1899 Multicolored Gold Watch

Value (2013) | $3,000$3,500

Tell me who the first owner of this watch was.

My husband's grandfather. He bought it in 1899.

And what reminds you that he bought it in 1899?

He also bought this five-dollar gold piece that he put on it. On the chain.

This is really what I would call the essential American watch. The movement inside of the watch is really rather unimportant when you're talking about the value of a watch like this. The interest and the value of the watch are entirely in the case and very much strongly influenced by the fact that the case is so crisp and in such wonderful condition. Now, the stag and his antlers and all the foliage are done in several colors of gold. This style of case is known as a multicolored gold case, used almost exclusively in the United States. In addition, they've added a little bit of metal down by the bottom of the watch and also up by the pendant to create this boxy effect, and so the case is also referred to as a box hinge. If we turn the watch over, the other side of the watch is just as pretty and just as nicely decorated. The style of decoration harks back to the 18th century to the court of Louis XV when watch cases were also done in multicolored gold. This was certainly what was fashionable then. Really very much high Victorian, Gilded Age, elegant watch. This watch could easily be worth $3,000 to $3,500.

Wow, great.

Appraisal Details

Bonhams, NY
New York, NY
Value Update (2013)
Appraised value (1999)
Salt Lake City, UT (July 10, 1999)
19th Century

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.