Watches are unique collectibles and since the beginning of civilization man has held a fascination for time. Man has sought to constantly improve his time-measuring instruments and has made them with the finest jewels and metals. The pocket watch, in particular, became ornamentation and a source of pride, and this accounts for its value among families for generation after generation.
The watch has become precious and sentimental to so many because it is one of the true personal companions of the individual, night and day. Another factor that has made watches unique collectibles is the intricate artisanship with which they are put together. Many of the watches of long ago, which were assembled with extreme accuracy and fine workmanship, continue to be reliable timepieces today. They stand out as unique because that type of watch is no longer handmade. In today’s world of mass production, the watch, with individual craftsmanship, containing precious jewels and metals, can rarely be found.
Just name it. More than likely someone will want to buy or sell it: books, coins, stamps, bottles, beer cans, gold, glassware, baseball cards, guns, clocks, watches, vacuum cleaners, radios, comics, art, cars, pottery, slave material, and everything in between.
Most Americans seem to be caught up in collecting something. This sudden boom in the field of collecting may have been influenced by fears of inflation or disenchantment with other types of investments. This has made more people come into the collecting because they gain some nostalgic satisfaction from these “new” tangible ties with long ago.
Collecting for the primary purpose of investment may prove to have many pitfalls for the amateur. Lack of adequate knowledge and the inability to “spot” fakes or flawed merchandise are the main causes of disappointment. In many fields, high class forgers are busy doing good and wonderful reproductions in large quantities, which can sometimes fool even the experts the first time they encounter them.
Watch collecting is a fast growing hobby and business. Many people collect for enjoyment and profit. The popularity of watches continues to rise because watches are part of history. The watch is collected for its beauty, quality in movement and case, and the value of the metal content. Solid gold and platinum are the top of the line, silver is also highly desirable.
As with limited edition prints, a watch of supreme excellence is also limited and will increase in value. At one time pocket watches were a status symbol. Everyone competed for beauty and quality in the movement and case. Solid gold were adorned with elaborate engravings, diamonds, and other precious jewels. The movements were beautiful and of high quality. Manufacturers went to great lengths to provide movements that were both accurate and gorgeous.
There are no two watches alike. This makes the appraising more difficult and often times, arbitrary. However, there are certain guidelines one can follow to arrive at a fair market value. When watches were manufactured, most companies sold the movements to a jeweler, and the buyer had a choice of dials, cases and movements. Some high grade movements were placed in low grade cases and vice versa.
Some watches had hand-painted, multi-colored dials and some were plain janes. Conditions of watches will vary greatly and this is a big factor in the value. The best movement in the best original cases will bring the most money for any type of watch.
Prices are constantly changing in the field of watches. Gold and silver markets were just going way up not too long ago and this effected prices of the cases so as to make some watches being scrapped for the gold value alone. This will make some of the gold watches even scarcer as these will be lost forever.
After acquiring a watch, you will want to take good care of it. A watch should be cleaned inside and out. Dirt will wear it out much faster, and paraffin from old oil is what slows them down. After a watch has been cleaned, it should be stored in a dry place with low humidity. Rust is a watch’s main enemy. A watch is a delicate instrument but, if it is given proper care, it will provide many years of quality service. A mechanical watch should be wound at regular intervals, in the morning because your rising time is more regular than any other time. A fully wound watch is more forgiving than a watch that was allowed to run down. If you are one that enjoys carrying a watch, be sure to have it cleaned when it starts to run slow.