Hamilton Watch Co 994

Laura G

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Sep 18, 2022
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Working on settling an estate and have a Hamilton Watch Co pocket watch. In original box, with original paper with serial numbers (case and movement match serial numbers). I have info on the movement and from researching the case is gold filled. The watch is currently not running. At minimum the stem needs replaced. I have no idea the worth of this if in good running condition. Is it worth repairing in order to sell? Attaching photos for reference. Thanks for my input.

B0B90D0D-472B-4308-84E6-E10D3D64141F.jpeg DA1064BE-1366-47E8-97ED-78A8FAD3C7D0.jpeg 7FB08E8D-4960-42AC-AFE9-D850CF303D4F.jpeg C71A1C7A-017F-41E7-810E-91A473AF2921.jpeg
 

Shawn Moulder

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Your watch is a lever set watch. In order to move the hands one must open the front bezel and pull the lever out and your hands will be free to move. (Lever should be around the two marker). I'm assuming this is the reason one might think the stem needs to be replaced.
 

musicguy

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Is it worth repairing in order to sell?
Laura, Welcome to the NAWCC Forum.

We can talk about value of a watch on the forum, but we do not talk about
offers to buy or sell on the forum. Personally, if you are going to sell it in the future
I would not have it repaired; I would sell it as is. It's a valuable watch in original box
with papers let the collector get it serviced. It will not take too much away from
the value.


Rob
 

grtnev

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Hello Laura,

Three Hamilton grade 994’s have sold on eBay in the last 2 months. The eBay listing numbers were: 234663495824, 314127621533, and 234682185933.

If you search eBay sold items under either a search of Hamilton 994 or by the listing numbers you can see what these sold for.

These are fairly rare watches and I would expect yours to command even more of a premium since it is in its original box with papers.

Richard
 

Laura G

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Why do you feel it needs a “stem” ?
Hello Laura,

Three Hamilton grade 994’s have sold on eBay in the last 2 months. The eBay listing numbers were: 234663495824, 314127621533, and 234682185933.

If you search eBay sold items under either a search of Hamilton 994 or by the listing numbers you can see what these sold for.

These are fairly rare watches and I would expect yours to command even more of a premium since it is in its original box with papers.

Richard
Thanks for your input. I did see these on eBay. They all appear to be running which is what led to the question of whether I should have repaired first. Looks like at least one of these is solid gold vs. the gold filled that I have.
 

grtnev

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Thanks for your input. I did see these on eBay. They all appear to be running which is what led to the question of whether I should have repaired first. Looks like at least one of these is solid gold vs. the gold filled that I have.
Laura,

If it were me, and this is just my perspective, if you are going to sell the watch, I'd leave it as is and let the next owner take care of servicing/repairing the watch.

Richard
 

Chris Radek

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I agree with Richard. Not only does it take a lot of expertise to service a watch competently and without damaging it, but unfortunately it also takes a lot of expertise to just find someone who is able to do that. The days of taking a watch to a local jeweler and trusting that the work be competently done are long gone.

A collector who buys your watch will want to have their own watchmaker service it. If you want to sell it, take great photos of everything and sell it at auction. Don't do anything else.
 

thesnark17

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The only thing I would add to the excellent advice above is that you should find out whether the balance staff is good or not before selling. Giving prospective buyers this information usually makes a substantial difference in the selling price.

To check: With the back open so you can see what is happening, shake/twist the watch gently. One wheel (the balance wheel) should spin back and forth with free motion and gradually cycle down to a stop if it is working as it should. If nothing moves, or if the balance moves, but only a little and not freely, the balance wheel staff is most likely broken. If it moves freely, check it in a couple of different orientations (dial up, dial down, etc.). If it moves about the same in all of them, it is definitely good.

This is a fairly expensive but routine repair, and hardly a deal-breaker on value, particularly for an uncommon watch such as yours. Maybe half of the watches out there being sold as non-running have broken balance staffs. As a buyer, I assume every non-running watch I buy has a broken staff unless told otherwise.

If the balance staff is good, the value of the watch is substantially higher, even though it doesn't run. Even if it is known to be bad, buyers will know what is wrong and have more faith in your description, so the watch may sell for more.

Whatever you do, though, don't stick anything into the movement to try to make things move or try to make the balance spin!

Addendum:
Also you should check whether the mainspring is broken or not. (This is the second-most-common cause of non-running watches in good shape, after the broken balance staff.) The crown can be turned in two directions: one winds the watch; the other does nothing at all. You can tell which direction is which by looking inside. When the watch is winding, the big wheels turn, and when it isn't, they don't. If the watch will not wind in the winding direction, or if it will wind, gets tighter, and eventually stops winding, the mainspring is good. If it winds forever without stopping, the mainspring is broken. Watches with broken mainsprings don't run. This is quite a cheap repair, and quite simple to test for!
 
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