Tiffany & Co.
17 February 2022
Description

Pocket watch with gold chain.

Provenance

Belong to my father who work 35 years for Soutern Pacific Railroad. Rope chain is broken and needs repair. Watch ticks and all hands work and watch keeps correct time.

Acquired from
Inherited
For sale
Maybe
Answered within about 2 hours
By David
Feb 17, 20:41 UTC
Fair Market Value
$600 - $750 USD
Suggested Asking Price $500 USD
What does this mean?

Hello Russell,
Thank you for sending in this vintage gold pocket watch to mearto.com for an appraisal.
TITLE:
Gent’s, 14k gold, pendant wound and pendant set, monogramed, and made for Tiffany & Company, retailers of New York City, made by the Wittnauer division of the Longines-Wittnauer watch company, mid-20th century, circa late 1940s to 1950.
Accompanied by an aqua Tiffany & Company pouch and a single Albert 14k rope watch chain (broken)
PROVENANCE:
Belonged to my father who worked 35 years for Southern Pacific Railroad. (But this is not a railroad grade watch.)
DESCRIPTION:
Case: Approximated to be 38mm in diameter (no size provided), this is a keyless three leaf 14k solid gold open face pocket watch made for Tiffany & Company in NYC. The back cover is monogramed, AVS, and otherwise is unengraved on the back cover and polished gold glazed dial bezel. There is a fluted gold pendant, more in the shape of a cut diamond than in the shape of a coin) with round gold bow attached to a broken gold twisted mesh chain. The inside of the rear cover is shown and has case number 83601, marked for 14k gold and accompanied by the letters AW (Albert Wittnauer) within in a shield-shaped cameo. There are no Swiss hallmarks, suggesting the case may have been made in the USA. The cuvette over the movement is not shown clearly but assumed to be solid gold as well as the outer cover.
Dial: this is a round silvered white metal dial with applied gold boat shaped baton hour indices, except at twelve where there re double batons and at six where there is a sunken, subsidiary continuous seconds dial. The hands are gilded epee (sword) shaped hands and the upper dial is marked in black Tiffany & Company.
Movement: This is a nickel split three quarter plate movement made with 15 jewels (also made with 17 jewels), with exposed ratchet and crown wheels, smaller secondary jeweled plate and a single small finger bridge movement. There is a simple Swiss made index regulator marked in both English and French initials for faster and slower. The plates read, “A. Wittnauer Co. Swiss, unadjusted (for position), fifteen jewels, 52 (calibre)”. This was made during the time that the name of the company was changed to Longines Wittnauer Company back in 1936. Longines had decided to continue to use the Wittnauer name as a household brand, calling it “the next best thing to a Longines”. Watch is functional and keeps correct time.
Condition:
Case – few scratches on the crystal while the case seems to have no damage that I am told about nor can I discern. DISCERN.
Dial – Very good condition with original gold boat shaped baton hours and original epee hands.
Movement – certainly this is the calibre 52 Wittnauer model, and it is clearly stated. It was the model use just before the switch over to the Revue model 65 made with 17 jewels during the 1950s. The first Zentra calibre 51, 52, 53 and 54 were made during the 1930s, and were brought back during the mid-20th century years. Neither pocket nor wristwatches had baton hours during the 1930s. That developed mostly during the 1850-1970s era.
Watch Chain – This a twisted solid gold 14k mesh watch chain which has broken off at the end proximal to the watch bow and need repair. I have placed a fair market value on the watch chain of $250, mainly because of the gold content.
HISTORY OF THE WITTNAUER WATCH COMPANY:
~1866-1867 – founding of the J Eugene Robert Watch company for importing watches into the USA.
~1872 – Albert Charles Wittnauer, having immigrated to the USA at age 16 from Switzerland, joins the Robert Company.
~1880 – A. Wittnauer brand created
~1888 – Albert Wittnauer takes over the company and names it A. Wittnauer
~1916 – Albert Wittnauer dies. His wife Martha becomes the CEO.
~1936 – Company is sold and name changes to the Longines-Wittnauer Watch Company. Longines continues to use the name Wittnauer on some of its American household models.
~1969 – Sold to the Westinghouse electric Corporation.
~1994-Company renamed Wittnauer international, a part of the swatch Group.
PRICING:
A solid 14k gold Wittnauer pocket watch made for Tiffany and Company in NYC is very difficult to find. Similar examples in gold plated metal sell in the $100-$150 category. The style is in a retardetaire case resembling the early Wittnauer pocket watches from the 1930’s except for the dial. It is an unusual pocket watch in that it was made for Tiffany & Co which doubles its value on the watch market and it was made with a 14k gold case, also rather unusual for this household brand of the Longines watch company. I believe the fair market of this watch, in its working condition and very good overall condition, including the $250 for the watch chain, would fall into the $600-$750, consider some money has to be spent at a jeweler for repairing the watch chain. Without the chain the fair market value of the watch alone would be $350-500. (If you go into our marketplace you can freely change the pricing that I have applied to you watch, either up or down, whatever you feel you want to do.
Thank you for choosing mearto.com for your appraisal
My best
David

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