...

Would love to know more... I will check with Fred.

Rick may have some insight too.

These examples seem to be older models before the Hamilton Purchase.
 

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Okay Greg, now I have another complication I will have to add to my collection, wandering seconds, rotor seconds, secometer (whatever the proper term)..........As if my list wasn't already long enough! :001_tongue:
 

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Hey Cary...
Always nice to have you around... and always appreciate your Horology!

Interesting, I got that name from a reference in Fred Friedberg's book...

Would love to know more... I will check with Fred.

Rick may have some insight too.

These examples seem to be older models before the Hamilton Purchase.

G,

You probably did not know this, but one of your fine examples once called my watch box home... albeit for a very short time. :lol:

I also have no idea of the proper Illinois-term for the sectometer. I wonder if Fred might have an original advertisement for them?

R
 

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G,

You probably did not know this, but one of your fine examples once called my watch box home... albeit for a very short time. :lol:

I also have no idea of the proper Illinois-term for the sectometer. I wonder if Fred might have an original advertisement for them?

R
Okay I have my homework assignment. But as I recall and if you look on page 95 of my book you will see the original advertisement for the "Blackhawk" model. This is the second one from the left in Greg's group shot. The ad is how I determined the name of this model. In the book, I call this feature " rotor subsidiary seconds ( secometer)." I have extra Illinois watches with this feature if anyone is interested in one. They are very eye catching and yes there were also Illinois pocket watches with this feature as well, as someone indicated above.

And yes Rick and I can also claim that some of those in Greg's grouping resided in my safe deposit box as well.

BTW there is an ultra rare watch called the " Aluminum Prototype" that is exactly like the Blackhawk but is made out of aluminum. I know only of three of these watches that exist today. There is a long wild tale about how I got mine that is written up as a "Fantastic Find" in my Illinois Watch book.

As a reminder please email to me your " Fantastic Finds" (to [email protected]) so I can include them in my articles.

Thanks
FJF
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
WOW... That is SOME Patina!!!!
A very cool watch!!!
It is particularly cool with the engraved lugs... you don't see them that often!

Fred Friedberg's wonderful book
The Illinois Watch, the life and times of a great American Watch Company
If you don't have a copy, grab one!
It has everything you need to know about these fantastic watches!

 

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Not only did Illinois make 12-size PWs with rotating seconds which they sold under their own name, they also made them for Ball.

As for the Hamilton PWs, the trim around the seconds window looks like it was copied from the earlier Illinois models.

I have one of the Waltham WWs with rotating seconds: the watch is a narrow rectangle, and the seconds are at 9. The numbers on the rotating disk are so small that I can hardly read them without magnification. You can tell that something's moving, but it's not so useful as the seconds disk on the Illinois WWs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
I decided to have the dial refinished.
View attachment 35079
Interesting... they did a very nice job on it.
the fact that they actually got the line right that surrounds
the secometer is great. The redials almost never get that right and
this is a big "Tell" that the dial was redone.
G

ps... I am not a "redial" guy, but this is an incredible job!
 

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Interesting... they did a very nice job on it.
the fact that they actually got the line right that surrounds
the secometer is great. The redials almost never get that right and
this is a big "Tell" that the dial was redone.
G

ps... I am not a "redial" guy, but this is an incredible job!
Thanks! I had it done by International. I think they must have the original dies. It looks just about perfect.
 

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Very Nice. Like the watches. I enjoyed the post. Thank You.
 

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Since the Illinois and Hamilton pocket watches with rotating seconds were mentioned recently, I decided to post pictures of examples.

The Illinois has a 19J "Roosevelt" movement, adjusted to three positions, with nice gilt accents. From the serial, I'd estimate it was made about 1923.

The Hamilton has a 912 movement, 17J, that would seem to date from about 1939. However, the cuvette has an inscription from 1934.




I don't know the whole story of production of the Hamilton watches, but I'm wondering whether they didn't introduce this feature after they bought Illinois and gained rights to the Illinois design.



Waltham's wristwatch has such a tiny seconds indicator that it's hardly useful for anything other than checking to see that the movement is running. Unlike the Illinois wristwatches, which had individual seconds marks, just like the larger pocket watches, the Waltham has just room for a mark at 5 seconds between the numbers. And the numbers are so large that they almost fill the whole opening.

 
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