Waltham 15-jewel pocket watch

Jan 27, 2021. 02:55 UTC
Waltham 15-jewel pocket watch
United States of America

Pocket watch

Acquired from

For sale

Pocket watch, cloth case 1.75 inches in diameter Inside first back cover: Wadsworth 14 karat 870431 Inside second back cover: 14K 870431 Stamped on action plate: A.W.W. Co. Waltham, Mass. 13295731



Answered within 37 minutes
Jan 27, 03:32 UTC
By David

Fair Market Value

$550 - $600 USD

Insurance Value

$1,150 USD
What does this mean?

Hello David,
Thank you for sending in this gold pocket watch to mearto.com for an appraisal, and thank you for your extra effort in filling in the needed details. I shall try to help you with the appraisal this afternoon.
Gent’s, 14k solid yellow gold, pendant wound and pendant set, keyless, open face pocket watch, Movement Grade 220, S/N13295731, made by the American Waltham Watch Company, Waltham, Ma. USA, circa 1903. Accompanied by cloth pocket watch pouch.
Case: Size 12, 14k solid yellow gold, three leaf, open face pocket watch with fluted coin shaped pendant with embossed stem and triangular bow placed at the twelve position relative to the dial. The back cover is polished gold and is edged in small foliate designs. The glazed bezel around the dial continues this same type of engraved decorations. The inside of the covers reveals the case number to be 870431 and marked Wadsworth 14 Karats. The casemaker is the Wadsworth watch case company (see history) of Newport, Kentucky.
Dial: White enameled dial with black Arabic hours, open bar minute track with red Arabic markers placed every five minutes around the circumference of the dial, sunken subsidiary seconds dial @6 and blued steel American type spade hands. The upper dial is marked “Waltham”.
Movement: Size 12, damascened nickel, split three-quarter plate design, the Grade 220, model 1894, made by the American Waltham Watch Company. The movement is marked with the Waltham serial number 13295731 indicating it was manufactured in 1903 in a run of 1000 such movements, each with fifteen jewels, some in gold screw type settings. This movement is pendant wound and pendant set, bimetallic balance wheel for temperature compensation, Breguet hairspring and Church patent regulator. This regulator of the movement speed was invented by Duane H. Church, Patent Date of Feb 17, 1885 and patent number 312253. The watch has no accuracy adjustments made for changes in the position of the watch and is not of railroad grade. The plates are signed, ‘A.W.W.Co, Waltham, Mass, 15 jewels’. (American Waltham Watch Company was the name used by Waltham from 1885-1906.)
Case – Moderate amount of scuffs and surface scratches, overall in good condition.
Dial – This is where the big hurt to value for this watch is found. There is a large compound hairline dial fractures between the four and five hour markers. In addition, there are hairline fractures located @ the following minute markers: 13, 19, 35, 53, 56, and 59.
Movement: There are early signs of oxidation on the ratchet and crown wheel gears, but otherwise the movement appears to be in good shape.
Born in Birmingham, England in 1845 and emigrating to America in 1857, Henry Wadsworth founded this company in 1889. H.A. Wadsworth & Co was located in Newport, Kentucky from 1889-1892 and then as the Wadsworth Watch case company of Newport until 1900 when they moved to Dayton, Kentucky until 1953. They earned a high reputation in the trade with their solid gold and gold filled cases. They sold cases to the Hamilton, Elgin and Waltham watch manufacturers. In 1953 they became a division of the Elgin National Watch Company of Illinois.
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/93850565_waltham-openface-stem-wind-pocket-watch-circa-1917 (SOLD IN 2020, AFTER AUCTION, FOR 600 CANADIAN DOLLARS=$468)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/82723912_14k-gold-waltham-pocket-watch (SOLD IN 2020, SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT MOVEMENT, FOR $750 WITH EVIDENCE OF HAIRLINE FRACTURE ON DIAL BUT HARD TO SEE)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/64344162_waltham-14k-pocket-watchM (SOLD IN 2018 FOR $750)
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/64344159_waltham-14k-hunter-case-pocket-watch (SOLD FOR $700 IN 2018, IN VERY GOOD CONDITION AND RUNNING)
https://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/a-12-size-waltham-pocket-watch-with-gold-hunting-136-c-18e45b7964# (SAME SIZE AND 15 JEWELS IN A HEAVILY ENGRAVED 14K GOLD CASE THIS SOLD FOR $750 IN 2020)
The problem with this watch is in the extent of dial damage when compared to other similar watches. The price required is a price if sold on the “watch” market and not into the gold market. Although the presence of 14k solid gold enhances its value on the watch market, it is not the primary determinant. (I will calculate for you the approximate value if sold on the gold market since I know the weight in grams from other similar watches (that will be calculated for you below my signature). The fair market value of this pocket watch if sold on the watch market would range from $550-$600. Although the retail price would be twice that amount, I do not think a retail buyer would invest in this watch because of the dial (our website calculates that amount automatically)
I hope you understood this appraisal clearly and why your watch fell short of the average price for such a watch with a healthy dial ($750-$850).
Thank you for choosing mearto.com for your appraisal. Thank you for your help in adding to the photos and information I needed.
My best,

The gold calculation for your watch is as follows:
This open face, size 12 14k gold watch weighs approximately 84 grams (54 pennyweight) X 35% (in an open face pocket watch the weight of the gold metal parts is roughly 35%) = 29.4 grams of 14k gold metal X 0.583 (14k gold is 14/24s pure gold) = 17.149grams of 24K pure gold converted to ounces = 0.604913173 ounces of pure gold X the price of gold today ($1,845.40/oz.) = $1116.30 less 15% retailer fee = $948 to you if sold into the gold market (which would destroy the watch as such)

Dear David
Thank you for contacting Mearto with your appraisal inquiry. So that I may best assist you, can you please let me know which labels belong with which watches. You sent in two watches.
I will need the diameters of each watch case.
If you are able, can you send me a legible photo of what written on the inside covers of each wat
How about a photo of the movement including the movement serial number for each watch.
That would be the basic requirements of doing a proper appraisal for each watch you submitted.
As soon as I hear from you I will get the appraisals done for you.
My best,

David starobin Jan 27, 03:54 UTC

I see you've added the same comment to both of my Waltham watch appraisal requests.
Two separate watches, each submitted separately, each with its own photos. The only similarity is that they are both Walthams.
As far a more photos, I am not a jeweler and will try to open the backs. I guess I try to gently pry it off with a knife edge, or similar tool.
I will do my best to get you the photos you require, but I will stop if I think I might damage the timepiece.
I will get back to you soon.

David Jan 27, 04:10 UTC

Hi David,
I certainly realize these are two different Waltham Watches. However, on your other appraisal request there are two cardboard labels included on that appraisal, one says gold filled and the other says 14k solid gold, so I assume one is for each watch, but not sure which is which.
So we need to straighten that out, and the best way is for me to view the inside of the case covers, which were made to be opened. I do not think you will have a problem in doing that. The problem usually comes with trying to open the movement compartment.
Here is a suggestion: Do not use you finger nails to try to open the watch covers. You should wear some thick gloves so you do not cut yourself. Use a pen knife or sharp blade using a motion that resembles shucking oysters or clams. For each cover you will see an area on the case that appears to be scratched from people trying to open the covers, and that is where you insert the blade. Some covers that do NOT have hinges simply unscrew, which you could do with your palms, but when there is a hinge visible that cover needs a blade to open it.
If it becomes too difficult please stop and I will work with whatever you can send me.
There is NO RUSH. I do not want you to hurt yourself, nor do any damage to the case.
Do only what you can reasonably do.
My best,

David Jan 27, 17:45 UTC

Can you bring me up to date on your situation. If you cannot open the cases then let us just proceed to do an appraisal on what you can tell me with the current photos.
Just let me know:
(1) Which watch is solid gold and which is gold plated.
(2) I need, for both watches, a precise diameter for each case (not counting the winder) and a precise diameter for just the dial.
I will do the best I can with that information.
Let me know,

David starobin Jan 27, 19:10 UTC

David -
I got the cases opened and am upgrading info and photos for each.
- David

David Jan 27, 20:04 UTC

Thank you David,
This makes all the difference in the accuracy of the appraisal. Good job. Hope you escaped unscathed!
Both will be done sometime today or this evening.
Thanks again,

David starobin Jan 27, 23:10 UTC

David -
First of all, I indeed escaped unscathed. After watching a few well-made videos on YouTube (searched "opening a Waltham pocket watch) I indeed spotted a hinge, and the tiny pry tab opposite. Once I found the right spot they both opened easily with a fingernail.
I am grateful for the fine work you did in providing the appraisals for both watches. I am especially thankful for the detailed work concerning the watch face hairline fractures (I can't even spot them!) as it affects the final value, and of the item's value as scrap.
Thanks again.
If I find myself seeking appraisals for watches (and other jewelry?) I will request you.
- David

David Jan 28, 00:06 UTC

Thank you for your kind comments. I really try to do an in depth appraisal no matter what the watch or clock is. I call it Forensic Horology.
Thank you again. Stay safe and healthy.
My best,

David starobin Jan 28, 01:16 UTC

I have never met a Forensic Horologist.
What an honor!
Stay safe, healthy . . . and sane.

David Jan 28, 01:20 UTC

I'm the first

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