Gold Pocket watch with chain
Thank you for sending your pocket watch to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that tonight.
Gent’s, Art Nouveau, gold-filled, pendant wound and pendant set, Presentation, open face pocket watch, case made by the Keystone Watch Case Company of Philadelphia, watch made by the Elgin Watch Company, Elgin, Illinois, circa 1902.
Case: Size not provided, three leaf, gold filled, open face pocket watch with a fluted gilt ball pendant and round bow placed at the twelve position relative to the dial. The back cover is engraved with foliate designs very much in the Art Nouveau (1880-1910) styling which stressed natural forms. The inside of the back cover has a case number of ‘669754?’ and the keystone logo of the Keystone Watch Case Company (see History below), the case number, and the sales of justice which represented a 10K gold filled Keystone case, originally designed by James Boss, with a gilt finish warranted to last at least 20 years. The cuvette or movement cover is engraved as a gift (Presentation) from Christmas day in 1902.
Dial: White enameled dial with upright Arabic hours, closed bar minute track to the outside with red Arabic markers placed every five minutes along the periphery of the dial, sunken subsidiary seconds dial @6, Continental type steel Spade hands with the upper dial signed in Olde English, ‘Elgin’.
Movement: Not shown and this has the serial number of the watch to determine exact date of production and the quality of the movement very much affects the price, if it is a rare example.
Condition: Case – Moderately worn engraving which covers the back cover. Dial: Good condition with speckling nut no evidence of dial fracture is seen. The shadows from the scratches on the crystal overlying the dial make it difficult to see clearly. Movement – Not examined but will assume it is the original and genuine movement made with this case and in functioning condition.
HISTORY of KEYSTONE WATCH CASE COMPANY:
In 1853 Randolf & Reese Peters were making watch cases in Philadelphia, employing James Boss in their movement department. In 1859 - J. Boss received a patent for "spinning up" cases made of "gold-filled" type material. That is, material made of a sheet of composition metal (usually brass) sandwiched between two thin sheets of gold. Boss formed cases by rolling sheet metal as opposed to the traditional method involving soldering and cutting. Rolling increased the molecule density of the metal. His patent, No. 23,820 of May 3, 1859, revolutionized the watch case industry by enabling the production of not only less expensive, but considerably stronger cases. ... Unlike gold washed cases, which were made using electroplating, cases produced by means of rolling had much harder gold surfaces and were thus less apt to wear. In 1871 Boss sold patent rights to John Stuckert of Philadelphia. By 1875 - T.B. Hagstoz & Charles N. Thorpe at 618 Chesnutt St. Philadelphia purchased the "J. Boss" patent from the estate of John Stuckert. Hagstoz & Thorpe seems to have made only gold-filled cases using the J. Boss patented method. Orders increased so rapidly that larger quarters became necessary immediately. A new plant on Brown Street was erected. In 1877 the E. Tracy case company, a manufacturer of solid gold and silver watch cases, was acquired. In 1880 - the company moved to a six story building on Nineteenth St., with an equal-size annex on Wylie St. Between 1883 - 1885 - T.B Hagstoz withdrew from the company which became C.N. Thorpe Co. and shortly thereafter it was reorganized as the KEYSTONE WATCH CASE COMPANY. The firm was producing 1,500 cases per day by 1889. By merging with and purchasing other watch case and watch making companies Keystone, by 1911 was the largest watch case company in America.
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/85437549_antique-elgin-bw-raymond-pocket-watch-17j (Sold in 2020 for $160)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/70875869_elgin-gold-filled-17-jewel-18-size-pocket-watch (Sold on 2019 for $125)
(Sold in 2018 for 250 Canadian dollars)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/85290798_elgin-model-2-pocketwatch-brass-and-marble-stand (Sold for $90 in 2020)
The pocket watch has an estimated fair market value, in its current condition, in a range of $140-$160. The gold filled cased watches are difficult to sell in today’s market. Not seeing the movement made this appraisal a bit more difficult and not knowing the size of the case did the same. I hope I have explained the fact that the case is not 14k gold in a manner that is understandable. Still a wonderful piece of past American horological history.
Thank you again for choosing mearto.com for your appraisal.