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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
Just bought this 17 Jewel Bunn off eBay and was wondering what your thoughts were. The case looks like it's a bit green around the edges from oxidization, and the movement is a little dirty. My real concern would be the hands, is it normal for them to be THAT blue? Do people ever paint the hands to make them "bluer"?

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First of all, NICE WATCH!

The 17 jewel, 18 size Bunns are fascinating for all of the variety in them.

That color of blue is certainly possible with heat bluing. With that said, though, one normally associates purple hands with higher grade Illinois watches, and I would expect to see those on this watch.

The dial is bugging me. The signature is correct, but I'm not 100% sure about the numerals on it. I'm also bothered by the black 5 minute markers. I'll pull out some reference material and check.

Also something that raises an eyebrow to me is the fact that it's signed "17 Jewels" and not "17 Ruby Jewels."

I'm working on doing some research for you, and I'll get all of my thoughts together and get back to you.

Any chance you could provide the serial number?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I forgot about the minute markers, that was one of my concerns also.

I have heard that these came in both ruby jewel and just 17 jewel markings, apparently the 17 jewel marking came on the earlier models. I did catch a bit of the SN and it looked to start with 146 putting it at 1901 or 02 i think...

I'll look at the higher res pictures again. I won the watch last night so I'll have to wait for a better look

EDIT: 1469646
 

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After a little bit of digging, I found a picture of one of these dials, and it seems to likely be correct.

I also found a reference that these did come in both 17 jewel and 17 ruby jewel variations, as well as both pink and yellow stripes. Total production of the wavy stripe variation is 5,000 in model 6(open face), although this is not broken down by 17J vs. 17RJ and pink vs. yellow stripe.

There is one pictured in the Ch. 149 database just like yours. The serial number on it is 1383705.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for helping me feel better about my purchase haha.

Hopefully now when I get that watch that case looks a bit nicer, I might just find a new case depending on how bad that one is.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
First of all, NICE WATCH!

The 17 jewel, 18 size Bunns are fascinating for all of the variety in them.
The variety is really why I bought it. All of these bunns and bunn specials with this general style are so similar yet have totally different styling in terms of the patterns.

Next I'd like to find the sunburst pattern but I may have to wait on that one. They are more scarce right? So maybe out of my budget for the time being.
 

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The sunburst ones aren't as common as some of the other patterns, but they're also not rare. There were also a fair number made in 19 jewels.

The nice thing about these is that they're not all that widely collected, so prices are relatively low on many of them.

This one set me back $150 on Ebay. I was the only bidder. This is the last version, fully marked "Illinois Watch Company" with a production of 900.



If you like the sunburst pattern, here's one from my collection that I believe is legitimately rare. This is a gr. 65-E, and it's nearly Bunn Special quality. John Cote(owner of the interstate time website you reference above) has a factory marked version that's even less common than the private label, although none of them are too common.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
150 for only the movement? Not bad. I paid about 260 for this one. I think I may have overpaid slightly. Any more and I would have dropped it.
 

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Nice Bunns. Let's just add that Ebouwman's model 6 with the wavy ribbon second pattern is adjusted to 4 positions.
Here is my 1905 model 6 Bunn 17j with the sunburst fifth pattern, the variation with adjustments to 6 positions.

 

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A stunning watch.

In my experience, watch-hands are usually a darker sort of navy blue/purple. But watches with bright, cobalt/indigo blue aren't unknown. I wouldn't be worried about it.
 

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Put your fingernail underneath the "ear" on the case back, and slide it around the perimeter of the case. The back should pop off without too much trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I didn't realize that it was snapped on. I basically thought who would do that on a lever set watch. Thanks for the help.
 
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