[Elgin home]


Help

Elgin

Wayne's Projects
 

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 Price Guide Method

There are a couple of reasonable price guides for watches that I know of. Both contain reasonably long sections in the front explaining how to identify and grade watches. They are well worth getting just for this information.

When comparing values in guide books, it is critical to make sure you understand how the books are determining the condition of the watch and whether they are including the price of the case or not. Some books assume that the watch is in mint condition and the values they list will be the very top dollar. Others assume that the watch comes with the "correct case", or if it could be cased in anything, a gold filled case.


The first good guide book is the "Complete Price Guide to Watches" by Cooksey Shugart, Tom Engle and Richard Gilbert. This is the most widely referenced watch book and is often known as just "the book". New versions are released every year and it can be found at many local book stores. This book is neither 100% complete nor 100% accurate. The prices are often disputed, especially in the wrist watch area. It also requires a fair amount of knowledge in order to interpret the values correctly. Still, it makes a good start and I know of no other book that covers as much as Shugart's book does.

There is a list of known errors in the Elgin section that will give you an idea of the types of errors you may find in the rest of the book.

PRO:   Prices are widely accepted as being at least in the ball park, if not close to the actual values. The cost is at most around $30 and could be free if there is a copy in a public library.
CON:   Requires a fair amount of knowledge to correctly find the right listing and interpret it. Some people feel the prices are wildly inaccurate.


The second good guide book is the "American Pocket Watches Identification and Price Guide" by Roy Ehrhardt and Bill Meggers and available at the Heart of America Press. The most recent version is from 1999 and is not updated every year. As the title implies, this book doesn't cover wrist watches, but it does, however, cover pocket watches more completely with much better information about how to identify them. The prices do not seem as accurate as Shugart's Complete Watches book.

PRO and CON:   Basically the same as the "Complete Watches" book. The cost is around $35 and it doesn't cover wrist watches or European pocket watches.

Roy Ehrhardt has also written many wrist watch books, which I have not seen. However, if they are anything like the pocket watch books of his, they should be an excellent source of technical and practical information.


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 10/07/2002 at 15:10:32.