Home / Illinois Watch Company / Private Label Trade Names on American Pocket Watches: “Burlington Watch Co.” Part 10: The Sangamo Burlington Special

Private Label Trade Names on American Pocket Watches: “Burlington Watch Co.” Part 10: The Sangamo Burlington Special

Burlington Watch Company Sangamo Grade Movement Manufactured by the Illinois Watch Company, c.1907. Estimated Total Production: 100.
Pictured: Burlington Watch Company Sangamo Grade Movement Manufactured by the Illinois Watch Company, c.1907. Estimated Total Production: 100. Image Courtesy of AtlamWatches on Etsy, where this watch is currently for sale in a beautiful glass-back display case.

The standard 16-Size “Burlington Special” watches initially introduced by the Burlington Watch Company were based on the Illinois Grade 174, unadjusted or adjusted to a small degree.

However, a distinct run of 100 movements was produced for the Burlington Watch Company, derived from the “Sangamo” grade and precisely marked with adjustments, leaving no doubt to the quality of the watch. At the time, the “Sangamo” grade represented one of the finest movements produced at the Illinois Watch factory.

This run was furnished as a 16-Size Model 5 movement, featuring a gold train, gold balance screws, gold jewel settings, elegant two-tone damaskeening, and gilt trim. The movement was marked “Burlington Watch Co. – U.S.A. – 21 Ruby Jewels – Adjusted – Temperature – 6 Positions – Isochronism – Double Roller.” 

Multiple surviving examples from this run (1984511-1984610) have been cataloged, indicating the entire run of 100 movements were likely marked for the Burlington Watch Company.

No original advertisements describing the Sangamo Burlington Special have been discovered. Because the run was produced very early in the development of the Burlington Watch Company, it possibly represents a sample batch or a special run for promotional purposes.

The minimal production and premium features of this variant make it the most collectible Burlington Special watch.

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