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Author Topic: Does anyone collect or own any antique pocket watches?  (Read 9953 times)
Malikon
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« on: May 08, 2012, 09:01:06 pm »

Just curious if anyone here collects them or even owns just one. Checking around online the prices on ones 100+ years old really aren't too ridiculous.

I'm seeing them kind of seeming to average around $300. Which of course is a lot of money, but how cool would it be to own a pocket watch that's actually 110 years old?
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 09:02:48 pm by Malikon » Logged

MWBailey
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2012, 11:02:21 pm »

I have yet to find such an item that I've felt to be needful for my purposes. I actually use my pocket watches, so I tend more toward durable, late-model wind-up watches that still run well, like the Walthams and Westcloxs, and a few of the Armitrons and Timexes. Granted, they aren't over 100 years old (more like 20  to 50 years if that), and they don't usually cost $300 or more; usually between $10 and $30 unless the dealer's determined to get a prettier penny - in which case I just pass them by.

Westclox vintage windup "conductor" style pocket watches and similar are plebian, inexpensive, and by and large, built like a tank with styling that hasn't changed much since the 1890s, though granted most of those companies haven't been around that long.. (if you look at pictures of 19th-century thin- and medium-case watches, many of them look amazingly similar to the conductor style Westclox -esque marques).

Sure, it'd be interesting to own a really old watch, but our family already has one that hasn't come out of its display frame in 50 years (it's at a relative's house in another town), and at its appraisal was determined to be nigh unfixable unless we spent about twelve times the amount that the watch was worth. I'd rather own one that I can use on a daily basis.

Just my two cents; to each trheir own. If you want the antique turnip or whatever it is, go for it! Smiley
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Malikon
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2012, 11:13:36 pm »

I use my watch (I only have one) too, but the idea of having one from 1890 or so is appealing. I've seen them as low as $100. which seems reasonable to me, and I wouldn't have a problem with wearing that daily.

The vintage guitars I like are 53 years old and go up to $250,000.  So $100. for a 122 year old watch seems like a bargain in comparison.

(I'd like to get a wind up table top victrola w/ horn as well,....eventually.) But a watch would be more practical.

I will look into the ones you mentioned though, thanks.  Smiley
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Man of Steam
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2012, 11:50:34 pm »

My great uncle had some really nice old ones(I think one was from a world fair), but we keep those in a jewelry box, and don't use them at all.
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Capt. M. Thorne
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 12:57:01 am »

My one and only pocket watch is an Elgen from 1910, in good working order though it does need bit of a tune up. I bought it for $100 even at a local pawn shop, and use it every day.
It's not in like new condition, and has a good amount of wear on the case, but for me that adds charm.
The best thing is that I can leave it to my son when I'm dead & gone, knowing that with proper care it can last probably forever.
Clockworks are a beautiful thing, even if it does break, id have it fixed despite the cost because I feel we need objects like this in out digital, electric driven age.
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Malikon
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 01:30:07 am »

My one and only pocket watch is an Elgen from 1910, in good working order though it does need bit of a tune up. I bought it for $100 even at a local pawn shop, and use it every day.
It's not in like new condition, and has a good amount of wear on the case, but for me that adds charm.
The best thing is that I can leave it to my son when I'm dead & gone, knowing that with proper care it can last probably forever.
Clockworks are a beautiful thing, even if it does break, id have it fixed despite the cost because I feel we need objects like this in out digital, electric driven age.

That's very cool.

And I agree completely. My girlfriend asks, "why do you like so much Old Stuff?!"

And I always have the same answer, "Because it's not made out of plastic."
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Dr Fidelius
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 01:52:43 am »

Back in the 1950s, my father purchased a nice gold hunter case Elgin watch made in his birth year. In his honor, I carry and use it regularly; it is not my daily pocketwatch but I wear it for well-dressed occasions. I do not use it as part of my costuming at events, but I know he would want it to be used and not just packed away somewhere. This is my oldest watch at 85 years.
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 02:19:52 am »

My one and only pocket watch is an Elgen from 1910, in good working order though it does need bit of a tune up. I bought it for $100 even at a local pawn shop, and use it every day.
It's not in like new condition, and has a good amount of wear on the case, but for me that adds charm.
The best thing is that I can leave it to my son when I'm dead & gone, knowing that with proper care it can last probably forever.
Clockworks are a beautiful thing, even if it does break, id have it fixed despite the cost because I feel we need objects like this in out digital, electric driven age.

That's very cool.

And I agree completely. My girlfriend asks, "why do you like so much Old Stuff?!"

And I always have the same answer, "Because it's not made out of plastic."

Exactly. Just because plastics have made things cheaper, is no reason not to care about quality craftmanship, and the art of the horologist exemplifies this like nothing else. The problem is that people often discard things that are precious parts of out heritage  and history for something cheap, digital and disposable.

With out even something as simple as your great grandad's pocket knife or pipe, we begin to forget what life was once like. At that point we fail to learn from their mistakes, and their methods of success.
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Malikon
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2012, 03:19:25 am »

well said
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Drew P
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2012, 03:22:58 am »

Psst,check the Chronautomata section,you might be there awhile Wink
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Malikon
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2012, 03:29:49 am »

Thanks. I saw them but I thought they were 'kid safe' boards or something. Now that I clicked it,.....yeah,....got some reading to do.  Grin

edit: The Chronautomata section is awesome!
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 03:38:56 am by Malikon » Logged
Herbert West
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2012, 10:33:10 am »

 This is such a sore point with me. When I was a child, my dad gave me my grandfathers old steel pocket watch, probably from the early 1900's when he worked for the railroad. It was just this big heavy piece of metal. Not ornate at all, even a little nicked and scuffed. Just a good, sturdy working mans watch. I had it for a many years, but somewhere in the last twenty years it was mislaid or lost somewhere, and it breaks my heart. I'd give anything to have that old watch back.

So instead, I make do with a modern gold-plated Westclox watch my father gave to me back in the late 70's. Its a bit cheap looking unfortunately, but its better than nothing.

Note: Found photos of it online.

http://vintagewestclox.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=979&sid=91a42d994aea6c8138c67976a2c26029
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 10:37:54 am by Herbert West » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2012, 09:09:41 am »

Let's see; from my study desk I spy:

Nine pocket watches on the desk top
Six pocket watches on the book case
Four pocket watches on the CD rack

There are a few others lurking out of sight…

These range from early 1800s to 1970s in date, the majority being around 1890-1910. Most are working, some are 'awaiting attention'.

My everyday working watch is a 1908 Waltham Traveller hunter. A very handsome watch. and still keeping good time after all these years.



According to the message I get when visiting that link, "You have been banned from this forum.
Please contact the webmaster or board administrator for more information."

How strange.

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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2012, 10:12:00 am »



According to the message I get when visiting that link, "You have been banned from this forum.
Please contact the webmaster or board administrator for more information."

How strange.



It seems to be just you; probably a recycled IP or an IP-block ban.
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Astalo
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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2012, 08:15:25 pm »

Also I get the same "You have been banned from this forum" message.
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von Corax
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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2012, 04:07:10 am »

Also I get the same "You have been banned from this forum" message.

So it's not just you — but not everyone either. Most strange indeed.
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Sir Henry
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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2012, 09:59:02 am »

Looks like everyone on the planet has been banned except those in the US and Canada. A tad parochial...

I have half a dozen pocket watches from 1922 onwards, though my favourite is a rather ornate one from 1970's Soviet Union. I still don't know why they thought that tourists wanted a wide range of pocket watches above just about any other souvenir of their stay, but those Intourist shops started me collecting them. I had about 20, mostly from the 20's and 30's, until poverty knocked and most of them had to go.  Cry
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darkshines
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« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2012, 10:30:24 am »

I was sold a pocketwatch as scrap for £7, it was dated 1845. The only thing wrong with it was the mainspring was too tightly wound and it didn't have glass in. I repaired it, had the glass replaced (for £30) and sold it to another dealer for £70. I would much rather a functioning watch stayed in circulation than someone ripped it apart to make tacky jewelry from!
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Prof Thadeus Q. Wychlock
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« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2012, 05:48:56 pm »

I love pocket watches Grin

My apologies in advance.
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« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2012, 06:24:16 pm »

If it's not a silly question, what time was that photograph taken?  Wink

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Prof Thadeus Q. Wychlock
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« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2012, 06:42:21 pm »

If it's not a silly question, what time was that photograph taken?  Wink


In London, Timbuktu or Outer Mongolia Huh

Wink
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Malikon
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« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2012, 06:40:00 am »

I love pocket watches Grin

My apologies in advance.
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Awesome, very nice.
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