Waltham Pocket Watches

Waltham Pocket WatchesThanks for reading this article on Waltham pocket watches. I am not an expert on these watches by any means but I thought I would include a section on Waltham as that was where the Elgin company actually started from so in many ways their history is inter-linked.

Waltham Pocket Watches Value

The main question I always get asked is what is the value of a pocket watch. I can never tell you that with any degree of accuracy as there are just too many variables. There are so many things that contribute to the value of a watch that it would be unfair to even an offer an estimate. The bottom line is the value will always be determined by what someone is willing to pay for it and who can ever guess what that may be?

Waltham watches were made between 1851 and 1957 in the city of Waltham near Massachusetts in the USA. There are many collectors of these antique watches and as a general rule of thumb the rarer and older the watch is then the more value it will have. The best place to start in terms of identification is to find out what type of watch you actually have.  There are three types of antique pocket watches which are:

  1. Side Winder – You can identify this as it has no cover on the face and the winder will be positioned at 3 o’clock
  2. Open Face – It also has no cover but the winder is positioned at 12 o’clock
  3. Hunter – This will always have a closed case that covers the front of the watch.
To check it is a Waltham open the back cover and check for markings which should have A.W.W.Co along with Waltham, Mass somewhere on the actual movement. This will also have some type of grade marking. Please be careful when opening the back cover. I always use something made from a stiff plastic rather than a metal knife recommended by many people. Once open then check the serial numbers on the movement below and this should identify the date your watch was made.
Depending on when your Waltham watch was made the cases do vary in design. In some cases these are hinged around the 6 o’clock position. In other cases you can open the back by pushing down on the crown of the watch and it will release the cover.
Waltham also made some cases and if you look on the inside of the case you will see AWco. If the case is made of gold there will also be a K which represents the gold quality (karat) and a number such as 18. This is not something you normally find with other watch manufacturers but you will with the Waltham make.

Although difficult try to avoid touching the actual movement with your fingers as this can cause problems. You should now be able to get a note of the serial number though you may need a magnifying glass to see this properly. Take a note of this number and match it in the table below.

Waltham Pocket Watches Serial Numbers

Like the Elgin pocket watch the important serial number to look for is the serial number on the movement of the watch. You may also find a number on the case but this is of no relevance when working out the age or grade of your watch. Back when these were made Waltham would have made the movements only and the customer would than have got a jeweller to make a case to fit around the movement. It was only after the 1930’s that manufacturers like Waltham started selling the case and movement as a single piece.

The Waltham serial numbers are shown below :

Year Serial Number
1852 50
1853 400
1854 1000
1855 2500
1856 4000
1857 6000
1858 10000
1859 15000
1860 20000
1861 30000
1862 45000
1863 65000
1864 110000
1865 180000
1866 260000
1867 330000
1868 410000
1869 460000
1870 500000
1871 540000
1872 590000
1873 680000
1874 730000
1875 810000
1876 910000
1877 1000000
1878 1150000
1879 1350000
1880 1500000
1881 1670000
1882 1835000
1883 2000000
1884 2350000
1885 2650000
1886 3000000
1887 3400000
1888  3800000
1889 4200000
1890 4700000
1891 5200000
1892 5800000
1893 6300000
1894 6700000
1895 7100000
1896 7450000
1897 8100000
1898 8400000
1899 9000000
1900 9500000
1901 10200000
1902 11100000
1903 12100000
1904 13500000
1905 14300000
1906 14700000
1907 15500000
1908 16400000
1909 17600000
1910 17900000
1911 18100000
1912 18200000
1913 18900000
1914 19500000
1915 20000000
1916 10500000
1917 20900000
1918 21800000
1919 22500000
1920 23400000
1921 23900000
1922 24100000
1923 24300000
1924 24550000
1925 24800000
1926 25200000
1927 26100000
1928 26400000
1929 26900000
1930 27100000
1931 27300000
1932 27550000
1933 27750000
1934 28100000
1935 28600000
1936 29100000
1937 29400000
1938 29750000
1939 30050000
1940 30250000
1941 30750000
1942 31050000
1943 31700000
1944 32100000
1945 32100000
1946 32350000
1947 32750000
1948 33100000
1949 33500000
1950 33560000
1951 33600000
1952 33700000
1953 33800000
1954 34100000
1955 34450000
1956 34700000
1957 35000000

 

Waltham Pocket Watches for Sale

If you are looking to purchase a watch from this manufacturer then there are a number of places where you will be able to find them. I always find the best place to be physical auction rooms in remote places. Here you can usually avoid avid collectors who will always push the price up. If you are lucky enough to do that then you can sneak under the radar and pick these up for a low price.

There is of course always eBay who sell a lot of these watches but you do need to exercise great care as I have seen quite a number of suspect Waltham watches on there. Personally I would only buy one here if there was some proof of authentication. I have used it myself a few times and bought them when they came with  some type of proof or they didn’t cost that much.

Amazon also do a selection of watches and there are a few other random sites that also sell these which you can find by doing a simple search around the Internet. Always be wary before parting with any money and I would never do this unless there is some type of proof of authentication.

Vintage Waltham Pocket Watches

In simple terms the older the watch then the more likely it is to have a higher value. These watches were not made after 1967 so I guess you could assume that any Waltham pocket watch is vintage and there is no actual definition of what is a vintage one and which isn’t. The same two principles apply in that if it is older and working it is worth more and if it is a rare watch it is worth more.

They vary in price from as little as a few dollars to a few thousand dollars so it is completely your choice as to what you can afford. I have done an article on pocket watch appraisal which will help you understand what to look out for so hopefully you will find that useful. Click here for more information on that. 

Waltham Pocket Watches Prices – How Much Are Waltham Pocket Watches Worth?

These vary greatly in price and I have seen them range from around $20 (usually for parts) all the way up to around $15,000. So if you have the right one then you could certainly have a valuable timepiece. The same principles apply to a Waltham as to any other vintage brand. Age is very important and the more unusual the better and if it it still works then you can be fairly certain your watch is worth a considerable amount of money.

It is impossible to do an evaluation over the Internet and even with close up pictures it is still very hard. There are so many things that need to be checked and verified and unless you are an expert and have the watch in your hand then to give an evaluation is simply misleading.

Vintage Waltham Pocket Watches ebay

I guess the question is “Are Waltham pocket watches valuable?” and again there is no one answer fits all when it comes to accurately determining the exact value. eBay is simply an online auction and the bidder will pay what they are willing to pay. That will ultimately determine the value of your watch if you are selling it. It is always the age old principle of supply and demand.

I checked on eBay to see how many watches made by Waltham were on sale and at any given time there are around 2,000 active and bidding sales. That is a lot for any product and the cheapest was $10 and the most expensive was just under $11,000 for a Gold Hunter style watch. That is typical of the variation for watches and really it comes down to how much you want to spend to get the best watch.

My recommendation is that before you would spend anything you should really understand what makes a pocket watch valuable and also to take advice from an expert. I have done an article on watch appraisal and you should begin by reading that which you can do by clicking on the highlighted link. That will give you the basics and then you should be able to have a conversation with someone who can advise how much a watch is actually worth. I have found with all auction sites that sellers always ask a lot more than they actually know they will get so be wary of that.

What many people don’t know is that Amazon also sell Waltham pocket watches though their range is limited but that site is also worth a search if you are in the market for a watch.

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One thought on “Waltham Pocket Watches

  1. Hi…i have an A.W.W.co watch seriel number 40068…which..according to the list dates it around 1860…but i looked at the stamps…which has a Lion..an Anchor and a K…which says in another site that its from 1909-1910..bit confused as to which is correct…regards Steve

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