18th & 19th Century Watches
Appraised Value: $4,500 - $5,200 (1997)
$3,000 - $4,500 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 6
Appraisal Video: (2:50)
GUEST: My grandfather and my great-grandfather were jewelers in Augusta, Maine, and over the years, I imagine my grandfather traded or bought a number of watches. When he died we had a whole drawer full of pocket watches and wristwatches and things like that and before my grandmother sold them to another jeweler, she let me pick out the ones I thought were interesting.
APPRAISER: These watches are to me very interesting because they don't look really like the watches you see today. And you have almost a whole history of several hundred years of watchmaking in these three watches. The first watch here is a very early English watch and just from the fact that it has a silver dial, it has this case made of silver as well. It opens up, the watch comes out of the case... You open up the watch further, you see the lovely dial, the hands that are known as beetle and poker hands. You open up the watch further and you see all of this beautiful work and a signature that says "Thomas Elliott, Greenwich, England." Well, Thomas Elliott was working in Greenwich, England, before 1720, so this is a watch that's very early. And next to it in the middle is another watch, and you showed to me the inside of the watch where there's a watch paper saying that someone repaired this in 1845, and next to it as well is another watch paper saying it was repaired in New York City down on the lower part of Manhattan. But when I looked inside this watch, I found a hallmark. This watch was actually made in 1797. And what's interesting when you open up this watch is that you see it's virtually the same kind of watch as the watch that we saw by Thomas Elliott even though it's almost a century later. This watch is what watches turned into very shortly after that and this is a watch made perhaps in about 1830 or so for sale in America. On the back of the watch you'll see a steamboat with an American flag-- very rare. Open it up, and you can see inside a completely different kind of watch, a Swiss watch sold by an Englishman to people in America. Very hard to find these watches this day. Do you have some sense of what this watch might be worth?
GUEST: I really don't.
APPRAISER: You really don’t.
GUEST: I really have no idea.
APPRAISER: This watch today would be easily worth $3,500, $4,000.
GUEST: Oh, my.
APPRAISER: This watch about a tenth of that-- only about $300 to $400, and a watch like this about $700 or $800 because of this beautiful condition.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2013 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.