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Old pocket watches
Old 01-12-2017, 05:29 PM   #1
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Old pocket watches

My DF recently gave me a old gold pocket watch that he had from his great great grandfather. It's from roughly the mid-1800's (between 1861 and 1871).

I'd like like to get it fixed up - the crystal is broken, and I'm hesitant to even wind it up. It was made by E Howard & Co.

So I'm looking for recommendations for a company that can refurbish and clean up an old watch.
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:53 PM   #2
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No suggestions, sorry, but that watch sounds really cool!
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:20 PM   #3
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We have a couple high end watch stores near us, Rolex, Tag, etc. They repair and sell old watches. I would look for someone similar to these guys near you.

https://www.righttime.com
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mpeirce View Post
My DF recently gave me a old gold pocket watch that he had from his great great grandfather. It's from roughly the mid-1800's (between 1861 and 1871).

I'd like like to get it fixed up - the crystal is broken, and I'm hesitant to even wind it up. It was made by E Howard & Co.

So I'm looking for recommendations for a company that can refurbish and clean up an old watch.
My next door neighbor and his Dad do this as a hobby. PM me if you want more information

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Old 01-12-2017, 10:26 PM   #5
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You might want to research a lot about them first (sold on ebay, etc), as surprisingly many pocket watches are worthless or only worth up to $200.
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:09 AM   #6
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You might want to research a lot about them first (sold on ebay, etc), as surprisingly many pocket watches are worthless or only worth up to $200.
Considering that it belonged to his great-great grandfather I'd place its value --sight unseen-- as 'priceless'.
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:24 AM   #7
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I took my grandfather's pocket watch to a local higher end jeweler and asked them, they didn't do repairs but did work with someone who did. It took a month (glass and spring were replaced) and was not inexpensive, but well worth the cost to me.
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:36 AM   #8
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You might want to research a lot about them first (sold on ebay, etc), as surprisingly many pocket watches are worthless or only worth up to $200.
That's basically my friend's business. He buys them cheap on eBay, Dad fixes them, then they resell them, or just adds them to his collection.

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Old 01-13-2017, 05:41 AM   #9
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If it's a family heirloom and there is no intent to sell it, I would almost be inclined to keep it as is with his "patina" on it. Sometimes "barn find" condition is better than refurbished.
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Old 01-13-2017, 06:44 AM   #10
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Sitting here looking at one in a stand I inhereted from my mother's father. Not sure how many greats precede "grandfather's" for this. Not sure if it ever HAD a crystal, can't tell. It has a hinged cover on it that is actually worn though on one edge.

Never had it appraised, will likely remain one of the very few "knicknacks" our kids will get some day. Currently trying to cut down as much as possible on that category of stuff.
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:12 AM   #11
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Thanks for the info.

I really have no intention of selling it, I'd just like to clean it up and be able to display it nicely and know a little more about it.

George, my great great grandfather, ran a small county bank in northern Ohio, founded by his father (after returning from the California gold rush). It was his watch.
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Old 01-13-2017, 08:39 AM   #12
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A beautiful watch.

When I brought mine in to the jeweler he took the back plate off and pointed to some scratches on the inside of the back. Then he lent me a jewelers glass and showed that they were the repair and maintenance history of the watch. Every time it was worked on, the jeweler recorded the name and work done, in amazingly small but clear script.

I take mine out and wear it on special occasions - weddings and baptisms.
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Old 01-13-2017, 09:39 AM   #13
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I have one from my grandfather, also.It is silver with beautiful scrollwork. We had it repaired at a local clock repair and I have had it in a display stand ever since. Sometimes my DH will wear it, plan to give it to DS.
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Old 01-13-2017, 09:51 AM   #14
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I have a jeweled gold pocket watch. It works and looks to be in perfect conditions.

It has been sitting in our safe deposit box for 8 years. It sat in my parent's safe deposit box for 25 years.

My grandfather used it for years. He obtained it in settlement of a personal debt. I want to keep and keep thinking that I should have it appraised. One of these days. I suspect there is not much monetary value. Purely sentimental. Not sure what my son will do with it when he gets it.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:15 AM   #15
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Interesting and you should be able to find someone to fix it up. Is there any name of the maker on the watch?

I have 4 old pocket watches that my dad had and one from my grandpa also. These are very cheap pocket watches that yo could buy in any hardware store in the early 1900's. A couple of them still run but stop and don't keep the right time. I have them I won't part with but also they aren't worth anything in value.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:31 AM   #16
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I can recommend this place; they do nice work.
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:34 PM   #17
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This is my old pocket watch. It dates from 1983. Dunno why I keep it, maybe because it doesn't take up much room in a drawer.

When I went into the fraud section we wore suits and at the time vested suits were still in style. This is the watch that went into the watch pocket.
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:46 PM   #18
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Love it Walt.
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:12 PM   #19
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If it's a family heirloom and there is no intent to sell it, I would almost be inclined to keep it as is with his "patina" on it. Sometimes "barn find" condition is better than refurbished.
+1.
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:54 AM   #20
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I wear my grandmother's wristwatch which she received as a wedding gift from my grandfather. I spend more on its care and feeding than I would ever spend on a new watch, but its an indulgence that I feel is worth the money. I take it to one of the chain jewelers and the watchmaker there sends it to their vintage specialist in Seattle.
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