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I want to buy a pocket watch to give to my significant other in a couple of months. I do not know anything about pocket watches, however, and looking at ebay made it really clear how clueless I am. I don't know a good pocket watch from a bad one.

I am interested in an older watch as I think this would appeal to him, but am also willing to look at new watches. I think he would like one that is silver in color (though the type of metal does not much matter), requires winding with a key, and that has a case that covers the front and the back (I think this is called "hunter" style?).

I'm hoping to spend less than $500 and I don't want to buy something that requires any steps on my part after purchase such as having it cleaned and serviced before giving it as a gift.

I'd appreciate any recommendations from people with knowledge of pocket watches about particular watches and/or reputable sellers of pocket watches.

Thank you much!
 

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You want a keywind, keyset watch, you're almost certainly looking at watches made before the the 1850s-1870s.

Just remember that the older the watch, the harder it is to fix. And the less accurate it's likely to be. And possibly more expensive. And even more expensive if you want it serviced before you buy it.

Add a solid silver case...and well. The price keeps going up.

If I were you, I'd look for a more modern (ca. 1880 +) top-quality silver hunter-case watch. Being more modern, it's more likely to keep better time. And if something DOES break, it'll be easier to fix.
 

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Agree with Shangas that a more modern hunter style pocket watch is better and more in your price range. If you want to make it personal why not think about engraving the pocket watch. Look for a style that allows engraving on the front or back.

If you don't want to do anything after you've brought it then look online for companies that offer engraving at the same time as buying the watch. Otherwise, you will need to get it engraved elsewhere and some engravers won't engrave items that have not been purchased with them...- not all engravers mind...but save the hassle and get it all done at the same time.
 
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