Time Is of the Essence: Determining the Full Value of Antique Pocket Watches

It is the concurrent tangibility and intangibility of time which helps make commodities relating to it eminently and enduringly alluring. Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town speaks of the cyclical nature of time, and yet all the while reminds us that when it comes to spending time with loved ones, to quote another saying “there’s no time like the present.” The play’s most prominent representation of time - and, indeed, one of its most important symbols and props overall - is a generations-old pocket watch.

It’s a story and, indeed, a symbol to which many of us can relate. Antique pocket watches are popular in a large part precisely because they both recall the past and represent something to pass on to future generations, just as in the play.

So, just how would you go about trying to determine the value of antique pocket watches?

Authenticity vs. Replacements

When it comes to determining the value of old pocket watches, authenticity is key. That may seem like an obvious point at first, but there are all manner of different little elements which can and often are replaced in old pocket watches, and this can decrease their overall value. Pocket watches are functionally different from other forms of antique gold and silver collectibles insofar as they are meant to be used. As such, in the balance between form and function, the latter often gets the upper hand by way of necessity. Where replacing original pieces of an antique ring or necklace with mere modern glass or plastic would sound absurd to collectors of those items, it makes more sense for a pocket watch you want to function. Parts wear out over time, glass breaks, and so there’s a higher rate of replacement.

Getting It Appraised

As such, when you’re looking to ascertain the full value of antique pocket watches, you’re going to want to get them appraised by experts who can delve into all these minute details. Differences which may not readily be recognisable to you will be quite apparent to them, including the following:

              Whether the original glass casing has been replaced
              Whether original parts have been replaced, and, if they have been, if their replacements are period-authentic items or newer, synthetic, non-period items
              If the exterior is authentically gold or silver-plated, or if it is imitation material
              The era in which the watch was made
              The condition of the entire exterior
              The straightness of the case
              Features which are characteristic of authentic pocket watches originally manufactured in the United States, Britain, Canada, and European nations
              The condition of the interior insofar as how well the watch is still able to actually keep time

Expertise You Can Trust

When it comes to something as potentially high stakes as determining the value of an old pocket watch, you’ll want to turn to a team you can trust. That’s why, for appraisals and purchase of antique pocket watches at Kalmar Antiques, you’re going to want to work with a team you can trust. Thankfully, the best teams specialising in appraising antique pocket watches have decades of experience and a wealth of knowledge concerning the history of this highly-particularised field.

Don’t waste a minute more – discover the full value of antique pocket watches and get a classic watch today.


  1. My dad has a few pocket watches- they are so unique and cool!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  2. I love the style of the classic pocket watch, they're so eye catching and unique! https://mariannyc.com/2018/08/08/the-may-fair-hotel/

  3. I think they are so cool, but I have never met anyone that actually owned a pocket watch! Lol. They are truly unique!
    iamperlita.com | Instagram

  4. I don't know if there are or have ever been any pocket watches, but now I need to find out. This is a great post!

    Natalia | Lindifique