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A guide to buying antique pocket watches

Having and wearing a pocket watch certainly makes a bold statement to those around you. However, choosing the right one for you can be a bit of a challenge. This article will give you a breakdown of several things to consider before you start searching and buying antique pocket watches.

The best places to buy from

Style and price Once you decide on the style and your price point, it’s time to shop! With over 20,000 options on any given day, Ebay offers one of the largest varieties of pocket watches that you will ever find. However, if you do not want to purchase a pocket watch sight unseen, which isn't advisable, think about the following: major jewellery stores, particularly antique jewellery stores, department stores like Macy’s for cheaper options that may not necessarily be antiques, a luxury timepiece boutique like Chopard (a gold-standard manufacturer that makes hand-crafted designs for thousands of dollars) or your local antique or pawn shop which can be good places to find rare watches.

The watch

When looking for a watch, there are a couple of key specifics that you should look out for. The age of the watch is of course always important. This can be found out by looking up the serial number of the watch and using this along with a good guide book. Make sure that you find out as much about the watch as possible and do your best to ensure that the watch seller knows what they are talking about. Any history of watch damage should be acknowledged. Also, the maker of the watch, like with many things, will determine the true antiques value of the watch. Find this out in advance to ensure that you get a good deal.

Type of watch

Pocket watches They come in two varieties. The open-face pocket watch is as its name suggests; a “coverless” watch. Alternatively, the Hunter-case watch has a cover – a metal lid – that closes over the face of the watch. This cover protects the timepiece from debris or damage. Most antique watches are of the Hunter-case persuasion, and it is considered to be the more classic version of the two. Therefore, if you are looking for a true antique watch, then the Hunter-case style watch are the ones to look out for. Furthermore, the type of watch that you are looking for should depend on when and where you are intending to wear it, if you are intending on wearing it at all. If you are genuinely planning to use it to tell the time, a waistcoat version would be most convenient whereas if you are looking to buy for aesthetics, then a lapel will look particularly good with a suit.

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