Discovering the various values of an antique Elgin pocket watch is not always an easy thing to achieve. These watches were made over a full 100 year period and in that time, many different types were made. They were made from different materials, with different movements, by different makers and many then had custom made cases.
Right at the beginning only the movements were made by the company. Rich owners would than have taken these to a jeweller to have a case designed for their own preference. The more elaborate the case, the bigger sign of wealth by the owner.
Trying to get an accurate value is quite difficult simply because of all the factors above. When you add into that, the condition of the watch, if it is working or not, and things like is there any way of authenticated the piece, then you can see just how difficult this can be.
The only way to be absolutely certain is to take it to an approved evaluator. Once they have the watch in their hands they will be able to give you a really good indication of value. Here is a good article on how to evaluate a watch generally.
Two Types of Watch Values
Just remember that there are two distinctive value types when you are assessing your antique watch. You will have a “sell” value and also an insurance value. The sale value is simply what the market is willing to pay for it. This market will typically be watch collectors, antique shop owners and various bidders both off line and online. You could also have collectors of old railway items interested in the older watches.
Insurance value is the amount an Insurance company believes it would take to replace our watch if it was damaged, stolen etc (That will depend on the type of policy that you have) It is typically a higher value than a sale’s value and is sometimes simply called a replacement value. This can be a difficult one to ascertain and usually Insurance companies will want to see an independent evaluation.
Either way if you believe that your antique Elgin pocket watch may be valuable it is certainly worthwhile having it insured or seeing how much you should expect to get from it, if it went on the market.
When & Where To Sell An Antique Watch
Demand and supply and the state of the economy are all difficult to figure out. Let’s deal with the economy first. In deep recessions money is saved rather than spent and this is especially true in the Antiques and Collector’s markets. Someone with cash who would spend when times are good will not do this when the economy is fragile or in decline. Avoid any type of recessionary period if you can.
Also avoid general auctions as a rule. You want to try and target the places where watch collectors go and online specialist auctions are the place to go. Do a quick search on Google and you will find them. Personally I would want to know the approximate value before placing one on there for sale. Places like eBay are good to check as you can see what other people with Elgin watches are pricing their products at.
Be aware though that typically these are over priced and usually sell for much less. It nonetheless gives you a good idea of the type of figure you are talking about. Elgin pocket watches vary a lot in price from a few dollars to some thousands of dollars. You should always get an idea of approximate or potential value first.