Patek Philippe Pocket Watch, ca. 1889

Value (2016) | $20,000 Auction$25,000 Auction

This is a pocket watch that belonged to my late husband's great-grandfather, and he was an inventor who lived in Cleveland. And his inventions mainly had to do with the steelmaking industry. And he had a number of patents and a number of other inventions.

The thing about it that I'm so impressed with first off is superb quality. And even more importantly, the fact that you walked in here with a watch not only in its original box, but all this documentation-- the original bill of sale, the warranty, and even a letter regarding the piece, which only enriches my interest in the piece and puts it in context, if you will, because we know a little bit more about the man for whom it was intended. I think first of all, if I may, I'll quote just what it says on the bill of sale. "This stemwound lever escapement watch with compensated balance, 35 jewels, minute repeater chronograph, split-second open-faced gold polished back." This had everything that money could buy. The watch was one of the finest timekeepers of its day. Patek Philippe sold watches of a superior quality to a very discerning clientele. It's accompanied by its warranty. On the bill of sale, we will notice at the bottom, the watch cost, when it was new, about $450, which is about the price of an automobile back then. It's a great deal of money. Now, if we may, we'll look at the watch briefly. And Samuel T. Wellman's monograph is on the back of the watch, engraved. Then we look at the movement, which is very complex and very interesting. And if I may, I'm going to quote from the letter that accompanies the watch. "Although the contrast is very great between such a delicate little machine and the ponderous and powerful machines which Mr. Wellman has devised and put into operation, I know of no one who will appreciate more than he its beautiful and intricate systems of levers, gears, wheels, all of which work together in such perfect harmony." I mean, that's great stuff. Well, this watch was, in its time, really just about the best that money could buy. I think in today's marketplace, this watch is worth probably in the area, for auction purposes, between $15,000 and $20,000. It's a treat to see it. It's really quite spectacular.

Well, thank you very much.

Appraisal Details

Skinner, Inc.
Boston, MA
Update (2016)
$20,000 Auction$25,000 Auction
Appraised value (2002)
$15,000 Auction$20,000 Auction
Cleveland, OH (June 22, 2002)
Gold , Jeweled

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