Patek Philippe Automatic Watch, ca. 1960

Value (2013) | $18,000 Retail$20,000 Retail
Watch  

GUEST:
This watch was an uncle's. My husband and I inherited it from him. And he was an exciting man who led a good career. He was a contractor in California. He traveled extensively. And he only had daughters, so he passed it on to us. We tried to get it cleaned a couple of times, and jewelers didn't want to touch it because of its value. So finally someone sent it back to Switzerland to clean it.

APPRAISER:
The brand is Patek Philippe.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
So Patek Philippe is the preeminent watchmaker in Switzerland.

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
All their watches are completely handmade. This watch is a model 2551.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
The model of this watch came out originally in 1954. The serial number of this watch will date this particular one to around 1960.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
What's interesting about the watch is it's an automatic watch, which means that if you wear it every day, it will continue to work.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
There's an oscillating wheel in there, and it also has a screw-down back. Now, the screw-down back was a fairly innovative thing for Patek Philippe because it made the watch water-resistant.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
Most watches during the late '50s and early '60s, if it got wet, it was going to go through and you'd end up ruining the watch. So this particular one is water-resistant.

GUEST:
I didn't know that, that's good.

APPRAISER:
So I'm going to turn it over, and I'm going to show you the movement. The rotor is fully guilloched, which means it's completely engraved. It's magnificent. And the rotor is made of 18-karat gold.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
The movement has the Geneva seal stamp, and there's 30 jewels to it.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
So what makes the watch work is that little rotor continues to spin, and that's what will power the watch. So if you're wearing it every day, the watch will continue to work day after day after day. There's a couple other things about the watch. On the bezel of the watch, it steps down. So it's not just one gold piece. It's a gold piece, and then it kind of flutes down. The lugs, which are the part that holds the hands, they also flute down, so it's got... It's got step-down lugs and a step-down case.

GUEST:
All right.

APPRAISER:
It also has a second hand at 6:00.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
So they were features that cost more money to produce when that model was produced. So from a value standpoint...

GUEST:
What is it?

APPRAISER:
Do you have any idea?

GUEST:
No, I really don't.

APPRAISER:
Okay. It probably today, in a retail setting, has a value of $18,000 to $20,000.

GUEST:
Great, that's wonderful. It's a sentimental piece.

APPRAISER:
A little more than you were thinking?

GUEST:
Yes, oh, yes.

APPRAISER:
Is your husband wearing it?

GUEST:
He hasn't lately, but I don't know if he will wear it or not.

APPRAISER:
He should be wearing it every time you go out to dinner.

GUEST:
I'll wear it.

APPRAISER:
Okay, great. (laughing)

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Radcliffe Jewelers
Towson, MD
Appraised value (2013)
$18,000 Retail$20,000 Retail
Event
Baton Rouge, LA (July 27, 2013)
Period
1960s
Material
Gold

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