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trying to find age/value/make of watch


Gibbs Literary Award
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Aug 26, 2000

As it says in the upper left-had corner, we don't discuss the value of specific watches here. But, once you find out what the watch, and its proper description is, you can search eBay to see what the same or similar watches, in similar condition, are selling for.

Only a small percentage of American watches (or Swiss watches for the North American market) were cased at the factories prior to the mid-1920's. Most watch companies just made movements in industry standard sizes. The case companies made cases in those same sizes. The practice at that time was to go to a jeweler, select the quality of the movement and then pick out the desired style and quality of case. The jeweler would then fit the movement to the case in a matter of moments.

Or, watches were sold by mail-order. Large outfits such as Sears, Roebuck & Co., Montgomery Ward, or T. Eaton (in Canada), would offer the movements in a variety of cases of different design and quality in their catalogs. Smaller mail-order retailers would case the watches, typically in a 20-year gold filled case and offer it only that way, with the buyer not having a choice of cases.

In discussing watches, the movement is most important, with the case being considered a secondary item. Because of the need to be able to identify the movement accurately so that correct replacement parts could be obtained, the movement companies put unique serial numbers on their products. From the serial number, the grade, model and other information, such as the approximate date of manufacture, can be determined. For most American watches, this information is known today.

It would be helpful if you could post a picture of the movement, the clearer and sharper, the better. Apparently, your first attempt to do so didn't work out. A digital camera would be very helpful. For an open-face, screw back & bezel watch you can get good results by placing the movement on a flatbed scanner. We may be able to identify it by the shape of the plates. A hunting-case movement, or an open-face movement in a hinged case would have to be removed from the case for this to work. Otherwise, its back to the camera. Larry Jones has written up a useful article on Image Posting, which may be helpful. If you have a problem posting the picture, you can attach it to an e-mail to me (by clicking on my name in the upper left-hand corner of this post) and I'll post it for you.

Its also helpful if you can post all the markings that are on the movement (the "works") in case they can't be seen in the picture(s).


That guy down in Georgia :)

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Swiss Fake by Kent