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What Is My Watch Worth?

People frequently want to know how much their antique or vintage watch is worth. Unfortunately, determining your watch's value is a hard question to answer. These web pages covers many of the general ways to try and find an answer to this question.

Table of Contents

There Is No Single Dollar Value
The Most Accurate Method
The Quickest Method
The Price Guide Method
The Online Elgin Database Method
The eBay Completed Auctions Method
The Appraisal Method
The Evaluation Method     (General Overview)
The Evaluation Method     (Detailed)
The Email the Webmaster Method


The Most Accurate Method

There is an old saying that "it's worth what someone will pay for it" and there is a lot of truth to that saying. The big difference between an offer and an appraisal is an appraisal is just an opinion. The only way to know for certain what something is worth is to go out and actually buy or sell it.

One quick way to sell your watch is to use the eBay auction site. List the watch with as much of the following information as you possibly can list:

  • Show pictures of the movement (where the gears are), the dial, the back of the case, the inside of the case and if it is a wrist watch, the band. Make sure the pictures are clear enough so that you can read the writing. If you used a scanner instead of a camera, make sure you have corrected the brightness of the picture.

    After analyzing many eBay auctions, clear pictures appear to be the single most important factor in reaching the highest price for a given watch.

  • In order to make the eBay search functions find your watch, you must list in the description everything that is written on the movement (usually the most important), inside of the case and on the dial.
  • State only facts that you are certain of in your description. Opinions, hype and speculations that turn out to be wrong can make your life miserable.
  • Say whether the watch is running or not, and if it is running how much time it has gained or lost in the last 24 hours.
  • Make sure the time can be easily set and the hands do not bind on each other.
  • Are there any places where the gold plating has worn through to the brass underneath or other discolored areas on the case? Gold is very shine and even the best pictures often show reflections of doors and dark objects which can be hard to distinguish from brassing.
  • For a pocket watch, are the case hinges tight and open to the correct 90° angle? Is the bow tight?
  • For a hunter pocket watch, does the front lid spring open when the winding crown is pushed in?
  • Also list any other facts that you think are important.
PRO:   You find out for certain what the value of the watch is to one person.
CON:   You end up parting with either the watch or your money. Selling can also be a fair amount of work.


Table of Contents

There Is No Single Dollar Value
The Most Accurate Method
The Quickest Method
The Price Guide Method
The Online Elgin Database Method
The eBay Completed Auctions Method
The Appraisal Method
The Evaluation Method     (General Overview)
The Evaluation Method     (Detailed)
The Email the Webmaster Method

While I'm not an expert, I believe the information on this page is correct. Please send suggestions and corrections to the webmaster.
This web site runs on 100% Open Source Software. This web page was last changed on 10/04/2002 at 10:39:13.