Japanese World War II Naval Aviator's Watch
This is a watch that my grandfather had acquired during World War II, we believe around 1944, 1945. He was stationed in some of the islands in outer Japan, and he somehow acquired this and mailed it back to his wife, my Grandma Janet, in Chicago. It still runs time. That's all I know about it.
We have a Japanese watch. We see it has the characters on the back, and they're numerals. The maker of this is Seikosha. This was a very well-made timepiece. It is a World War II Japanese pilot's watch. We know that it is navy, and among the symbols, there is an anchor. This particular style of watch is specific to the Japanese navy. The Japanese naval aviators were the elite. They are generally more highly regarded than their army pilots. There are reproductions of pilot's watches being made. The style tends to be going to bigger and bigger watches, so there's a fashion component to that, too, that's helping to drive that market. It is a rare piece. It is one of the rarest World War II pilot's watches, because Japanese naval aviators, their standards of training were very, very strict coming into World War II, so there weren't as many of them at the start of the war. And then they did not have a high rate of survival. You should expect a retail value between $8,000 and $10,000.
I love it. My grandpa was an incredible man, and I'm lucky he was my grandfather.
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.