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  1. #16
    Registered User musicguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: SHBKF)

    Quote Originally Posted by SHBKF View Post
    Some cars are displayed with years of "patina", make that dirt, as if this somehow makes them more valuable. It probably means "needs total restoration". Survivor is another interesting description for an unmolested car that may be desirable for someone who values totally stock.
    I'm the one that likes patina, sorry. Not on all antique things(like jewelry), but on many.

  2. #17
    Registered User Ethan Lipsig's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: Greg Frauenhoff)

    Although I will pick up the gauntlet Greg has thrown down, and mention a few rare watches in my collection, Clint was on target in pointing out that scarcity only is important when it is valued. The scarcity of many pocket watches, especially Swiss watches, will never be known because of inadequate information. If I am representative, collectors collect those watches for what they are rather than scarcity, since it generally isn't known. For example, there surely aren't many 18k Haas Neveux minute repeater/rattrapantes like this one in my collection, but I doubt that scarcity plays much of a value-setting role for it and its ilk.



    A great deal more information has survived about American watches. For example, according to the Complete Price Guide's star rating system, only 100 or fewer of a four star watch were made or survive, such as this New York Standard 15j convertible in my collection.



    Another example is the 23 jewel Illini. Illinois made 200, but as far as I know, only eleven still exist, despite which the Complete Price Guide only gives it three stars. I have these two (I have posted a photo of only one of the two movements since they are identical).




    But for real rarity, perhaps the best example in my collection is this aluminum-cased, aluminum-plate Illinois 525.



    Illinois made 50. I am only aware of two other surviving examples. The Complete Price Guide gives this watch five stars, its highest rarity rating.

    A significant problem in collecting rare watches is that you have to take what's available even if it isn't pristine; you might not get another chance to acquire one.

    And now for a little rarity test: I any of you have examples of any of the four watches I have just described, please post photos. Let's see how rare these four really are.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_2730.JPG   IMG_3206.JPG   IMG_3213.JPG   IMG_1649.JPG   IMG_1654.JPG  

    IMG_4329.jpg   IMG_4361.JPG   IMG_4549.JPG   IMG_2737.JPG   IMG_2753.JPG  


  3. #18
    Registered User Jerry Treiman's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: Greg Frauenhoff)

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Frauenhoff View Post
    As an exercise in "fun-ness" perhaps people here could post examples of watches (or related stuff) IN THEIR COLLECTION along WITH PICTURES of such that they consider to be "RARE" along with an EXPLANATION of why they consider such to be rare. This might help to illuminate the distinctions that we (collectors) make in deciding what is "rare" and what isn't. I think it might be fun to challenge ourselves in this regard. Or we can continue with the same old debates about certain auction venues, shady sellers, over hyping watches, etc..

    If anyone asks, I can start with an example.
    Using the Gilbert/Engle/Shugart (GES) system that Kent shared in post #12 (Rare is 25 or less), I think this watch would qualify, although all might not agree.

    Waltham made about 2,400 of their 23-jewel Riverside Maximus grade in their “Colonial Series” (14-size dial plate and 12-size top plates). These are far from rare, and barely “uncommon” in the GES system. One can find them offered regularly enough on eBay or other auctions that I don’t think I would even consider them uncommon. The watch I show here, though, is one of seven that were custom finished for the jewelry firm of Bigelow Kennard & Co. in Boston. It is distinct from the regular production models in the finish, but especially in the use of a patented recoiling click that was patented by Bigelow Kennard & Co., and only used on Waltham watches for Bigelow Kennard & Co.

    This would be an example of a limited special modification or variant of an otherwise much more common watch.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 15110018f.jpg   15110018mobl.jpg  
    Jerry Treiman, NAWCC member since 1971
    Charter member of Pocket Horology Chapter 174

  4. #19

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: Greg Frauenhoff)

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Frauenhoff View Post
    As an exercise in "fun-ness" perhaps people here could post examples of watches (or related stuff) IN THEIR COLLECTION along WITH PICTURES of such that they consider to be "RARE" along with an EXPLANATION of why they consider such to be rare. This might help to illuminate the distinctions that we (collectors) make in deciding what is "rare" and what isn't. I think it might be fun to challenge ourselves in this regard. Or we can continue with the same old debates about certain auction venues, shady sellers, over hyping watches, etc..

    If anyone asks, I can start with an example.
    As an unbiassed outsider, I think that's a great idea

    And I might just start up a parallel thread in the European Watches Forum
    Martin Rosen

  5. #20
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    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: Jerry Treiman)

    Truthfully, I have no idea how many of these were made so don't know if it would be called rare or scarce or what. I know of probably a half dozen examples, and again I'll fall back on "if all your friends have one, how rare is it?"

    You certainly don't run into these regularly on Ebay, at J-H, or at regionals though.








  6. #21
    Registered User Jerry Treiman's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethan Lipsig View Post
    ... And now for a little rarity test: If any of you have examples of any of the four watches I have just described, please post photos. Let's see how rare these four really are.
    I do have a 23-jewel Illini. These appear on the market every few years (often one that has appeared before) but I only acquired mine this past year. I have recorded 15 surviving examples so far, about half of those still in their original gold cases. Mine came with a poor metal dial (as many of these do); this enamel dial is a small improvement. (They were advertised to have an enamel dial).

    I had an opportunity to acquire a New York Standard convertible recently (movement only) but let that one go.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Jerry Treiman, NAWCC member since 1971
    Charter member of Pocket Horology Chapter 174

  7. #22

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?"

    Thanks for the posts of rare watches.

    This mvt was handy and hopefully will illustrate how we (me and only me?) collectors analyze "rareness". It's not a glamorous piece, but if you collect Auroras (my specialty) it is a rare item.

    Here it is:



    It's a 6 size American mechanical pocket watch mvt which makes it...common as dirt.

    It's an Aurora, which means it was one of about 105,000 mvts.

    It's a 6 size Aurora, which makes it one of about 7500.

    Here's where it gets to be rare. We (collectors) attach significance to what the makers called "grades". This one is a grade no. 37. We (me) know this because the Aurora factory records (partial though they are, do cover most all of the early to middle production of their 6 size grades) lists the run for this mvt (s/n 150010) (150,001-150,010) as this particular grade (no. 37). Also, there are no other runs for this grade in the records. Further, the first ten 6 size Aurora mvts made were all this grade. Every bit of available documentary evidence suggests that Aurora made only 10 grade no. 37 mvts. Period accounts also note that the first 10 6s mvts were "experimental".

    So, everything out there indicates that 6s Aurora #150010 was an experimental 6 size Aurora grade no. 37 of which only 10 were made. I'd call it extremely rare, even if it has no great value attached to it.

    Miraculously, 4 other mvts are known from this single run of ten.

    All FWIW.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img759.jpg  

  8. #23

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: Jerry Treiman)

    I'm assuming these are on the known list, but I've had 23J Illini serials 2935011 (with 14K original case) and 2935073 (movement only). I believe I've had two others as well and will have to see if I can find serial info on them.
    Fred Hansen
    NAWCC #109682

  9. #24

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: Fred Hansen)

    To the main topic, I won't fault anyone using the word rare for a watch with original total production in the 3 digits. To what degree that rarity translates to market value is a more complicated issue that varies greatly.
    Fred Hansen
    NAWCC #109682

  10. #25
    Registered User musicguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?"


  11. #26

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: musicguy)

    Quote Originally Posted by musicguy View Post


    Rob,

    It is certainly beautiful but hardly rare. 500 of these watches were made. You can find one to buy if you want one. It is a beautiful and valuable watch...but not rare.




    John Cote
    Watch Collector (pocket & wrist), Clock Admirer, Time Nerd...

  12. #27
    Registered User Ethan Lipsig's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: John Cote)

    John is right, of course. Rarity isn't the only factor that bears on value. Elgin 21j convertibles are highly valued because they are so
    special, not because they are so uncommon (up to 1000 were made of each of the two grades, 72 and 91). To underscore that they aren't that hard to find, I have one Grade 72 and three Grade 91s.

    Fred, the two Illinis you listed in your posting are among the 13 of which I am aware. I was mistaken when I said in an earlier posting that I only knew of 11. Here is my list of 13 (Jerry, please post information about the two others you've seen).

    1. 2,933,918 (one of mine)
    2. 2,933,922 (TM's?)
    3. 2,933,944 (in Snyder database)
    4. 2,933,951 (RS's?)
    5. 2,933,958 (sold on eBay for $860 on 7/15 in original 14k Solidarity case)
    6. 2,933,964 (known only from a certificate)
    7. 2,933,971 (offered on eBay in 6/15)
    8. 2,933,972 (?)
    9. 2,935,011 (sold by Fred Hansen)
    10. 2,935,041 (one of mine)
    11. 2,935,073 (sold by Fred Hansen)
    12. 2,935,076 (ML's?)
    13. 2,935,097 (ML's?)

  13. #28
    Registered User Clint Geller's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: Ethan Lipsig)

    Well, I never meant to suggest that production totals have no bearing on rarity, but only that the subject of rarity is more complicated than that.

    I specialize in watches with Civil War provenances nowadays, so I can argue, only partly in jest, that every one of my watches has at least one unique feature, as no other watch likely has the same presentation.
    Clint Geller, FNAWCC, # 84,947

  14. #29

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: Clint Geller)

    As stated earlier quantity is and should not be the only determining factor when purchasing a rare watch.
    Here is a Gr. 94 Illinois, supposedly under 100 made, there seems to be only about 10 recorded as survivors as of now, rare yes, valuable, no. This watch has little collectivity value.
    Here it is.
    Bill
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails attachment.jpg   Gr.94.jpg  

  15. #30

    Default Re: When is a watch considered "extremely rare?" (By: Bill Manders)

    OK, I'll play. I think the watch I will post would be considered extremely rare. It is generally thought that only 6 Tourbillon watches were produced by Jules Jurgensen in the entire history of the company. I have seen pictures of 3 beside mine. They are all somewhat different. Mine is certainly the only one to have been presented to GB Simonds, who ended up being a Commodore in the Union Navy during the civil war. Mine is the only one I have seen with factory stem winding and lever setting. One other example, a later one, is also in it's original box.

    Here is one picture:



    Here is a link where you can see more photos and some more of the history.

    http://www.johncotephotography.com/W...r_3/index.html
    John Cote
    Watch Collector (pocket & wrist), Clock Admirer, Time Nerd...

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