Droz Jeannot Fils 18K Detent Chronometer, ca. 1880
Originally it was from my grandfather. He was a civil engineer in London at the turn of the century, early 1900s. And then he immigrated to Argentina and was an engineer for some major works in Buenos Aires. My family left Argentina in the mid-'50s because of the dictatorship revolution, so we moved to Canada, actually, and my father brought this watch with him. Never explained much about it. And so it's been with the family for maybe 40, 50 years since we left Argentina.
It's a heavy 18-karat case. Made in Switzerland about 1880. The maker is Droz-Jeannot Fils. They're from Neuchâtel. They had several awards and exhibits, and they even exhibited in the Columbian Exposition in the United States for their high-quality work. So, they're not a household name, but they're a good-quality small manufacturer in Switzerland. And this watch is a very highly technical watch. This would've been used in a marine situation on board a ship like a marine box chronometer would be used to be able to navigate. Or it could be used by just somebody who was a very technical person, an accomplished engineer, somebody who appreciated the quality of a good timekeeper. Now, this was almost as good as you could get at that time because it incorporated what’s called a detent escapement, which you really can't see without looking at it with a loupe, but it’s a high-grade escapement that reduces the friction and helps to produce a very accurate timekeeper that maintains time over various temperature situations and positions. It also has a helical hairspring, which also help to maintain good timekeeping under various conditions and temperature. And another feature, which is a little bit unusual, and I really have to research this more, because it's so rare, it’s got blue sapphire jewels on two of the primary pivot points while it's got rubies on the rest of them. The overall condition of the watch is immaculate. I mean, it shows very little wear. Probably used for special occasions. Conservatively, because of the condition, because of all the different quality features on the watch, I would appraise this at a collector show at approximately $2,500 to $4,000. And in a retail situation, much more than that.
Well, thank you for bringing it to the Roadshow.
Thank you, Don, appreciate it.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.
Last Tango in Halifax
Enjoy the third season of this award-winning series that celebrates life and love