How to buy a pocket watch ? 7 Tips

pocket watches

How to buy a pocket watch? If you are timepiece collector or enthusiast, pocket watches can be right up your alley. 

King Charles II popularized pocket watches in the late 17th century.
The works of past century watchmakers, who are plentiful today on the antique market, are put up for sale for a variety of reasons, including the inutility of grandfather’s clocks, which have been sitting in the attic for years, or the desire to alter the course of a growing collection.
However, the monetary equivalent of vintage pocket watches for those who sell them and the prices demanded by these fascinating micro-mechanics in many antique shops always do not reflect the true worth of the watch.
Antique pocket watches can be found in abundance on the market. 
If you want to buy one of these antique pocket watches, you should think about the factor that decides the watches’ worth.

1. Case Design

There are three basic categories of pocket watches: open face, full hunter, and half hunter. The first is self-explanatory in that the design involves a watch with an open face that is exposed to the elements. The second and third provide some protection to the watch, such as half hunters, who shield the watch face while also displaying the time.

Open Face

The open face watch style is one of the easiest to recognize. Furthermore, since there are no obstructions in this kind of pocket watch, you can clearly see the time.

Why buy an open-face pocket watch?

In today’s world, pocket watches with an open face are becoming increasingly fashionable. However, in the nineteenth century, this style was not very successful. The most significant flaw is that it lacks a waterproof shell, making it vulnerable to scratches.

Full Hunter

A full hunter pocket watch can be a perfect choice for those who want a safe cover for their watch. However, because of the waterproof mask, there is a disadvantage to this watch. Since a complete hunter pocket watch has a protective mask, seeing the time would require an extra measure.

Why buy a full hunter pocket watch?

The maximum hunter pocket watch is now regarded as one of the finest and most famous pocket watches of all time. In addition, you can now customize the cover of these pocket watches. If you want a watch that can be customized and has a fantastic look, a complete hunter pocket watch is a great option.

Half Hunter

Half hunter pocket watches are designed for those who like the cover’s safety while also being able to see the time easily.

Why buy a half-hunter pocket watch?

A half hunter pocket watch’s key advantage is that it has a hole from which you can see the time without having to open the cover. As a result, a half hunter is regarded as one of the better varieties of pocket watches on the market.

Double Hunter

At first sight, the half hunter and double hunter pocket watches seem to be identical. There is, however, a significant distinction between these two kinds of pocket watches. The back of the Double Hunter watch has an additional sheet of security. In addition, the watch’s mechanisms are highlighted by the style.

Double hunter watches are renowned for their elegance and are one of the most sophisticated-looking pocket watches in the world. Additionally, this can be used as a decorative timepiece for your office desk.


Several styles are well-known for different reasons; for example, people who choose to wear their antique pocket watch every day can choose from a half or full hunter edition. This will help shield the watch from everyday wear and tear. Furthermore, these timepieces are ideally suited for special occasions.

2. Mechanics

Because of their small size, pocket watches are fragile. You must understand how the setting process operates. This will assist you in properly handling and winding the watch. Take a look at a stem-set watch with an external knob as an example. Before you can turn the knob to change the time, you must first take it out.
On the other hand, a lever-set type watch has a small switch on the side of the case that is used to change the settings. You must take care of these components because they will reduce the value of your pocket watch if they are damaged.

3. Execution, the most important.

Now that you’ve figured out how your watch works, it’s time to make sure it works. If any of the mechanical parts aren’t working, don’t try to force the device to work because you could end up destroying it.

A fully functional watch is worth much more than a pocket watch with a broken piece. There are four major types used to evaluate the quality of vintage watches (both watches as a whole and cases and movements separately):

  • a bad condition;
  • a decent working condition;
  • or a collectible (perfect) condition.

At the same time, particular consideration is given to the prospect (and feasibility!) of fixing or rebuilding watches, that is, getting them back to their original state by washing, lubricating, polishing, adding special coatings, and replacing, preserving, or producing missing components, among other things (restoration is carried out only in rare specialized workshops).

The two most important injuries

Broken Enamel Dial

A cracked enamel dial is deemed the most significant injury to an antique pocket watch.

If the master or owner of the watch does not have an identical (spare), this flaw is rarely necessary to fix. The restoration of an enamel dial is a lengthy, complicated, and costly process (the cost of work can often exceed the market value of the watch itself, given in order). It is rarely seen under rare circumstances.

As a result, buying a watch with a broken dial only makes sense if it has an interesting mechanism – such as complicated features or a well-known brand (for example, Breguet or Patek Philippe).

Dents and other marks

Dents and other signs of case deformation also significantly decrease the worth of vintage watches, and this is also linked to high repair costs. It should be noted that ordinary polishing would not be able to remove deep scratches from the surface of case covers with a pattern (guilloche), since this would destroy the pattern.

The state of the structure is determined by looking at the degree of wear on the pieces, the safety of the stones, the condition of the screws, and the absence of soil, rust, and oxidation traces. Around the same time, parity is being restored.

4. Substance

The content, like many other accessories, plays an important role in determining the value of pocket watches. It’s a basic concept: gold-made items are more valuable than steel-made items.

Take a look at precious metals such as wooden, gold, silver, and bronze were used to make high-value pocket watches. Even if the watch isn’t working, these materials have inherent value.

5. Background Information

There are factors other than material that can influence the value of a watch. You may be able to sell a watch that was used to time trains on the Transcontinental Railroad. That for more money if you own one.

You’re looking to purchase or sell a pocket watch? You have to keep these considerations in mind when determining the worth of your timepiece.

Please let us know if you know about any other considerations in the comments section below.

6. Spot the factories.

For determining the maker of a watch, look at the dial. If the brand name isn’t on the dial, look for it on the backplate of the pocket watch.  The watch’s origins are determined in terms of nation and/or city. if you look at the back, The word “signature” is often etched.
Factories manufactured watches in this city can be found out after you’ve determined where they were made. Keep in mind that some of the “difficult-to-identify” timepieces are important collectibles. As a result, being able to recognize them is important.

7. See pocket watches as pieces of art

Last but not least, you have to remember that certain antique and early pocket watches have considerable artistic merit. You have to respect and treat your pocket watches as such! Of course in comparison with the exceptional external design, magnificent finish, and exquisite decorative style. The technical features of such watches are sometimes insignificant).


Pocket watches are wonderful combination of fashion and function because they are good timepieces that will always keep you oriented with time, particularly if you are the kind of person that is always in hurry, and they will also help you look more stylish.
This item is for you if you are one of those people who is constantly trying out new fashion styles and needs to stand out. 
To buy a pocket watch, please visit our pocket watch shop!


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