What is your antique watch worth?
Here at Belmont Jewellers we are experts in antique watches but we don't want to just keep our knowledge to ourselves.
We think that if you know a bit more about the value of your watches, then you may be more open to trading in them â€“ so without further ado, welcome to our guide on how a watch is valued.
All valuable Swiss and European antique watches are valued using similar methods so first we are going to look at how to identify watches, and how to determine the age and quality of watches.
This is the first step for an obvious reason - if you don't know who made the watch you own then there is simply no way to tell how much it is worth.
Look at the watch for a makers name, which may appear on the face or inscribed on the back.
Finding out whether you have an antique Rolex watch or antique Omega watch will obviously make a difference to its value.
Step two is to research that manufacturer to find out as much as possible about the different models that maker produced, at what times and anything else you can about the watch.
It can be difficult to date a Swiss or European antique watch, since unlike American made watches most do not have serial numbers.
Typically a fairly accurate estimate of the age of a watch can be made by opening it and looking at the workings.
Over the years the movements used in watches have developed and become more sophisticated, so by looking inside the age can be determined.
Much like modern watches antique watches were made using a variety of materials which affected their value.
By determining what grade metals were used to make your watch you can begin to build a picture of how valuable it is.
For example, if your watch features silver then examining the carat will obviously give a clear picture of how valuable the piece is.
Examining the inside workings of a watch also helps to establish its quality.
Most antique watches contain jewel bearings, which are pieces of the mechanism. They include jewels, such as rubies or sapphires, since these slide smoothly over each other and help watches to function smoothly.
If your watch has several jewel bearings within it then clearly it is more valuable than a watch with just a few.