14 K Gold, Bay State, U.S. Assay
This belonged to my grandfather, nothing further known.
Thank you for sending this pocket watch into mearto.com for an appraisal.
Gent’s, full size (16-18 –size not provided), 14k rose gold, pendant wound and pendant or lever set, hunting case pocket watch, (no serial number provided) made by the American Watch Company, Waltham, Ma. USA circa 1889-1892. (The American Watch company existed from 1859 until 1885 when the name changed to the American Waltham Watch company, this was likely a movement and dial left behind when the company was called the American Watch Company and used a few years later by the A.W.W.Co. from older parts that Waltham had lying around the factory. The watch dates to 1889-1892, based on the case maker.)
“This was my grandfather's”
Case: No size provided, assumed to be either size 16 or size 18, 14k rose gold hunting case pocket watch in an Art nouveau style with both covers engine turned and engraved with floral and foliate forms in the style of the Art Nouveau era (circa 1880-1910). One of the covers is engraved with a central landscape, while the other has some foliate scrollwork in the center. The periphery of both covers is filled with a plethora of geometric shapes and surrounded by foliate forms. There is a full gold fluted ball pendant and round bow placed at the three position (savonette) opposite the case hinge. The inside of one of the covers is shown, case number 35467 and marked ‘Bay State 14k U.S. Assay’ indicating that the Bay State Watch Case Company of Boston made the case for Waltham and certified the quality of the gold involved.
Dial: Round triple-tiered and double sunk, white enameled dial with fine black Roman hour chapter ring, closed minute track, Arabic markers placed every five minutes around the periphery of the dial, sunken subsidiary seconds dial @6 and skeletonized matching steel cathedral hands, with the dial signed, “American Watch Co., Waltham”
Movement: NOT SHOWN- Waltham made hundreds of different style movements and without showing me the movement nor tell me the size it is impossible to guess at the plate design.
Case – Moderate wear to the engraved designs on both outer cover engraved designs. Condition is good. The inside of one cover is good as well.
Dial: There is a hairline fracture of the dial running from the 20 minute marker to the 24 minute marker. The dial is the problem here since it has hairline fractures at the 17, 26, 37 minute markers and small edge fractures at the 29 and 31 minute markers. Therefore, the dial has to be considered only fair, although all of the fractures are tight, but there are a number of them, definitely hurtful to value. Beautiful matching original steel open Cathedral hands and the signature on the dial quite legible.
Movement: Not shown but I will assume for this appraisal that it is original to this case, genuine and functional with a cleaning.
MARKET for Waltham pocket watches:
Today’s pocket watch market is doing well at the higher end of the scale. The demand for non- Gold American made pocket watches is quite weak except if the watch is of railroad grade (this is not) or made by one of the upper end companies like Hamilton or the Illinois watch company.
No matter what the maker, however, buyers are looking for horological items that are close to perfect. Any damage and the bottom drops out of the price.
The Bay State Watch Case Co., Boston, MA, was making cases as early as 1889, according to page 52 of History of the American Watch Case, Warren H. Niebling, Whitmore Publishing, Philadelphia, PA, 1971 (available on loan by mail to members from the NAWCC Lending Library). According to an 1892 advertisement, the line consisted of solid gold, gold-filled, and silver cases. The firm also was known to have manufactured nickel cases, under the trade name "Argentine". Bay State was taken over by the Crescent Watch Case Co. in the fall of 1893. They were only in business from 1889-1892.
The fair market value of this 14k pink gold pocket watch made by the A.W. Co. whether size 16 or 18, in perfect condition, should have a value on the watch market today in the range of $750-$900. However, assuming the movement is as stated, genuine and original to this case, the condition of the case lowers the value just a bit but the multiple dial fractures takes a real bite in today’s marketplace, where everyone is looking for perfection. In its current state the fair market value of this pocket watch would be in the $500-$600 range, if sold on the watch market, not the gold market.
If, at any time you wish to make the appraisal more precise feel free to send me the precise width of the case and clear photos of the movement so that I can read the serial number clearly.
I will be away to help a relative who is having surgery tomorrow (Tuesday March 8) but should be back on Wednesday or Thursday if you decide to send me further information.
Thank you for choosing mearto.com for you appraisal.