Goal: $300, Received: $225.00 (75%) Contribute Now
Donate whatever you can or Join the 14,000 other NAWCC members for only $80 (plus $10 for hard copy publications). Check it out here.



Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 48

Thread: Intrinsic value

  1. #1
    Registered user. Britannicus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Derby UK
    Posts
    139

    Default Intrinsic value

    I recently made a mistake and got a posting removed, as I indirectly made reference to an item currently up for sale. My apologies to our ever vigilant administrator who very politely, and justifiably admonished me.

    My purpose wasn't to promote that watch but to indulge in a little philosophizing about what makes a watch valuable to the collector in the first place.

    It seems to me that there are at least 4 criteria for me :

    1/ love of the craftsmanship and workmanship. It's complicated engineering but within my understanding, which modern engineering just isn't so often for me.

    2/ I don't know how to define the reason why a ticking watch is so much more attractive than a chunk of quartz, but I liken it to why Steam trains are more fun than diesel electric, they have an aspect of "being alive"

    3/ OK there's the mercenary thrill of buying something and selling it at a profit once I've done it up, which makes me feel good

    4/ Probably most important is the ownership of a piece of history - so a junk or fake watch with a background I can research and understand brings back a whole era, and watches are such personal items I feel a real connection with the past)

    What "winds your spring" about pocket watches ??

  2. #2
    Registered user. LloydB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    La Crosse, Wisconsin's West Coast
    Posts
    1,483

    Default Re: Intrinsic value (By: Britannicus)

    Quote Originally Posted by Britannicus View Post
    [snippage]
    It seems to me that there are at least 4 criteria for me :

    1/ ......Agree totally there's the insight that
    ..........you could work on one.

    2/ I don't know how to define the reason why a ticking watch is so much more attractive than a chunk of quartz, but I liken it to why Steam trains are more fun than diesel electric, they have an aspect of "being alive"

    .........Yes, the only "alive' aspect of most quartz
    .........movements is that jumping seconds hand. Ugh!

    3/ .....Someday I'll maybe find out, if I ever sell one

    4/ Probably most important is the ownership of a piece of history - so a junk or fake watch with a background I can research and understand brings back a whole era, and watches are such personal items I feel a real connection with the past)

    .....Yes!

    What "winds your spring" about pocket watches ??
    Besides, if I'm going to accumulate 'stuff'
    anyhow, at least it's 'interesting stuff'.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Intrinsic value (By: Britannicus)

    Quote Originally Posted by Britannicus View Post
    What "winds your spring" about pocket watches ??
    For me as a non-expert it’s knowing those little miracles were produced bit by bit by hand by magicians who made hay and milked their cows by day and drilled and filed bits of metal by night until they fitted the next bit of metal.
    To me - although I know a fair bit of the history and although I am finally beginning (thanks largely to you guys) to understand a very little of the of the intricacies – it is still magic………….

    Paul

  4. #4

    Default Re: Intrinsic value (By: Audemars)

    For me much the same thing, I am in awe of the people who made the things that tick and ding around me. 2-300 year old machines still doing what they were designed to do by people who had only their hands and their wits to make them.
    Nick, lots to learn, late starter.

  5. #5
    Registered user. stewey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Oshawa, Ontario.
    Posts
    978

    Default Re: Intrinsic value (By: novicetimekeeper)

    To me, it's the historical aspect of the watches, especially if they're still running, that is significant. I find myself holding a watch that was made, for example, in the 1890's wondering about the history that it has "seen" and "experienced". Did somebody carry it with them during the Boer Wars, or WWI. Does it remember the sinking of the Titanic, the invention of the motor-car, the airplane, radio? how many people have used it to catch a bus, a train, an appointment to see a doctor, an interview for a new job? How many marriages, births, deaths has it observed? How many children have been told by its owners "Yes, it is time to go to bed; off you go." The seconds, minutes, and hours that that watch has ticked away is an unwritten, unbiased, and unemotional slice of history...Anyway, that's what I think.

  6. #6
    Registered user. rstl99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    241
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: Intrinsic value (By: stewey)

    Nice thoughts expressed by all, with which I agree wholeheartedly. The connection to a maker or owner who lived 100-150-200 years ago (or more) is what most thrills me. Trying to imagine the life these people led, the historical events (wars, plagues, discoveries) that these watches were built and purchased in. The vast majority of (well, at least affordable) old English or Swiss watches are either unmarked or signed by a maker about whom very little is and will ever be known, there having been hundreds if not thousands of watchmakers and dealers during the past 3 centuries. I'm fortunate to own a couple of watches by an English maker about whom I know a fair amount, from a book that was written about the clock and watchmakers that lived in his city. So that's what I seek out, affordable specimens from known makers, or people known to have been around famous watch people (for ex., some of Breguet's apprentices and shop workers).

  7. #7

    Default Re: Intrinsic value

    Further to my earlier post, a Swiss cousin just sent me this link.

    http://www.rts.ch/archives/tv/cultur...e-de-joux.html

    It is a b/w film made in 1968 of an interview with one of the last peasant-watchmakers (his Nickname was "Petit-Louis" and I think I knew him).
    It's in French - or the accent and dialect which passes for French in the Vallée de Joux - the synopsis is he gets up in the morning and milks his cows, goes to work at the AP factory until about 1.00 Then goes home for dinner and to get the hay ready for later on. Back to work at the factory until 5.00 then off to milk the cows.
    He is also shown at a rehearsal of the Chorale du Brassus - the village male voice choir which even still today is one of the major European choirs.

    The snow was also impressive. These days there is a lot less because of climate change.

    Paul
    www.audemars.co.uk

  8. #8
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Western NSW, Australia
    Posts
    1,634

    Default Re: Intrinsic value (By: Audemars)

    The mention of climate change adds a another dimension to the whole intrinsic nature of values. My father-in-law was fond of using old catch phrases, ie: "it isn't what it is worth, it is what it costs".

    It would seem rather ironic that the mass production of things is what has stripped the intrinsic values and most likely also the most recent cause of the effect of climate change.

  9. #9
    Technical Admin Tom McIntyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Boston. MA USA
    Posts
    19,335
    Blog Entries
    10

    Default Re: Intrinsic value (By: roughbarked)

    Your father-in-law's catch phrase has two meanings. To a buyer it means can I afford it, or can I not afford it. However, to the supply side it means how much margin can we get with a cost that will still let it sell. They are depending on either need or value perception to ensure sales. Of course, if there is competition it gets much more involved. That is why Patek, Rolex and maybe Vacheron feel they have no competition. By believing that, they can put all their effort into building demand.
    Tom McIntyre Click me.
    If you don't learn to laugh at trouble,
    you won't have anything to laugh at when you're old.
    Will Rogers

  10. #10
    Registered user. roughbarked's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Western NSW, Australia
    Posts
    1,634

    Default Re: Intrinsic value (By: Tom McIntyre)

    It is all about supply and demand. In fact this is also a bit like breathing in and out.

  11. #11
    Registered user. kurtnz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    487

    Default Re: Intrinsic value (By: roughbarked)

    This brings back memories when I as a teen went for my holidays to Jura mountains.
    Now I'm living in New Zealand and all this is like dream.
    Next time I go back to Switzerland I have to go back to the Jura in winter

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    4,989

    Default Re: Intrinsic value (By: kurtnz)

    For me there are several ways I find value in a watch. One of the most rewarding is finding the circumstances for the presentation referred to on the inscription on the watch. These often give me an insight into a historical event of era. One example is a watch given to an employee for enjoining the New York Attorney General from enforcing the New York margarine laws in an episode called "The Margarine Wars". Another was given to the minister who led the donor to finance the US abolition movement. Another was owned by the man who arranged the financing to bring the Statue of Liberty to the US and given to one of his gransons on a 21st birthday.

    One I wrote a bulletin article about led me to learn about watches the marine Insurers gave to young ship captains who saved their ships.

    Most of these are also very fine watches.

    I find value in having the watch and even more in learning about these owners and the events around them.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Intrinsic value (By: Dr. Jon)

    I agree with the values that have been listed already and to add one, there is just something comforting about the tick of a watch.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Intrinsic value (By: kurtnz)

    FWIW, I did a bit of research on the man in that 1968 video clip:
    He was definitely the last ever watchmaker-peasant in the Vallee de Joux. His name was Louis Audemars-Rochat. (No, not one of my forebears). He was my godfather's maternal uncle.

    If anyone has a passing interest in the Le Brassus male voice choir (featured in the clip, and which still flourishes today) they can be found at www.choraledubrassus.ch

    Paul


  15. #15
    Registered User musicguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    New York State
    Posts
    749

    Default Re: Intrinsic value

    Just watched the, "La Vallée de Joux" video.
    I do not speak French, but it still was very interesting.
    They had a lot of snow there.

    Rob

Similar Threads

  1. Diminished Clock Value?
    By J.S.H. in forum Clock Repair
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 11-02-2006, 07:41 PM
  2. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-09-2006, 11:50 PM
  3. Want to find approx. value of my clock - New Haven.
    By W.R. WoodWorking in forum Clocks General.
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-31-2005, 05:58 PM
  4. Hopalong Cassidy Watch: Value?
    By bobswatch in forum Wrist Watches
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-02-2005, 09:49 PM
  5. What determines a clocks value?
    By RickThomes in forum Clocks General.
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 05-03-2005, 07:23 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •