Pocket watches value
Watches collecting is a relatively young area, compared with collecting coins and stamps. Although interest in this area is growing, but not enough information yet, it is too fragmented, and sometimes even incorrect.
The value of any collectible subject is defined demand. There is no market without demand. In watch trading law of supply and demand also applies. As soon as the offer of any reduced clocks, the demand for them among collectors raises immediately. There are many factors that increase for watches demand.
The clock that had a limited release are always the most valuable, such as watches, which have an interesting story or a family heirloom. Once upon a time pocket watches were a status symbol. All people fought for the beauty and quality. Gold watches was decorated with sophisticated engraving, diamonds and other jewels. Manufacturers have tried to make timers more accurate and reliable. Watches adorned with red rubies, diamonds or sapphires. The clock was made to capacity gold. The front side customizing the best craftsmen: painted by hand watches, studded with precious stones, with fancy arrows and double-loaded discs, made of enamel and precious metals. Was not possible to find two identical clocks. All this makes it difficult to estimate, making it arbitrary.
How to identify the clocks manufacturer and age?
Identifying the clock, look at the dial to determine the producer firm. If the dial has no company name, you must search the information on the back plate of watches.
The name engraved on the back side, means “signature.” After determining the place of manufacture, look at what the company produced watches in this city. Note: some of the “hard-identifiable” watches are quite valuable collectible. Therefore, it is important to be able to identify them.
To establish the true movement manufacturer, it is necessary to study design, taking into account the size, number and arrangement of precious stones, form, layout of the plate (full or 3/4), the location of parts of the plate, screws, shape control, etc.
After establishing the manufacturer name, you should be interested the clocks age. This information can be obtained by using the serial number written on the reverse side of the case. It is often difficult to establish the exact age, but the following method will allow you to set the period of manufacture.
There are many distinctive features that allow you to set the watch age, that was manufactured before 1850. Hand-plant control of arrows, for example, contain important clues in age determining. However, no one part in isolation can be considered a sufficient factor for the watches age determining. It has to be considered as a whole. First, determine the country in which they were made. For example: English silver watch will have a stamp on the body, which will apply to the London list of stamps to determine the date of production after 1697. Many movements were placed in the case, made a few years before or after making movement itself.
The case, which contains the movement is not a good clue to the determination of the movement originality, and Serial Number does not help. It was common practice for manufacturers to transfer movement into the case, that the byer chose. This explains why you can find expensive movement in cheap case, and vice versa.
If the name and location of the manufacturer did not help, you may stamp contains the signature of a watchmaker and its location. Some clocks may be identified by comparing of the each company models, until it finds the correct model. Start by the clock measuring and then compare the various shapes and styles. Winding of the regulator and the shooter may also be a clue. The overall layout of articles about jewelry with precious stones: on the face or body clock, and the style of regulators, can help to identify the product manufacturer.
The case numbers can not be regarded as a hint, because many of the good timepieces could change the case and therefore have a different kind of numbers.
Demand, supply, attractiveness, condition and value should be the main factors in the watch evaluation. Demand, perhaps is the most important element. It can be determined by the number of that rare item buyers. The clock may be rare, but the number of collectors and investors may be more limited and collector will be as hard to find. The simple truth – the value of the object is determined price that someone is willing to pay.
Assessing the clock, consider all of the following factors before making a final conclusion. There is no priority to any item from the list.
- Demand: The interest is high or low, the attraction is very important. How many collectors want your rare watch?
- Supply and Availability: As rare that watch? How much of total output was remain?
- Case and movement condition is very important parameter.
- Small registration numbers: the first made watches are more valuable than later models.
- Move controller type, as the technical project of the movement of its uniqueness.
- Historical value
- Age: How old that clock?
- Case originality attaches more value.
- Mechanism difficulty: repeater, chronometers, for example.
- Value: metal, style and/or the type of body, beauty and attractiveness.
- Watch size, including precious, the type of plate (3/4 full and the bridge), a type of balance, the type of plant (key, lever, etc.), the number of regulators, gold ornaments, putting ornaments, gold chain .
- What is the state of that item? Intact (pristine), a used, high quality, good or bad condition? You must determine the status and worth or value.
- Identification: How easy or difficult?
- Future potential as an investment.
- Quality: (high or low grade), or watch a cheap (expensive) production.
Resorting to the evaluation of third-party experts should be noted that no pictures to understand what kind of watch and even more impossible to estimate them. It is an advise to you to either lay out the photos of all angles watches of online auctions like e-Bay and such, asking them to give at least a rough estimate of your watch. Or contact the specialists in thematic portals dedicated to antiques, special headings.
We need to find at least a minimum amount of such watches on sale, to identify all the advantages of your copy (unique, in which circulation was released, the age, they go there, what is the precision of the condition, manufacturer and so on), to name a price at the auction and wait for a buyer. The main thing is not miscalculate, but that no one is immune.
The best idea is to include the clock in the nearest antique shop (preferably several) and reserve estimate from the experts. You’ll get a detailed characteristics description, history, manufacturer, and the approximately cost. It will be issue a special document-expert opinion, stamped. From this conclusion, you can already start the proposal of its price at auction.
Before you do the assessment, you need to learn next in order to avoid serious disappointments:
- market price of the old clock, and their value to the owner – a completely different concept.
- mid price and the price in an antique showroom – different and very distant concept. Salons bully unrealistic prices.
- Working to rebuild the broken clock can be more expensive than themselves clocks after repair.
- Up to 95% of watch value depends on their condition. Same watches in the “killed” form can cost $1, and “like new” – $1000.
- Quite a broken clock is most often stand as spares. Case – as scrap.
- If watches has artistic value, it should be evaluated as a piece of art. Actually, the “clock” in them only in second place.
Rarity – the main value of an antique collector’s item. The price of some antique items, despite their advanced age, is extremely small, since at the time of their release has been innumerable, and has survived a lot of copies. An exception may be the subject of ownership of some key historical figure (the emperor, the president, military leader, musician), and if there is still a registered engraving, the price will go off-scale, even if the product is cheap.
A good book to consult regarding watch values is the “Complete Price Guide to Watches” by Cooksey Shugart, Tom Engle and Richard E. Gilbert. This is published annually, and is an excellent guide for identifying watches and finding their value.
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