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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 Quickest Method

In the eBay logs of Elgin related items there are about 10,000 watches listed as being sold. From this information, you can get a ball park figure of the value of a typical Elgin watch.
  • 34% sold for less than $50
  • 32% sold for between $50 and $99
  • 20% sold for between $100 and $199
  • 12% sold for between $200 and $499
  • 2% sold for more than $500
  • The highest price fetched was $7,300
Or, to look at it another way:
  • 34% sold for less than $50
  • 66% sold for less than $100
  • 86% sold for less than $200
  • 98% sold for less than $500
  • 100% sold for more less than $7,301
Chances are, an Elgin watch is worth less than $100.

I do not have figures on watches from other companies, but I suspect that the average Waltham and E. Howard watch will be a little higher, and that Illinois and Hamilton would be even higher. Most other companies such as Seth Thomas, New York Standard, Hampden, and such will have lower averages.

Actually, these numbers probably over estimate the typical value of an Elgin watch for several reasons:

  1. Most people will not want to go through the effort of listing a watch on eBay if they think they it will bring in less than $10-$25. It requires a lot of effort to take pictures, write a description, deal with packing/shipping, answer email, and everything else.
  2. Some of the watches were sold in lots of several watches. So, if a single auction had five watches, three of which were Elgins, there would be three entries in the eBay logs, and each entry would list the final price for the five watches combined.
  3. Watches that omit serial numbers in the descriptions are usually not listed in the eBay logs. Wrist watches usually do not list the serial number, nor do they show pictures of the watch movement and Elgin wrist watches generally sell for less than pocket watches. The result is the above prices don't fully reflect the lower price of wrist watches and Elgin made tens of millions of wrist watches.

PRO:   Very quick and free.
CON:   Not very accurate.


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 09/06/2002 at 11:23:08.