Scrapper's Hall of Shame

MrRoundel

Registered User
Dec 28, 2010
1,995
566
113
So. Cal., USA
Country
Region
Greetings all. I've been waiting for this auction to end before posting anything about it.

We have all noticed, and probably discussed, the damage that the pre-scrapper ham-fisters do to watches, especially dials. But occasionally you'll see a pretty fine high-grade movement that has "chop marks" on it from plier-happy scrappers who just need that movement out as quickly as possible so they can move on to the next victim.

Being that this movement, a balance over center-wheel Series III Howard, is not very common, and was probably in a very nice gold case before the scrapper brutes got to it, I feel it deserves a spot on the Scrapper Hall of Shame.

In this particular instance, it was the movement plates that suffered the most abuse, as the dial was just slightly chipped. And it didn't look like it was down to the copper. Still, the harsh treatment brought to what I saw as a quite desirable movement for the Howard collector, down a couple of notches, if you'll forgive the expression. How much more it would have brought the seller if the plier-wielding warrior wasn't so careless, who knows? One laughable aspect is that the actual case screw was not far from where the pre-scrapper went in for the kill. I guess he didn't know how to get to the slotted screwdriver in his Ham-fister edition Leatherman. Not a total loss but a real shame.

Plier, plier, cases afire.
 

grtnev

NAWCC Member
Jan 18, 2009
843
856
93
Minden, Nevada
Country
Region
Very sad -

Unfortunately this sort of thing happens every day.

From time to time on a popular auction site, I will see multiple listings in a row from an occasional contributor to this forum - one of the movement, a second one with the dial, and then occasionally a third one of the hands.

Of course the case is long gone……..

Richard
 
Last edited:

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,478
6,569
113
New York State
Country
one of the movement, a second one with the dial, and then occasionally a third one of the hands.
I once asked one of these sellers maybe that one, if they could sell me all three(hands dial and movement)
at the same time to make a complete watch and they said no, you have to bid on all three separately.
I did not bid on any of them.


Rob
 

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
2,862
3,414
113
73
Pasadena, CA
Country
Region
Here is a sad loss, an Elgin C.H. Hulburd movement that just sold on eBay for $460. I contacted the seller, whose listing mentioned that the movement had been taken from its 18k case, to see if he still had the case. He didn't. ELGIN 19 JEWEL GRADE 446 C.H. HULBURD POCKET WATCH MOVEMENT | eBay

I estimate that the scrap value of the case was at most $1000. If so, the seller realized as much as $1460 by scrapping the case and selling the movement. That's likely about what this scarce complete watch was worth.

I have two 18k C.H. Hulburds that likely were similar to the one that was scrapped. I paid $2000 for the one I bought in 2018, which is exceptional condition. I paid $810 for the one I bought in 2010 (shown below) which is in good but not exceptional condition. That one is four serial numbers away from the one that got scrapped; it has the same dial and hands, and likely had the same 18k case.

IMG_1131_edited.JPG IMG_1132_edited.JPG IMG_1133_edited.JPG IMG_1134_edited.JPG
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,478
6,569
113
New York State
Country
Just something I find very funny about many scrappers, when they send
you the movement many times they also send you the crystal and crown/stem
from the case. I just got this one this week. It always makes me laugh a little.
Yes, I did buy a full movement (with hands)
from an eBay scrapper, I do try to stay away from them but for $68 for a sparce HG movement
it was too tempting.

20220402_204714.jpg



Rob
 

Bryan Eyring

NAWCC Member
Dec 11, 2007
1,882
249
63
Country
Region
This topic has been hashed, rehashed, and triple hashed on numerous threads here and on 149.

Until more collectors begin taking American horology seriously and begin ponying up the $$ to buy common or worn gold watches this will continue to happen. Collectors have become spoiled in the last 15 years and often demand only gem examples and, even then, frequently resist paying much above gold.

Some of your really need to stop your bellyaching and put your $$ where mouth is.

Add: The individual whose PM you publicly posted is a highly knowledgeable and respectable dealer in the network, from whom I have bought numerous gold watches for my collection. There is absolutely no question in my mind that he would have scrapped something unless he was fairly confident that collector interest would not surpass the gold value of an item. To expect him to net anything less than the intrinsic value of an item is completely unreasonable and illogical!
 

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
2,862
3,414
113
73
Pasadena, CA
Country
Region
Bryan, I agree with you that this topic has been hashed over far more than sufficiently in the past. I agree that scrapping occurs primarily because many collectors resist paying for complete watches as much as their parts fetch when scrapped. I don't have any problem with scrapping watches that are worth more as parts than complete watches if they are common watches or too damaged to interest collectors.

I don't know the Hulburd seller, so I will have to take your word that the seller wouldn't have scrapped the watch if it likely would have sold for more complete than as parts. However, Hulburds are uncommon enough (no more than 810 made), that the case would have had to have been in nasty condition for the watch clearly to have worth more scrapped than as a complete watch. I collect Hulburds (I have more than a dozen). I am always on the lookout for Hulburds. I don't recall seeing the scrapped watch marketed as a complete watch. I don't recall seeing any Hulburds in original solid gold or platinum cases too worn or beat up to be collectible.
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,478
6,569
113
New York State
Country
Some of your really need to stop your bellyaching and put your $$ where mouth is.
Note: This is my personal opinion I am not speaking for the NAWCC

Do you really think watch collectors can stop all scrapping? This is something
that has been happening forever. They were scrapping gold cases in Europe before
our great great great great grandfathers were alive.
Are you going to go to all the estate sales before the scrappers get there. Are you going to
jump in front of the guy who is selling to the scrapper. This is folly
as far as I'm concerned.

People are still allowed to be upset even if they had no ability to save it.
We are collectors and love these objects, so obviously we get
sad when destroyed, but we do also understand that scrappers have been
around forever.

Rob
.
 

Bryan Eyring

NAWCC Member
Dec 11, 2007
1,882
249
63
Country
Region
I agree that scrapping occurs primarily because many collectors resist paying for complete watches as much as their parts fetch when scrapped.
Hi Ethan;

A few key items that I feel contribute to this;

1)It's very disappointing how many collectors still fail to "get" this, despite the magnitude of information now readily available online. Rather than flocking to gold that's available online and at Marts for 10-30% premium (and occasionally, if one is diligent, for much less), most collectors seem to increasingly gravitate towards movement collecting, and inferior base metal and rolled gold cases. This is perfectly normal for beginners but it's alarming how few collectors seem to be "graduating" to solid gold and $500+ watches. As you know, great collections are built by understanding the dual value that gold watches provide via their horological significance and their intrinsic precious metal content. This is just 1 way in which wealth can be created in an otherwise hobbyist environment.

2) I still maintain that the internet fuels increased collector expectations. As a general rule, collectors tend to only post their better condition items. It's great that people are sharing these items with the world, but I feel it dissuades readers from acquiring anything less than these gem examples. I do believe the internet has raised the bar for condition expectations. I can't tell you how many collectors I've seen die without acquiring key pieces for their collection, because they held out too long for that one unobtainable example!

3) The relevancy (and subsequent interest) in pocket watches continues to decrease. This will continue to result in a steady supply that outstrips demand. Many collectors think this means more gem examples that they can now hold out for but what most fail to realize is true gems are a statistically mynute portion of the population. Many hold out far too long trying to find that perfect example for their collection, only to die before realizing the goal.

4) There continues to be a general lack of committing disposable income to the hobby. There seems to be an increased desire to spend DI on experiences rather than tangible items. And there is just the simple lack of it. This is not just a horology problem either, many collectibles are decreasing in value because the income interest/availability simply isn't there.



...the case would have had to have been in nasty condition for the watch clearly to have worth more scrapped than as a complete watch. I collect Hulburds (I have more than a dozen). I am always on the lookout for Hulburds. I don't recall seeing the scrapped watch marketed as a complete watch. I don't recall seeing any Hulburds in original solid gold or platinum cases too worn or beat up to be collectible.
I can assure he is a very strong advocate of preserving horology. He frequently offers consultation to collectibles television programs and journals on the subject. Our most recent transaction involved a very worn American watch that 99.9% of dealers would have immediately scrapped, which he sold to me for a very nominal amount over melt. He is a legitimately good (and honest) dude.


PS: Anyone who wants to learn more about buying gold watches is welcome to contact me privately, I have a very busy week but am happy to provide guidance.
 

Bryan Eyring

NAWCC Member
Dec 11, 2007
1,882
249
63
Country
Region
Note: This is my personal opinion I am not speaking for the NAWCC

People are still allowed to be upset even if they had no ability to save it.
We are collectors and love these objects, so obviously we get
sad when destroyed, but we do also understand that scrappers have been
around forever.

Rob
.

Not to be critical but these are simply emotional responses.

This trend will continue (and likely accelerate) until collectors address the surrounding facts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bila

grtnev

NAWCC Member
Jan 18, 2009
843
856
93
Minden, Nevada
Country
Region
Until more collectors begin taking American horology seriously and begin ponying up the $$ to buy common or worn gold watches this will continue to happen.

Some of your really need to stop your bellyaching and put your $$ where mouth is
Since I mainly collect American railroad watches from ca: 1890-1920, most of the watches in my collection are not in and never were in gold cases.

I am one of those guys who collects based solely on the movement, never the case.

This has never been an investment hobby for me but rather (since I am a Mechanical Engineer) a hobby of collecting fascinatingly accurate mechanical timepieces, designed and built with the available technology of the day, that are aesthetically beautiful as well (why I rarely acquire a watch post ca 1920 due to decline in damaskeening & aesthetics).

I have never bought a watch because of the case. The few gold cases watches I have just happened to hold railroad grade movements that I wanted.

What I don’t understand about the scrapper, is even if the watch is not worth anymore than the scrap value of the case, why not still offer the complete watch? The scrapper would still get at least scrap value for the gold case and the watch would still be intact.

Just my 2 cents.

Richard
 

MrRoundel

Registered User
Dec 28, 2010
1,995
566
113
So. Cal., USA
Country
Region
When it comes to the scrappers, they win some, they lose some. When it comes to collectors and scrapping, they lose some, they lose more.

I don't disagree that people looking for ways to make money generally look for ways to make the most money. In real estate it's referred to as "highest and best use" (To the present owner, not any higher purpose.). In the world of collectibles it is no different. No better, no worse. To some, there is no higher purpose. And yes, many collectors could, if they wanted to, "step up" and pay more to keep the watches out of the hands of scrappers. It is a economic certainty that the scrappers will have a reasonable limit placed on what they'll pay, so the collector will almost never pay a lot more than the watch is worth as scrap, with a tiny margin added for the often-scarred movement. But, many collectors don't have the deep pockets to afford to "step up" and outbid the scrappers no matter what their "emotion premium" might amount to. And this is too bad indeed for the dedicated collector. But it is reality.
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,478
6,569
113
New York State
Country
PS: Anyone who wants to learn more about buying gold watches is welcome to contact me privately, I have a very busy week but am happy to provide guidance.
Why not start a thread here and explain all the in's and out's
of buying gold cases. This would be a positive for the community.
Sharing information openly is the best way for all of us
to learn from people who have expertise in different areas.
Thats what this forum is all about.



Rob
 

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
2,862
3,414
113
73
Pasadena, CA
Country
Region
Why not start a thread here and explain all the in's and out's
of buying gold cases.
Over 95% of my 400+ pocket watches are in solid gold or platinum cases. Nevertheless, I don't know what advice I would give to someone about the "in's and out's of buying gold cases." I don't buy watches as a gold investor. I collect high grade watches, complicated watches, and rarities. The only two gold-filled watches I have are a scarce Illinois 510 and a scarce Lip Eclipso, both in their original factory cases.
 

DeweyC

NAWCC Member
Feb 5, 2007
2,764
1,385
113
Baltimore
www.historictimekeepers.com
Country
Since I mainly collect American railroad watches from ca: 1890-1920, most of the watches in my collection are not in and never were in gold cases.

I am one of those guys who collects based solely on the movement, never the case.

This has never been an investment hobby for me but rather (since I am a Mechanical Engineer) a hobby of collecting fascinatingly accurate mechanical timepieces, designed and built with the available technology of the day, that are aesthetically beautiful as well (why I rarely acquire a watch post ca 1920 due to decline in damaskeening & aesthetics).

I have never bought a watch because of the case. The few gold cases watches I have just happened to hold railroad grade movements that I wanted.

What I don’t understand about the scrapper, is even if the watch is not worth anymore than the scrap value of the case, why not still offer the complete watch? The scrapper would still get at least scrap value for the gold case and the watch would still be intact.

Just my 2 cents.

Richard
Richard,

I also buy based on movement; primarily Hamilton, Ball, Hampden (pre 1892), and New York Watch (Springfield). Much of this discussion ignores that people collect for a wide variety of reasons. For me it is the evolution of US watch manufacture. I look at a case as protection for the movement; although I strive for period movements in period cases. Then I push each movement to the best performance to which my skills allow.

This is to leave a record that prior to WWI, precision watches really were made on a production basis. Even in the 19th Century. That these watches really did exceed modern Rolex standards long before auto wind and alloy balance springs. Or electronic timers.

So I will never go out of my way to buy a watch once owned by Rockefeller, or one with a perpetual calendar or in a gold case. They are not where my interest lies. Been to Patek, been to AP, been to Vacheron, been to Gruebel Forsey. I can appreciate them, but they are not my cup of tea.

My interest is in precision timing. And once you get to 5 seconds a day rate difference across positions, in my opinion no one did it more reliably and on a more effiecient scale than the American watch industry. Since this is the primary purpose of a watch, all other complications are simply ingeneous mechanical curiosities to me.

In the late 80s, early 90s I was interested in the various means used to increase the precision of marine chronometers. I put together a collection of fairly important pieces, from Hartnup to Dittisheim. Then I got to thinking how I would feel if I lost them in a fire. Would much prefer they were stolen. So I sold them all.

While my record of 19th/20th century watch performance would be lost, at least nothing unique will be lost if I suffered a catastrophe. Insurance cannot replace unique.

I do not see how my satisfaction with my collecting goals (or yours, or those who collect dollar watches) causes problems for those whose interest lie elsewhere.

But all collectors are, on some level, preserving pieces of history. Which is probably why scrapping is anathema to us.
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,478
6,569
113
New York State
Country
I do not see how my satisfaction with my collecting goals (or yours, or those who collect dollar watches) causes problems for those whose interest lie elsewhere.
Well said.


Rob
 

mikeh

Registered User
Mar 5, 2001
1,293
60
48
If you’re a seller, why buy something you care about if you can’t profit on it without destroying it?
 
  • Like
Reactions: neighmond

Bernhard J.

NAWCC Member
Jan 10, 2022
639
661
93
Berlin, Germany
Country
Region
Over 95% of my 400+ pocket watches are in solid gold or platinum cases. Nevertheless, I don't know what advice I would give to someone about the "in's and out's of buying gold cases." I don't buy watches as a gold investor. I collect high grade watches, complicated watches, and rarities. The only two gold-filled watches I have are a scarce Illinois 510 and a scarce Lip Eclipso, both in their original factory cases.
Well, there are a few things.

First, in the last two decades I started focussing on watches with gold cases. For one single reason. Pocket watches attract the lesser interest, the junger the people are. There are exceptions, but this field of collectables is "fashionable" mainly for "old fellows", like I am one (60+). This means that if I want to sell or must sell at some future juncture, it might be that virtually nobody is really interested in the actual watch (= movement), but in the material value only. And compare the gold price now and 20 years ago. In summary, I will not loose substantial amounts of money, perhaps even make a profit, a little bit at least. These thoughts are awful, I agree, but that is reality.

Second, I can confirm that very few people are prepared to spend substantial money on movements. Do not regard asking prices, which you see. Look at Ebay (in Europe at least) and see how long watches are advertised, which have limits being significantly above the material value.

When buying, I try to estimate the weight of the case. Normally sellers indicate the total weight only. For estimating the movement weight, one must have according experience. I then calculate the actual material value of the watch and compare with the asking price. Often the asking price is in a range of 1,2x to 2x of the material value. Rarely above, regardless how desirable the movement might be (or not). If above 3x or more you will find that the watch is sitting for months and years, despite very nice movements, until someone without any market knowledge buys. Often, if one makes a counteroffer with a few hundred € above the material value, the seller actually agrees. This is in particular the case for English watches, which - in Germany - do not fetch what they actually deserve, never did by the way. Over the years I acquired a number of really fine watches with magnificent movements in highest quality and in original cases, wherein in the meanwhile the material value is above what I paid years ago. There are a few exceptions in that I paid, say, above 5x the material value or even more and these are very special watches. I may note that I nevertheless purchase nice watches in silver cases also, although the ratio price/material value is then extremely bad, compared with gold case watches. But then the movement must be very special.

I do not fully trust in dealers representations, if they suggest the gold weight of a watch. This is often overestimated, not surprisingly. In one case this was quite significant, the difference was about 30 g between the description (allegedly the case was weighed alone) and the true weight, which currently corresponds to about 1,400.-- US$ difference in value. I did, of course, send the watch back, because I do not like to be misled in such value ranges. The movement, additionally, was not in a really good condition, although allegedly checked and serviced by a watchmaker.

Insofar I understand scrapping in those cases, where a person is making his living from this business. I you have a watch in a gold case, the case value is 2.000,-- then scrapping yields these 2.000,-- securely. If the movement is a little bit special, you will find a buyer for lets say 500.--. This is likely more than what will be obtained, if the watch is complete, in particular if the watch is otherwise not exceptional. If I say "I understand", this does not mean I find it OK. I personally would rather look for another way of making my living than scrapping nice watches.

However, if some day I need to sell off my watches (= I must), for whatever reason, I would have to act accordingly, if there is nobody, who is prepared to pay significantly more than the material value. Although I am no prophet, I find it rather unlikely that in 10-20 years there will be a boom for good pocket watches from the 20th, 19th, or even 18th century. By the way museums rarely (= sometimes they do) pay much more than the material value, for budget reasons ...
 
Last edited:

Bernhard J.

NAWCC Member
Jan 10, 2022
639
661
93
Berlin, Germany
Country
Region
I want to say that I am not a huge fan of the Rolex brand in many ways but in almost any impartial analysis, they have taken the Swiss lever escapement to a pinnacle not attained by any other large scale manufacturer. Grand Seiko is up there too. Omega, with their, alternative to Swiss lever is probably pretty close but they seem to have gone to a lot of trouble to just be equal.
Quite a lot thereof is "image building", I suspect.

Of course, this is not representative. I have a number of wristwatches, including a Rolex GMT Master II, "Pepsi". This about 25 years old and serviced about 3 years ago. At the other end of the scale is a Wostok divers watch of the early 80s. Not the ones sold after 1990 to tourists with identical appearance, but inferior movements. I bought this watch in the 90s for about 50.--. I just recently put various of my watches, these two and quite new Omegas and Zeniths (El Primero), on my new timer and found that this old Wostok suprisingly had less deviations through the positions, than any of the newer and newest "high class" Swiss watches. The Rolex took 3rd place, the Zenith being a little bit better, the Omega following close up. Admittedly tested at room temperature only.

A good pocket watch movement, being well serviced AND regulated (means that the balance has been carefully balanced outside the watch), will always be better in the positions than a modern wristwatch, simply for physical reasons. The smaller a movement is, the greater are the influences of imperfections. The modern wristwatches will, however, be better in temperatures than any classical pocket watch with cut bimetallic balance and blue hairspring, simply because of the temperatur-invariant materials used. So I would say that the game says 1 : 1 ....
 

Bill Stockton

Registered User
Feb 4, 2017
107
18
18
Mishawaka, Indiana
Country
Region
Really enjoyed all the above comments. The reason I read this thread was to get an idea of the gold scrap value of a case. I don't have any solid gold cases in my collection of South Bend watches. Although I know that they offered solid gold cases, I have never had an opportunity to buy a S.B. watch in one. That said, I have seen other manufactures watches in solid gold and seller seem to add in the range of $1,000. to the asking price. Also, from above, it seems that scrap value is somewhere in the range of $1,000. +or- depending on the size.

What I was not prepared for was a guy who approached me while I had a watch table at a recent local swap meet and wanted to know the approximate weight of the movements of a couple S.B. watches he had with him. Reason was that he really wanted to know the weight of the cases for scrap purposes. The cases were "gold filled". I know that a decent gold filled case can sell for $50. to $125. or so on EBay depending on a number of things. Can anyone tell me what the gold scrap value of a gold filled case might be. Can't imagine that it is more than the value of a decent, intact case. I was a bit indignant with him and said that I doubted that the cases contained enough gold to be worth more than they were intact. Any opinions??
 

jjimmerson417

Registered User
May 22, 2022
34
70
18
Country
Well, there are a few things.

First, in the last two decades I started focussing on watches with gold cases. For one single reason. Pocket watches attract the lesser interest, the junger the people are. There are exceptions, but this field of collectables is "fashionable" mainly for "old fellows", like I am one (60+). This means that if I want to sell or must sell at some future juncture, it might be that virtually nobody is really interested in the actual watch (= movement), but in the material value only. And compare the gold price now and 20 years ago. In summary, I will not loose substantial amounts of money, perhaps even make a profit, a little bit at least. These thoughts are awful, I agree, but that is reality.

Second, I can confirm that very few people are prepared to spend substantial money on movements. Do not regard asking prices, which you see. Look at Ebay (in Europe at least) and see how long watches are advertised, which have limits being significantly above the material value.

When buying, I try to estimate the weight of the case. Normally sellers indicate the total weight only. For estimating the movement weight, one must have according experience. I then calculate the actual material value of the watch and compare with the asking price. Often the asking price is in a range of 1,2x to 2x of the material value. Rarely above, regardless how desirable the movement might be (or not). If above 3x or more you will find that the watch is sitting for months and years, despite very nice movements, until someone without any market knowledge buys. Often, if one makes a counteroffer with a few hundred € above the material value, the seller actually agrees. This is in particular the case for English watches, which - in Germany - do not fetch what they actually deserve, never did by the way. Over the years I acquired a number of really fine watches with magnificent movements in highest quality and in original cases, wherein in the meanwhile the material value is above what I paid years ago. There are a few exceptions in that I paid, say, above 5x the material value or even more and these are very special watches. I may note that I nevertheless purchase nice watches in silver cases also, although the ratio price/material value is then extremely bad, compared with gold case watches. But then the movement must be very special.

I do not fully trust in dealers representations, if they suggest the gold weight of a watch. This is often overestimated, not surprisingly. In one case this was quite significant, the difference was about 30 g between the description (allegedly the case was weighed alone) and the true weight, which currently corresponds to about 1,400.-- US$ difference in value. I did, of course, send the watch back, because I do not like to be misled in such value ranges. The movement, additionally, was not in a really good condition, although allegedly checked and serviced by a watchmaker.

Insofar I understand scrapping in those cases, where a person is making his living from this business. I you have a watch in a gold case, the case value is 2.000,-- then scrapping yields these 2.000,-- securely. If the movement is a little bit special, you will find a buyer for lets say 500.--. This is likely more than what will be obtained, if the watch is complete, in particular if the watch is otherwise not exceptional. If I say "I understand", this does not mean I find it OK. I personally would rather look for another way of making my living than scrapping nice watches.

However, if some day I need to sell off my watches (= I must), for whatever reason, I would have to act accordingly, if there is nobody, who is prepared to pay significantly more than the material value. Although I am no prophet, I find it rather unlikely that in 10-20 years there will be a boom for good pocket watches from the 20th, 19th, or even 18th century. By the way museums rarely (= sometimes they do) pay much more than the material value, for budget reasons ...
Very sad -

Unfortunately this sort of thing happens every day.

From time to time on a popular auction site, I will see multiple listings in a row from an occasional contributor to this forum - one of the movement, a second one with the dial, and then occasionally a third one of the hands.

Of course the case is long gone……..

Richard
This is sad
 

demoman3955

Registered User
Apr 9, 2022
361
99
28
65
Country
OK, i have to ask a few questions. why would they take everything apart? Are some parts more valuable then others and why? Ive always liked but never been into pocket watches, but now you have my attention. I have to add i like anything thats older then i am, but have only been into clocks. Never mind, i found the answer already, and now in bummed out.
 
Last edited:

BillyHelbender

Registered User
Mar 16, 2022
93
101
33
56
Country
I think reasons to collect are almost as many or maybe more than things to collect!
My new found passion for Pocket Watches is "almost" purely mechanical. I love the movements! If I could case the watches backwards so the movement shows I would! :) To me a balance wheel swinging back and forth and gears turning is much more exciting. Who the hell cares what time it is? I have a smartphone for that. LOL! To me the case protects the movement and thats about it.
My daughter has also gotten into these watches and for her it's very different. She's actually most attracted to cases that are engraved! Either a name or when a watch is given as a gift. She loves the history that that particular watch has had. She could care less about the movement itself.
I guess I share in that view as well about the "History of that particular watch". I remember when I first posted my first watch here on the forum. That particular watch had someone engrave "15 Jewels" on the plate. To many the movement was ruined and it was even mentioned that I could find another plate and replace it. Personally I love it!! I wouldn't change it for the world! :)
 

jjimmerson417

Registered User
May 22, 2022
34
70
18
Country
I think reasons to collect are almost as many or maybe more than things to collect!
My new found passion for Pocket Watches is "almost" purely mechanical. I love the movements! If I could case the watches backwards so the movement shows I would! :) To me a balance wheel swinging back and forth and gears turning is much more exciting. Who the hell cares what time it is? I have a smartphone for that. LOL! To me the case protects the movement and thats about it.
My daughter has also gotten into these watches and for her it's very different. She's actually most attracted to cases that are engraved! Either a name or when a watch is given as a gift. She loves the history that that particular watch has had. She could care less about the movement itself.
I guess I share in that view as well about the "History of that particular watch". I remember when I first posted my first watch here on the forum. That particular watch had someone engrave "15 Jewels" on the plate. To many the movement was ruined and it was even mentioned that I could find another plate and replace it. Personally I love it!! I wouldn't change it for the world! :)
I share both of your interests. The movements and history. Just think of who made the watch and cased it. Who bought it and who serviced it. How many hands it passed through before it got to me. Amazing just thinking about it. I bought a few salesman cases so I could see the movement. And it keeps the original case safe from brassing and dents, scratches etc.

20220522_102015.jpg
 

miguel angel cladera

Sponsor
Donor
Jul 29, 2019
379
675
93
50
Country
And what do you think about the activity of companies like Vortic watches? I don't particularly like this kind of actions (not that they help the veterans with this initiative) but because of the amount of pocket watches that are going to lose a big part of their history...

 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,478
6,569
113
New York State
Country
And what do you think about the activity of companies like Vortic watches? I don't particularly like this kind of actions (not that they help the veterans with this initiative) but because of the amount of pocket watches that are going to lose a big part of their history...

I would not buy one myself, but these companies do have their
place in the food chain. They do provide a service that many people like.
As I said they are not for me, but it is open to discussion. I do think there
are more than enough movements around that they should not need
to hurt a complete watch, and on the military ones they(as I understand)
can be put back in their original case's if a buyer chooses to do so.


Rob
 

miguel angel cladera

Sponsor
Donor
Jul 29, 2019
379
675
93
50
Country
I would not buy one myself, but these companies do have their
place in the food chain. They do provide a service that many people like.
As I said they are not for me, but it is open to discussion. I do think there
are more than enough movements around that they should not need
to hurt a complete watch, and on the military ones they(as I understand)
can be put back in their original case's if a buyer chooses to do so.


Rob
Yes, gold diggers also have their place... Many "marriages" give a second chance to many calibres... but for a company to look for pocket watches to turn them into marriages in order to sell a product that is relatively fashionable at a very high price seems to me to be of the same category in my opinion... (if with the purchase they give you the case... but who is going to spend that money when you can buy an original one?) unless there are not many options left in the market since these companies capture everything...

I have bought an orphan calibre and put it in a pocket watch case... not original, but from the same period...
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,478
6,569
113
New York State
Country

bkrownd

Registered User
Jan 28, 2017
33
14
8
Steamy Hilo, HI
Country
Region
I'm a little split on Vortic - the listings on their site moved my interest from just wall/mantle/cuckoo clocks to now include pocket watches. The presentation on their site is nice and they could spawn appreciation of the movements among a lot of people who would not ever consider the pocket watch just because of the format of the traditional case. It would be proper for them to include original cases with the purchase, which would be nothing for them considering the massive prices they charge. I did not buy from them but there was a hot minute where I was browsing their site for a couple days, before I found better sources and prices of pocket watches in their original cocoons.

For what it's worth I have several wall and mantle clocks housing movements that are not original to the cases.
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,478
6,569
113
New York State
Country
Getting back to the topic of the thread, which is scrapping. I think everything that needs
to be said has been said :) . If people want to continue to talk about Vortic,
please start a new Thead on that topic.


Rob
 

Bill Stockton

Registered User
Feb 4, 2017
107
18
18
Mishawaka, Indiana
Country
Region
Haven't seen a reply to my earlier question about scrap value of gold filled cases. Maybe because it was too long of a comment so will re-ask. I know that a decent gold filled case can sell for $50. to $125. or so on EBay depending on a number of things. Can anyone tell me what the gold scrap value of a gold filled case might be? Can't imagine that it is more than the value of a decent, intact case. Any opinions??
 

Paul Sullivan

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 15, 2011
869
1,283
93
71
Massachusetts
Country
Region
Haven't seen a reply to my earlier question about scrap value of gold filled cases. Maybe because it was too long of a comment so will re-ask. I know that a decent gold filled case can sell for $50. to $125. or so on EBay depending on a number of things. Can anyone tell me what the gold scrap value of a gold filled case might be? Can't imagine that it is more than the value of a decent, intact case. Any opinions??
I would try a search on Flea_bay and on line for sold GF cases. I think most here are collectors like myself, and I have never sold a GF case for scrap because I'm usually looking to purchase one to house complete movement only purchases, of which have made many in the past.

I have also paid far more than $125 for 16s, and particularly 18s GF cases for high grade or rare watches that either came with no case or a cheap base metal case after they been evicted from their original homes. Let's face it, cases are subject to far more physical wear and tear than the movements they protect, and a 14k GF case guaranteed to wear "Permanently" costs more than the rest. I have one permanent case where the presentation engraved on the back has nearly disappeared yet the 18s Fahys case (made in 1904) shows not one sign of brassing.
 
Last edited:

Paul Sullivan

NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 15, 2011
869
1,283
93
71
Massachusetts
Country
Region
Haven't seen a reply to my earlier question about scrap value of gold filled cases. Maybe because it was too long of a comment so will re-ask. I know that a decent gold filled case can sell for $50. to $125. or so on EBay depending on a number of things. Can anyone tell me what the gold scrap value of a gold filled case might be? Can't imagine that it is more than the value of a decent, intact case. Any opinions??
I would try a search on Flea_bay and on line for sold GF cases.

I think most here are collectors like myself, and I have never sold a GF case for scrap because I'm usually looking to purchase one to house complete movement only purchases, of which I have made many in the past, and have paid far more than $125 for a GF case in prime condition to house rare or high quality movement only purchases. I have one 18s watch (made in 1904) in it's original Fahy's permanent 14k case and although the presentation on is rear cover is barely legible, there is not one sign of brassing over the entire case.




View attachment 710918
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,478
6,569
113
New York State
Country
Can anyone tell me what the gold scrap value of a gold filled case might be?
I would try a search on Flea_bay and on line for sold GF cases.
Sometimes (most times)I will pay a lot over the gold value for a nice gold
filled case(or coin case) that I need on eBay.
The scrap value may be $50-$60 for a gold-filled case(it varies drastically with the size and quality of the case).


Rob
 
  • Like
Reactions: Paul Sullivan

Mike M.

Registered User
Jan 31, 2009
204
416
63
Hamburg, Germany or Central Texas
Country
Region
This topic has been hashed, rehashed, and triple hashed on numerous threads here and on 149.

Until more collectors begin taking American horology seriously and begin ponying up the $$ to buy common or worn gold watches this will continue to happen. Collectors have become spoiled in the last 15 years and often demand only gem examples and, even then, frequently resist paying much above gold.

Some of your really need to stop your bellyaching and put your $$ where mouth is.

Add: The individual whose PM you publicly posted is a highly knowledgeable and respectable dealer in the network, from whom I have bought numerous gold watches for my collection. There is absolutely no question in my mind that he would have scrapped something unless he was fairly confident that collector interest would not surpass the gold value of an item. To expect him to net anything less than the intrinsic value of an item is completely unreasonable and illogical!
 

Mike M.

Registered User
Jan 31, 2009
204
416
63
Hamburg, Germany or Central Texas
Country
Region
Sorry, but I have trouble buying into that philosophy...
I for one would be perfectly willing to pay more than scrap for nice solid 14K watches, but I don't believe that us collectors even get to see most of them. I believe that when a young person shows up at a place with a big "We Buy Gold" sign with Grandpa's watch, the buyer can't melt it fast enough, out of fear it might be stolen...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bernhard J.

Ethan Lipsig

NAWCC Gold Member
Jan 8, 2006
2,862
3,414
113
73
Pasadena, CA
Country
Region
I don't believe that us collectors even get to see most [solid gold-cased pocket watches].
Any collector who wants to buy sold gold-cased pocket watches can easily find them. Hundreds are available every day on eBay. Every good pocket watch auction offers dozens of them. Any good dealer will have some for sale.
 

MrRoundel

Registered User
Dec 28, 2010
1,995
566
113
So. Cal., USA
Country
Region
...but I don't believe that us collectors even get to see most of them.
I was just wondering about whether or not there are more gold cases that have been melted vs. cases that haven't been over the past 100 years. It's unknowable, of course.

BTW, I'm keeping my eye on a new candidate for the Hall of Shame. It's a sure winner, but it's an active auction so I have to bite my fingertips, so to speak. Only a couple of days more. Cheers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: grtnev

Appa69

Registered User
Apr 3, 2022
53
34
18
43
Country
I'm always confused why someone would scrap a gold case for 80%, when I've never seen one sell for less than spot...
 

musicguy

Moderator
Staff member
NAWCC Member
Sponsor
Jan 12, 2017
9,478
6,569
113
New York State
Country
The answer is (in my opinion) when the regular Joe has some gold
and they take it to the "We Buy Gold" shop on the corner. The person
selling the gold has absolutely no idea what Spot gold is or how much
gold is in the case that they are trying to get $$$$ for they just want the cash.
If I didn't collect watches, I probably could care less if I scrapped a case
and got a wad of cash with absolutely no questions asked from the scrapper.
And absolutely no tax implications unlike ebay.


Rob
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bernhard J.

Bernhard J.

NAWCC Member
Jan 10, 2022
639
661
93
Berlin, Germany
Country
Region
I have two solid gold cases, from which I have removed the (high end) movements. I did that because the cases were not original and not even matched a little bit at least, neither mechanically nor in style. Just awfull to look at. These two watches were just really bad recases even though the cases are solid gold.

I will keep the movements as they are. It is extremely unlikely to find a matching case of the same run in view of the rarity of the movements (I bought them for this reason only).

I am wondering since years what to do with the cases. I could bring them directly to a melter. I could offer them for sale and perhaps fetch almost the same money as if I brought it to a melter. And the buyer will maybe let it lay around a bit, wait for higher gold prices and then bring it to a melter himself.

On the other hand, it is more likely that there is the original movement for one of the cases out there somewhere, compared with the probability that the original cases of the movements have survived.

What would you do with the cases?

Cheers, Bernhard
 

miguel angel cladera

Sponsor
Donor
Jul 29, 2019
379
675
93
50
Country
I have two solid gold cases, from which I have removed the (high end) movements. I did that because the cases were not original and not even matched a little bit at least, neither mechanically nor in style. Just awfull to look at. These two watches were just really bad recases even though the cases are solid gold.

I will keep the movements as they are. It is extremely unlikely to find a matching case of the same run in view of the rarity of the movements (I bought them for this reason only).

I am wondering since years what to do with the cases. I could bring them directly to a melter. I could offer them for sale and perhaps fetch almost the same money as if I brought it to a melter. And the buyer will maybe let it lay around a bit, wait for higher gold prices and then bring it to a melter himself.

On the other hand, it is more likely that there is the original movement for one of the cases out there somewhere, compared with the probability that the original cases of the movements have survived.

What would you do with the cases?

Cheers, Bernhard
I would sell the cases and with the money I would have two appropriate cases made for those two movements, although I imagine I would have to add some more money.
 

MrRoundel

Registered User
Dec 28, 2010
1,995
566
113
So. Cal., USA
Country
Region
Drum roll please....Or perhaps a verse from Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley? Or maybe even The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald? Anything depressing will do just fine.

Here is a worthy candidate for the Hall of Shame. Based on the ultimate sales price without its recently destroyed gold case (99.99% certain.) and the scars from Sammy the Sledge Movement Removal Service, it still had good value. My guess is that this one was worth more as a complete watch than was had for scrap and movement. That said, it is possible that the seller got it for a song, being that it was "nekkid", and made a load on the movement alone. Regardless, what a shame it is.

Worthy Nominee
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bernhard J.

Forum statistics

Threads
175,289
Messages
1,533,275
Members
52,663
Latest member
GBE43
Encyclopedia Pages
1,063
Total wiki contributions
2,972
Last update
-