Tic Tock, Tic Tock – Watch for clocks! Make sure you are keeping your eyes open for clocks. Here’s why: Pocket watches, wrist watches, table clocks and wall clocks can be set in precious metals. They can also be valuable, because of their age and makers, too. I’d take some time and learn about these time pieces.
While I was at a yard sale one morning, I noticed a box sitting on the pay table with numerous items in it. Some of it happened to be jewelry boxes. After asking if I could look through the items, I started digging in the box…game on!
Under some items, I found a pocket watch, but there was no price. I asked how much they wanted and was told 5 bucks. SOLD, to me!
1910 Elgin Pocket Watch with the Fancy Dial Face.
Here are the juicy details on what I discovered in the box that rainy morning. It was a wind up Elgin Pocket Watch. I was familiar with this watch, since my mother has a wind up Elgin watch. I know the wind up watches can be valuable and this looked like a gold case to me. It was definitely worth my 5 dollars.
1910 Elgin Pocket Watch Back Cover.
Once I got it home, I quickly researched it. Based on the Elgin movement’s Serial Number (15563842) it was made in 1910, with a grade 320. The watch case is known as a hunter’s case. The case was made by the Philadelphia Watch Case Co. and says “Guaranteed Twenty Five Years”. Each part of the case is marked with the case number 7195746. There was some major damage to the case; someone removed the front case lid that closes over the crystal face. Even with this missing, it is still a great watch. When I wound it up, it still ran, although it would need a tune up. The face of the pocket watch is a fancy dial with an ornate face and hands. A watch repairman could take this fancy face and movement out of this case and place it in another case which would increase the value. Keep this in mind, because it was a beautiful piece even with a missing lid, so access the damage of any watches you find. They could be valuable as parts.
1910 Elgin Movement Serial Number.
This beautiful pocket watch sold on eBay on 12-15-13 for $74.99 + shipping. After paying the fees and purchase price, it was a profit of $59.
1910 Elgin Pocket Watch Sold eBay Screen Shot.
Now, from what I’ve gathered if the watch case says Guaranteed # Years, it is a gold-filled watch case. This marking on the pocket watch was inside the second case lid that exposes the Elgin movement, so you might have to open it with your fingernail (being very careful) or take a chance and open it at home to read. Otherwise, it could be marked with a precious metal purity mark (like 14K). So check watches for marks too. You just might find a thousand dollar watch.
1910 Elgin Pocket Watch Case Guarantee Marking Inside Lid.
Even my gold-filled wind up pocket watch find was valuable – $59 in my pocket!
Good Luck and Happy Hunting,
Author of “Cheap Gold and Silver”