How To Tell If Your Antique Pocket Watch Is In Good Condition

Posted on: 7 April 2023

If you're a collector or just an admirer of antique pocket watches, it pays to know how to tell the difference between a good-condition watch and one that needs some repair. A pocket watch in mint condition can be an incredibly valuable item and a great addition to your collection.

Read on for some tips on how to tell if your pocket watch is in good condition.

Check Out the Movement 

The movement is the key component of any pocket watch. It's what sets it apart from a modern-day wristwatch and makes it such an interesting piece of history.

The first thing you should do when assessing the condition of your pocket watch is to examine the movement closely. Open it up and take a look at all the tiny components inside. Ensure there are no signs of rust or corrosion, as this indicates water damage, which could significantly reduce its value. 

Also, check whether every part moves as it should and that none of them appear broken or worn down. You could even have an expert look at it for a more detailed assessment.

Examine the Exterior 

Next, take a look at how well the exterior has held up over time. If there are any major scratches or dents on either side of the case, then this could drastically reduce its value, so you'll want to factor this into your assessment.

Pay close attention to small details like screws and hinges, as these can be expensive and time-consuming to replace if they are missing or too worn down. Also, check that both lids open perfectly with just one hand — if not, then you may have another repair job on your hands.

Test Its Accuracy 

Make sure that your antique pocket watch is still keeping accurate time by testing it against other reliable sources such as clocks or even online sources like atomic clock websites. If you find that it's off by a few minutes or more, then this suggests that something needs adjusting inside the mechanism itself — normally only something a professional can do for you.

A watch that's off by too much can significantly reduce its value. You might even need to have it serviced regularly to keep its accuracy as close as possible to perfection.

Determining whether an antique pocket watch is in good condition can be tricky for even experienced collectors. But with these three tips, you can make life easier for those looking for their next prized possession. 

Always remember that although these watches may have been around for decades (even centuries), they still require careful handling and maintenance to ensure they remain in perfect working order.

Contact a vintage pocket watch supplier to learn more.


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