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Old pocket watches value

The past centuries watchmakers products, in a huge variety existing today on the antique market, are put up for sale for various reasons – whether you need to sell grandfather’s watches gathering dust in the attic, or you want to change something in your collection. But, one way or another, the old pocket watches offered by their owners, and the amounts requested for this entertaining micromechanics in many antique shops, often do not correspond to the true value of such watches.Unfortunately, not every antique lover has experience in watchmaking and, as a result, exceptional legibility in the acquisition of antique watches.

Austria, 2 - I floor. XVIII century. Rare antique pocket (carriage clock) watches clock

Austria, 2 – I floor.XVIII century.Rare antique pocket (carriage clock) watches clock

First of all, it should be noted that some antique and early pocket watches are of great artistic value, so they should be considered and appreciated more as a “piece of art” (in comparison with the exclusive appearance, excellent finish and exquisite decorative style in which the case, dial and hands are made). etc., technical features of such watches, sometimes insignificant).

In order to establish historical value watches, we have to specify exactly when they were manufactured, where and by whom were created (this may be a masterpiece and an unknown master, independently build miniature construction in single copies).

The most frequently vsrechayuschiesya subjects hour gathering
State engraved on the lid antique pocket watches
the end of 19th century.The most frequent subjects gathering today – these days they can be seen in almost every antique shop.The cost of such timepieces ranges from $ 50 to $ 300, most of them are in poor working condition and in need of repair or greatly increases the cost of restoration
Switzerland, beg.XX century.State engraved on the lid antique pocket watches(in this case – on the inner side), made in the same years as their own watches,increases their historical value

Movements progress

Switzerland, end of 19th.The pocket watch movement hronometer progress

Movement minute rehearsed with chronograph

Movement minute rehearsed with chronograph

The movement pocket watches "Pavel Bure"

Switzerland, 1910.
The pocket watch movement "Pavel Bure" with a chronograph. that is, bring them in good working condition, it is necessary not only completely dismantled /collect, slurred and adjust the movement, but also every detail carefully to come off special funds for special circumstances.

If we are talking about available in virtually any specialty stores models of mass production of XIX – XX centuries., there are important the manufacturer mark, the total number of clocks issued by this company and the circulation of this model. No less important are the owners of the first watches, which sometimes manage to obtain, for example, from the accompanying and / or documents, as well as state inscriptions on the back cover or watch cases.

The next step in the antique pocket watch evaluation of is the degree of their complexity.

The most interesting mechanisms are equipped with more than one additional device (for example, giving the moon phases – a built-in calendar device; rehearsal – a special mechanism designed to display time using various tone sounds, and a chronograph – an additional mechanism for measuring time intervals).

To assess the state of the old timepieces (a whole clocks or their cases and movements separately) is used 4 main categories:

  1. very poor condition;
  2. poor condition;
  3. good working condition;
  4. collection (perfect) condition.

In doing so, special attention is given to the possibility (and feasibility!) to repair or restoration of watches, put them in perfect collection condition by cleansing, lubricants, polishing, applying special coatings, as well as the replacement, recovery of lost parts (with only rare specialized shops help).

For example, the state of most of your clocks gathering today can be defined as poor working or very poor. And if even in the first case you can make repairs or even substantially increases the price of watch, the second clock is estimated no more than spare parts (and their gold or silver case – as scrap): watch rehabilitation will be more expensive purchase exactly the same in good condition

watches tingle with enamel dial

Switzerland, XIX century.Dents and broken almost Dial devalued these pocket watches with winding key.In such cases,restoration is not being implemented because it is very expensiveclocks will cost the owner: the cost of restoration in dozens of timesexceeds the market value of the same watches in good condition

Incidentally, contrary to widespread opinion, the pocket watch condition (the movement accuracy, lack of defects and malfunctions, the preservation of accompanying documents, the case originality, chain, a winding key, etc. ) when assessing is more significance than the names of metals from which they are made, as well as the size of their precious cases. According to experts estimations, the value difference of the same timepieces (the same brand and series) in the collection condition and in very poor condition up to 95%.
The most serious damage to the old pocket watches the broken enamel dial is considered.

If the master or the clock owner has not exactly the same dial, this defect rarely subject to corrective: the enamel clock face restoration is very long, very difficult and very costly procedure (the procedure value can many times exceed the market price of the watches), and is conducted only in exceptional cases.

Therefore, buy watches with broken dial makes sense only if they have an interesting movement – with complex functions or good marks (for example, Breguet and Patek Philippe).

stitch enamel dial
Dial stitch enamel pocket watches

Switzerland, beg. XX century.Broken enamel dial pocket watches

gold pocket watches Patek Philippe

Drawing on the pocket watch case

Drawing on the watch covers

Just sharply reduce the value of ancient watches dents and other traces of the case deformations, and this is also cause to high costs for restoration. It should be borne in mind that the removal of deep scratches from the surface of the watch case lids, with the figure (giloshe) by polishing will not be able to increase the value of watches, as well as lead to the drawing loss.

A careful reading of the movement state will be assessed the degree of deterioration of parts, the preservation of stones, the state of the pinions, as well as the dirt absence of, rust and traces of oxidation. At the same time the movements lost parts restoring of (even rare), as well as winding heads, arrows and ancient glass watchmakers conduct often enough, and in most cases, the made and installation of new, (nothing different from the original), parts, is a highly desirable solution. Thus, the final evaluation of every individual or rare pocket watch must take into account the many, not only above, but also other important aspects (eg, the fakes), so in the best watch select an experienced collector or an expert professional advice can help you.

Konstantin Chaykin | the St. Petersburg studio time.

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