Thanks 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:
- Side Winder – You can identify this as it has no cover on the face and the winder will be positioned at 3 o’clock
- Open Face – It also has no cover but the winder is positioned at 12 o’clock
- Hunter – This will always have a closed case that covers the front of the watch.
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 :
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.