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Discussion Starter #1
I found this American Waltham pocketwatch at my Aunt's home in upstate New York (she's 92) -- guess it was my great aunt's or uncle's or my grandfather's or ?. 14K case, case #711994, I think it says Dueber inside. Case engraved PSB. Hands are blue. Numbers are Roman. Second dial for seconds not in roman. Serial #3759251. A friend's father is a jeweler and antique collector and offered me $300. It's not worn and looks like it's been in a drawer for the last 100 years. No scratches on face. One tiny dent on back of case. And it runs. I'm not that interested in selling but was wondering what your gut tells you about the offer. Thanks in advance. If I screwed up by starting a new thread, sorry, I didn't quite know what to do, though I read all the rules and understand that anything you say can't be taken to the bank and is just an opinion based on what I'm telling you.
 

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You are just not going to get us to do valuations over the Internet. We have a posting in the stickies at the top of the page which says why.

There are books you can buy which will give you general pricing and eBay can too if you can find comparable watches. But, in general, watches are worth a lot less than most folks think...

... this is fortunate for those of us who collect as it allows us to collect more watches. I could never afford my collection if it was actually worth what some folks think!! But new watches which have the same quality as the Waltham you mention would cost a lot of money. That is just how the market works...
 

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According to one table of dates & numbers, your watch was made circa 1887/1888.
 

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What you have apparently (and we can't verify without photos) is:
a 15 jewel, 18S model 1883 P S Bartlett Waltham made in 1888. It's in a Dueber gold case. It would have been a very fine businessman's watch in its day - not quite a railroad grade but Waltham's finest mid-grade watch.
It's going to need another $100 or so in service, but given that it's in a gold case your friend's father's offer would not be an insult. However, such a watch surely must be worth more to you than a modern Seiko or Invicta...it might have been your grandfather's after all.
The fact that a watch with such workmanship and in a gold case to boot is worth so little on the open market is the reason we love collecting them - and why we encourage anyone who is fortunate enough to have one in hand never to sell it. It's the ultimate gift to pass on to your own grandchildren.
As Eeeb said we can't possibly give you a valuation for the reasons in our sticky notes. However our advice is - don't worry about selling, sentimental value far outweighs anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Ray. That's kind of the response I was looking for. I'm sort of pre-distributing my aunt's estate and want to give the watch to my nephew who will be most interested in the craftsmanship and history. I just didn't want to be giving him something that was worth a ton of money. Everything I'm divvying up is worth way more in sentimental value than cash any day, except maybe the Victrola and WringOMatic, which none of us have room for. I'm so glad I stumbled on your site and thank you all so much for your input.
 

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If you do intend to give the watch to your nephew, have it serviced, cleaned and oiled first. That way you'll be giving him a watch that not only looks nice, but runs properly too.

Any chance of a few photographs?
 

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The offer was probably made for the gold value. Unfortunately, historically thousands of fine antique and vintage watches have been destroyed for the value of the solid gold case.
 

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Can you tell us what it says on the inside of the back cover of the case. Just Dueber or does it say 14K ?
 

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OK no question a gold case.
 

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Despite the quality of the photos, I think it looks like a very beautiful and very well-maintained watch. A worthy present to the next generation, and a true antique. And a solid gold case, too...wish my watch had one of those! Hahaha.
 

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With Dueber, doesn't it matter whether the 14K is embossed (plated) or raised (solid)?
 

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If there's an anchor with the Dueber inscription it should be raised, not engraved.
 

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