Attempting to find the value of your Elgin pocket watch is not an easy thing to determine. There are quite a number of things to understand when working out the true and actual pocket watch value. There are a large number of variables that can impact on the worth such as condition or working parts. I shall cover this off in the information below.
Locate The Serial Number
The single most important factor when you are trying to determine the value is to locate the serial number. This will be the one that is on the inner movement of your watch. Once you have this important number then you can find the date when the watch was made. Please don’t use the serial number on the case of the Elgin watch. This holds no relevance and only the one on the movement is of any significance. Many people make this initial mistake and then struggle to determine the watch’s true age and potential value.
Just remember that the serial number we require can be found on what is often referred to as the workings of the watch or the actual movement. Once you have this then make a careful note of this by writing it down. From this one number we are able to find the age, grade and quality of the Elgin watch that you have. That is a really useful starting point and one that can not be disputed.
A general rule of thumb here is that the lower the serial number is then the older and more valuable the watch actually is. This is not strictly true in all cases but it is a good guide for placing original values and estimates. There are other determining factors for the evaluation of your watch but as a general guiding principle the older the better.
Elgin Pocket Watch Value – Understanding The Serial Number
Before the 1930′s Elgin used a number as its identification method. However, as they continued to produce these time pieces, they introduced a lettering system around the 1930′s. Elgin put these letters in front of their serial numbers and it is very important to understand these.
If your watch has a serial number beginning with a letter, then you will have to determine the million’s digits to get to the full Elgin Pocket Watch serial number. Thankfully that is not that difficult to do.
Letter Millions Digits
- C,E,T,Y 42
- X 38 or 39
- L 43
- U 44
- J 45
- V 46
- H 47
- N 48
- F 49
- S 50
- R 51
- P 52
- K 53
- I 54
Elgin Pocket Watch Value Explained
Hopefully that has made things a little easier. If not you can then refer to the Elgin pocket watch serial numbers article for further information. This should help you ascertain what type of Elgin watch you have and give you an indication of the true Elgin pocket watch value. There is a separate article on this website about the serial numbers which contains a table and an explanation of how to use this table to determine age. You can read that by clicking here.
Elgin pocket watch value can vary a lot. I have seen these watches go for as little as $25 and the highest I have seen one sell was for $11,750. I have read that they can reach up to $25,000 so a great item to have in your watch collection. I own several Elgin pocket watches and they all have different values.
The value is always much better if they are actually working, keep accurate time and have the original box. These increase the Elgin pocket watch value as do any type of sale’s information or history. There is a very good article here on how to appraise your Elgin watch to see what issues actually impact on the value of your watch.
You might also be surprised to find out that Elgin pocket watches turn up in the most surprising of places. I was in a small pizza restaurant in Rome the capital city of Italy having a lunch. I noticed a few old pocket watches inside a small glass cage behind the counter. I asked if it was possible to have a look. With a few translation skills I finally got a look at them and one of those was an Elgin pocket watch.
I am a sucker for something that I like and this particular one was a 1902 Elgin ladies Gold Filled Hunters watch. It had some slight damage on the outer case but not much.
After a little haggling and with my wife shaking her head in disbelief at the state of my Italian, I managed to negotiate a deal. I bought if for 50 Euros, which was around £40 or $60. All things being equal not a bad deal as I know that watch can easily sell today for $150.
It is always a good idea to know a little about the overall history of the Elgin pocket watch. You can read about that by clicking on this link.
I don’t have any real intention to sell this as I love the watch. It also now has memories of a great holiday. The owner of the restaurant had no idea how he came to own it which was a pity. I like to know and understand the history of the items that I buy, especially antiques. The one thing you can be certain about, is that if you have a watch then the Elgin pocket watch value should at least be determined, as you could be sitting on something worth quite a few dollars.
It is very difficult to determine any exact value as in essence it all comes down to what the market is willing to pay for it. At any given point in time value is impacted by supply and demand and in times like recessions the value of almost all antiques will drop as disposable income reduces.
Collectors are also a strange breed so where you plan to sell your watch is very important. Trust me on this, if you get three Elgin collectors in the same venue it is almost certain you will get a great price. If on the other hand you are selling your watch at a public auction with no Elgin collectors there, then your price will be much less.
If you have read my appraisal article you will also understand the key things that can impact on the value of your pocket watch. These are very important to understand. Much as I would like to offer an evaluation here on this website it is simply just not possible to do.
There are just so many different things to be considered and attempting to do an evaluation without having the watch in my hand would be completely misleading and would probably be inaccurate.
I do hope you understand this as the only way to get a real and accurate value is to take you watch to an expert who will be able to give you an insurance value, a retail value and a potential auction value. I hope that you have found this article on Elgin pocket watch value useful and informative.