Dating a pocket watch

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How to Determine the Value of a Pocket Watch

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There may also be a number on the inside of watvh case, and maybe the name of the maker. Check for hallmarks on a sterling silver or gold case. There are three or four logos used on silver to identify the country of origin and date. Gold marks are often in logo form as well; the crown and sometimes the rose are the indicators of English gold. Gold watches may have the gold karat content within the logo, or they may have a number like. Gold-filled or gold-plated pocket watchcases were common. This style of watch is occasionally referred to as "nail set", as the set button must be pressed using a finger.

A jewel in a mechanical watch is a small, shaped piece of a hard mineral.

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Ruby and sapphire are most common. Diamond, garnet, and glass are also seen. Starting in the early 20th century, synthetic jewels were almost universally used. Before that time, low grade natural jewels which were unsuitable as gemstones were used. In either case, the jewels have virtually no monetary value. The most common types of jewels are hole jewels. Hole jewels are disks normally flying saucer shaped which have a carefully shaped and sized hole. The pivot of an arbor rides in this hole. The jewel provides an extremely smooth and hard surface which is very wear resistant, and when properly lubricated, very low friction. Thus, hole jewels reduce both friction and wear on the moving parts of a watch.

The other basic jewel types are cap jewels, roller jewels, and pallet jewels. Cap jewels are always paired with hole jewels, and always with a conically shaped pivot. The cap jewels are so called because they "cap" the hole jewels and control the axial movement of the arbor, preventing the shoulder of the pivot contacting the hole jewel.

For a properly designed hole and cap jewel system, the arbor pivot bears on the cap jewel as a pin point on a thin film of oil. Thus, a hole and cap jewel offer lower friction and better performance across different positions compared with simply a hole jewel. The roller jewel, also called the impulse jewel or simply impulse pin, is a thin rod of ruby or sapphire, usually in the shape of a letter "D". The roller jewel is responsible for coupling the motion of the balance wheel to that of the pallet fork. Pallet jewels are on the pallet fork and interact with the escape wheel.

They are the surfaces which, 5 times a second in a typical escapement, lock the gear train of the watch and then transfer power to the balance wheel. A jeweled watch with a lever escapement should contain at least 7 jewels. The seven jewels are; 2 hole jewels and 2 cap jewels for the pivots of the balance wheel staff arbor1 impulse roller jewel, and 2 pallet jewels. More highly jeweled watches add jewels to other pivots, starting with the pallet fork, then the escape wheel, fourth wheel, third wheel, then finally the center wheel. Jeweling like this to the third wheel adds eight jewels, giving 15 jewels in total.

Jeweling to the center wheel adds two more giving 17 jewels in total. Thus, a 17 jewel watch is considered to be fully jeweled.

Pocket watch a Dating

With American makers, however, it was common on low-end movements to jewel to the third wheel on only the top visible plate of the watch. If there are some letters incoroporated in the serial number common with Hamilton and Elgin your watch was probably made AFTER the last date on the chart. In the 's Bulova incorporated a symbol system to date the watches they manufactured. These numbers are stamped on the back outside of the case. If there is no two symbols, it could be that your watch was made before The code is very simple. The code was usually stamped on the back of the watch case.

For exabple, If you have a Bulova watch with the stamp M3 then it was made in An ornately decorated gear system also increases value due to the craftsmanship and aesthetics associated to this type of detailing.

Brand As with most types of watches, reputable brand names sell well at auction. Some key names to look out for include Longineswho have operated sinceand Omega who have been watch manufacturing since Elgin and Hamilton are also prolific watch manufacturing companies who both ceased business in the 60s. If you have a pocket watch made by one of these big names, you could be destined for a high figure sale. It has a gorgeous mother-of-pearl dial with original Breguet hands and was sold in full working order. The hands are particularly delicate making this pocket watch quite a dainty and delightful piece. Weighing 85 grams, it has a manual hand wind movement, solid 18K rose gold case and was sold with a handmade wooden leather-bound box.

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