Vintage Pocket Watch Collectors Tips

December 30, 2009

Watch collecting is an extremely popular hobby. A short visit to the magazine rack and your local bookstore will give you some idea of just how popular it is. There isn’t just one Watch Collecting magazine, there’s at least half a dozen. While all kinds of watches are sought after by collectors, my personal favorites are vintage pocket watches. Despite the fact that I wear a watch on my wrist, I frequently have a pocket watch tucked into my jeans as well.

These watches carry a timeless beauty and charm that makes them worth the premium price many of them cost, but since they do tend to get a bit pricey, it is important to choose a pocket watch for your collection that is really worth the money you’ll spend. To help you collect vintage pocket watches without having to deal with any of the possible hassles involved, here are a few helpful tips you can use.

Know the Individual Models and Types

Vintage pocket watches are available in a variety of types, such as open-faced or with a hinged cover. Before you make any purchase for your collection, learn about the different kinds available, and get familiar with some of the favored manufacturers, such as Illinois or Patek Philippe. You can find a wealth of information tackling the individual characteristics and features of different pocket watches. Start surfing the net, but don’t close your doors to some library books and other resources where details about timepieces can be gathered.

There are many books covering watches, such as The Complete Price Guide to Watches, by Tom Engle, which makes a decent place to start. It doesn’t cover vintage pocket watches exclusively, but it goes into a fair amount of depth about them. When finding the right information to use, don’t just stick to one source. Gather information from different sources and compare the facts and trivia presented. You’ll be surprised as to how the information differs and matches, especially on pricing and value.

If you’re planning on buying more than one or two pocket watches, I highly recommend getting an actual book about them and then using online resources to confirm current price data since prices in books are out of date before they even hit publication. And use customer reviews at Amazon to help guide you to the right published resources.

Pricing a Vintage Pocket Watch

Vintage pocket watches can run into the hundreds of dollars, but there are some nice watches under $100 as well. I recently bought a very nice Illinois pocket watch on Ebay that cost just a little over $80. Regardless of where you plan to buy a watch, Ebay is a great place to do some price-checking. You can check completed auctions going back two weeks to see what kinds of prices the watch you are interested in buying is currently fetching on the auction marketplace.

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