Multicolored Gold Pocketwatch, ca. 1885
I brought an old pocket watch that I had in my dresser drawer for years. My dad sold it to me 40 years ago for $100, and I've had it ever since.
Okay, do you have any idea where he got it?
He got it from his sister, who lives in Mobile. She gave it to him as a present.
This watch probably was manufactured around 1880s, 1890s. What's unusual about this watch is a couple things. The size, it's an 18 size pocket watch, so it's a large case. It has full box hinge on both sides. The stag is very characteristic of 1880s, 1890s. It was very in style in those times. One of the most beautiful things that it has... This is a porcelain dial, and most of the porcelain dials on most pocket watches that we see in a day are very plain, very simple, just numbers. This one, because of the elaborate case and all the beautiful stuff, was over the top. This was a flamboyant, important watch in the 1880s, 1890s. One of the things that's unusual about the watch is that it's marked "Philadelphia." It has a retail company where it was sold. It's probably an Elgin, Waltham... it really isn't marked anything inside the movement. It's just an American movement. They assembled this watch probably in Philadelphia, and the retailer put his store name on the dial. When you look at the inside of it, it's marked exactly the same. We really would have to almost pull the watch apart to kind of figure out who made the movement exactly. Beautiful dial, really nice.
Is that different colored golds on that?
Yeah, that's all different colored golds. It usually has four colors of gold. They lay it on top of each other, and it's hand done. In the 1880s, it probably was a $200 or $300 watch. A watch like this on a retail level in a really fine store would probably run around $4,000 in today's market.
That's all right, then. I made out, didn't I?
Yes, you did. A lot of the stuff in the last few years, because of the gold price going up, people melted watches like this just for money. It's kind of sad.
When I got it fixed, the jeweler told me it had at least $500 worth of gold in it.
Now gold's probably tripled. In today's market, it's a couple thousand dollars worth of gold. It's a 14 karat American case.
Well, it'll be around the house for a while.
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