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Determining the Value of an Antique Watch

The best way to determine the value of an antique watch is to have it professionally appraised by a certified appraiser that specializes in antique jewelry. An appraisal cannot be done successfully with pictures or a written description. The professional appraiser must be able to see the antique jewelry from all angles, holding it in his hand to determine the true value.


The most important part in determining how much an antique watch is worth is the demand for it. If it is in high demand, it will be worth more money. Even the rarest or most jewel encrusted antique watch will not have a high appraisal value if there is no one interested in buying it. The second most important aspect in determining the value of an antique watch is the condition that the watch is in. The appraiser will look for dents, scratches, rust, chips or any other signs of wear. The appraiser will also look inside the watch, making note of the jewels, the originality of the parts, and the condition of the mechanism. A watch in good condition, in its original case with quality movement, will have the best appraisal price.


Another important thing to think about when getting an antique watch appraised is that simple, plain and basic antique watches will not have much value. People want elaborate watches made of gold or platinum and precious gems with intricate designs. The more attractive the appearance, the more interest it generates and the higher the value will be. If the watchcase does not have its original movement, it will reduce the value. Look on the back of the watchcase for the stamp that indicates it is gold. The stamp will be 14L, 18K or 750. A gold plated watchcase will have a GF stamp, a guarantee stamp, or no stamp at all.


Finally, historical ownership, name brand, and entertainment value all play a role in the value of an antique watch. If the previous owner was someone famous, like a president, celebrity, scientist, author, or artist, it will increase the value of the watch. A watch made by a famous manufacturer, like Tiffany & Co, will be worth a significant amount of money. If there are any special effects like melodic chimes, date displays, moon phases, or anything else that would spike the interest of collectors, the value of the antique watch will be increased.