1928 Patek Philippe Enamel & Gold Pocket Watch

Value (2010) | $5,000 Insurance

The watch belonged to my husband's grandfather. He was a vice-president of an oil company, and while he was vice-president, he brought in a large oil field in Southern California. And when that happened, they presented him with this watch, this Patek Philippe.

You can see that the dial has Arabic numbers made out of gold on a silvered metal dial. And then it's surrounded by chasing and enamel. The hands themselves are gold. We can take a look at the inscription on the watch. This watch was made by Patek Philippe, which is a company founded in Switzerland in the 1830s. And their great contribution to watches was Mr. Philippe discovered how you could wind and set the watch at a crown, getting rid of watch keys. Now, looking inside there, we see a beautiful nickel finish movement. Patek Philippe is famous for very, very high quality watches. But they made very, very many of them, and the story of this watch is that it was presented in 1928. We can check the serial number, which was around 800,000, and indeed the watch itself was made in 1928. Now, Patek Philippe is still in business. They make very many high-end watches, but not all of them are of the absolute top quality. But if you look closely at this watch, you will see right about there a small seal from the Geneva Observatory that tells you that this was a certified chronometer. It was a special watch. It has a beautiful chain, gold, enamel, that matches, actually, the gold and enamel work on the side of the case. And quite commonly you'll see a fob on the other side or in this case a very nice gilt metal pocketknife. Most watches which are kept as family heirlooms have really very, very little value beyond the sentimental. On the other hand, you are very fortunate to have one of the finest Swiss watches ever made and actively collected. If you were thinking about replacing this watch, going to a store and finding another one, you would probably spend over $5,000 to replace it.

Oh, my goodness. Five thousand?

Yeah. You couldn't make this watch today for $5,000 or $6,000. If you had to go to the factory and ask them to make it, you would end up probably spending $15,000 or $20,000.

Oh, my.

Appraisal Details

Bonhams, NY
New York, NY
Appraised value (2010)
$5,000 Insurance
Biloxi, MS (July 24, 2010)
Enamel , Gold

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.