Antique Pocket watches

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jiminbartow
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Antique Pocket watches

Post by jiminbartow » Mon Apr 20, 2020 12:13 pm

What is the criteria you use in selecting a good, antique pocket watch for your collection? I prefer a nice unworn gold filled (can’t afford solid gold) case. If a hunter case I prefer that it have a sharp, ornate engraving and a strong latch and spring so the cover will pop open and latch shut, securely. I like it if it has the original round paper label side the case cover with a matching serial number. If the dial has even the smallest hairline crack, I won’t buy it. Dial should be perfect. I also want an original, unscratched crystal. Thick, with beveled edge is preferable. I prefer Roman numerals over Arabic Numerals and the more delicate the hands, the better. I don’t like heavy spade type hands. It also must work. As for size, I always like The large, 18s. I also like to collect nice, high quality watch chains with interesting fobs to display with my pocket watches. Third watch has an interesting memorial fob commemorating the 1901 death of Queen Victoria. Click on pictures to view them upright. Jim Patrick
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HPetrino
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Re: Antique Pocket watches

Post by HPetrino » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:25 pm

I do not know the first thing about pocket watches, but I have 2 that I'll keep until I die. One is a 7 jewel Elgin that belonged to my maternal grandfather. The case is silver I think, but I imagine it was a fairly inexpensive watch when new. What makes this one special is that there are dents on the back of the case. They were put there by the handle of the plow when my grandfather plowed his orchard and vineyard with his team of mules. He'd keep it in the "watch pocket" of his pants and it was in just the right spot to get hit from time to time (pardon the pum :lol: ).

The other is a ladies size Waltham. This came from my paternal grandmother. It has a very nice gold case. Inside the back cover it's engraved, "Letizia from Rosa 1915". Letizia was my grandmother. Rosa (we called her Rosie) was her aunt. The watch was a gift in commemoration of my grandmother's graduation from business college.

I doubt either of them is worth a fortune, but they're priceless to me.


HPetrino
Posts: 399
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First Name: Henry
Last Name: Petrino
Location: Modesto, CA

Re: Antique Pocket watches

Post by HPetrino » Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:37 pm

Question Jim:

I'd very much like to have my 2 watches "serviced". I'm not sure either of them is running right now. I know you're about as far away as you can be form me and still be in the continental US, but where do I look for a reliable person to do such work?


Topic author
jiminbartow
Posts: 285
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:55 pm
First Name: James
Last Name: Patrick
Location: Bartow, FL
MTFCA Number: 50126

Re: Antique Pocket watches

Post by jiminbartow » Mon Apr 20, 2020 9:23 pm

Nice story regarding your watches. I don’t know of anyone to recommend to repair them. That is why I only buy watches that work. Even if I knew of someone, I would be hesitant to recommend them to work on such a precious family heirloom in case they were not as good as I thought and ruined them. I would suggest going online and finding a local jeweler. Usually, a jeweler will know of a watch repair person to send your watches off to for repair. Stay safe. Jim Patrick


Grady Puryear
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Re: Antique Pocket watches

Post by Grady Puryear » Wed Apr 22, 2020 10:32 am

Look up NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors). It is an International Organization, I was a Member from the beginning,oh so many years ago, but got to where I couldn't see and lost the ability to hold things. I am sure that you can get lots of help from them on locating a Repair Man. I used to work on them myself, but cannot do it anymore, and have a safe full of them.


HPetrino
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Re: Antique Pocket watches

Post by HPetrino » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:44 pm

Thanks for the tip Grady! I'll look them up for sure.

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Mopar_man
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Re: Antique Pocket watches

Post by Mopar_man » Thu May 21, 2020 7:17 pm

Yup that's your best place to find someone to work them or collect them. I grew up in Waltham the watch city. I tend to collect only Waltham's and Howard's. For me the older the better Key wind, key set, lever set. I say collect what you like. Some of them can be rare but I bet close to 98% of them were common and they mad millions of them. Have fun with them just like T's.

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Walter Higgins
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Re: Antique Pocket watches

Post by Walter Higgins » Sat May 23, 2020 10:45 am

Pocket watches are great and there is no end to the variety. For once my own personal tastes work to my advantage as I prefer large size silver cases and typically I like them plain. I don't think any of mine are considered particularly high class. My interest lies more with what is inside of them. The Arabic numeral Elgin was my first and is the most plain. It has been a good and trusty carry piece for many years. Wanting something with heavy beveled glass I then found the Roman numeral Elgin on the right and then the nearly identical "sidewinder" to see the contrast in design. As a carry piece the key wind American with the full hunter case is probably the most significant though there's not much to see when you open the back. The most beautiful is the finger bridge Elgin. Easy to access the innards and mesmerizing to watch. Last is a salesman's sample Waltham in its original case that I bought simply because it was an interesting oddity and, again, I like being able to see what's inside and I like that it still had its tin case, which most seem to be missing.

Anyone passing though Pennsylvania on U.S. 30 should exit at Columbia and spend a few hours at the National Watch and Clock Museum. It is sensory overload for things that go "tick". If pocket watches are your particular interest they have a whole section on their manufacture detailing how they mass produced the engraving and tiny screws and whatnot.
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