Since we started offering the Motor Barrel system from the caliber 20 on the caliber 801 we have had several people order it. It works very well, and looks so classic! Compare the pictures below of the caliber 801 with motor barrel, to the Illinois Sangamo Special with motor barrel.
The large setting with jewel on the ratchet wheel is so beautiful!
The Motor Barrel is an old American system used in the highest grade Railroad watches like the Illinois Bunn Special and the Hamilton 950. The Motor Barrel allows the mainspring barrel to ride between jewels when the watch is running. In America's great watchmaking past there were two Motor Barrel types: one protected the movement if the mainspring broke; a later system reduced wear and friction, and made a more stable barrel in the movement. We use the later system. Prior to the Caliber 20, the last watch with a Motor Barrel was made more than 50 years ago.