Looking for a pocket watch

Thread: Looking for a pocket watch

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  1. #1
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    Looking for a pocket watch

    I am looking to get a pocket watch. Originally, I was going to just go buy one, but quickly realized there is a lot of difference between all of them. I was also looking for a 'new' one since I wanted to use it daily and not worry too much about damaging an antique (not that I am abusive to them). I have found a couple that I like. They are made by Classique, Bernex, and Jean Marcel. Are any of these brands 'good'? They all have the swiss 6498 movement.

    My price point is in the ballpark of 500 give or take. IF I decide to go with an VINTAGE one, what would you guys suggest? I can't imagine an older one would keep better time than a new one, but that's why I am here to ask you folk's opinion.

    My taste is that I want something 'silver' in color, preferably a hunting style case.

    Thanks for the help!
    I think I want a mechanical. Id like the accuracy of a Quartz movement in a 10 dollar watch, but if Im going to carry a PW, then I may as well at least get a mechanical one.

  2. #2
    Member Erik_H's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a pocket watch

    500 like in US$? You will get a Hamilton 992B including service cost for that price, far superior to any new pocketwatch with a 6498 movement.
    Erik_H
    Member NAWCC Chapter 149

  3. #3
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by agdodge4x4 View Post
    I am looking to get a pocket watch. Originally, I was going to just go buy one, but quickly realized there is a lot of difference between all of them. I was also looking for a 'new' one since I wanted to use it daily and not worry too much about damaging an antique (not that I am abusive to them). I have found a couple that I like. They are made by Classique, Bernex, and Jean Marcel. Are any of these brands 'good'? They all have the swiss 6498 movement.

    My price point is in the ballpark of 500 give or take. IF I decide to go with an VINTAGE one, what would you guys suggest? I can't imagine an older one would keep better time than a new one, but that's why I am here to ask you folk's opinion.

    My taste is that I want something 'silver' in color, preferably a hunting style case.

    Thanks for the help!
    I think I want a mechanical. Id like the accuracy of a Quartz movement in a 10 dollar watch, but if Im going to carry a PW, then I may as well at least get a mechanical one.
    Many of the larger Swiss watches are based on the Unitas 6498 pocket watch movement. It's a 17 jeweled winder that has been around for eons. Multiple Chinese movement makers have cloned it. It's a workhorse and represents the 'final' state of the art for Swiss pocket watch movements.

    If you don't like that technology and want something more interesting, vintage American pocket watches represent an amazing value. If they are in a good state of maintenance, usually they are better timekeepers than the 'modern' Unitas technology. The only equivalent in modern makers are boutique makers who charge minimum 5 digit dollar prices. But there were a lot of these Americans made back then and they were often prized and kept so there are still a lot of them around. Supply keeps the price low. Smart consumers are getting amazing bargains.

    As to quartz, generally quartz pocket watches are not collectible (though anything can be collected... by someone). Most of the interesting quartz movements were done in wristwatches (where the market was!) and most quartz pocket watches use wristwatch movements. There are a few Citizen or Seikos which have HEQ (high end quartz - thermocompensated to increase accuracy) but they are rare and have to be acquired via Japanese-language online auction sites. I don't think you are looking at those

    You are obviously at the beginning. I would set aside a month for research. Browse eBay every day and explore their pocket watch selections. Get a feel for the variety. Research and ask questions. Have fun. You will quickly find some things interest you more than others.

    Thanks for stopping by WUS... have you been lurking for a while or did a search engine 'parachute' you in?

    Others will help out too... enjoy the crowd!
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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  5. #4
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    Re: Looking for a pocket watch

    I have several pocket watches with the 6498 movement and they seem quite capable of accuracy within 5 seconds a day.

    Vintage American pocket watches, while much more interesting can be a crap shoot. Individual examples of the same model watch can vary considerably in timekeeping probably due to their history of use and maintenance. And this even after servicing. The already mentioned Hamilton 992B represents the last and best mass produced American
    PW built to railroad standards. The earlier 992 is also excellent. I would also consider Waltham model 1908 Vanguards and Crescent Streets, Elgin B.W. Raymonds and Illinois Bunn Specials.

    It is also possible to purchase good, solid 17 jewel American pocket watches for less money because they were not built to RR standards. You need to do your homework before making any purchase.

  6. #5
    Member Shangas's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a pocket watch

    Hey Dodge,

    You are right to come here. There are literally hundreds of variations when it comes to pocket-watches, and you really MUST know exactly what you want before you cough up cash for one.

    Vintage pocket watches are generally thought to keep better time and to be of better quality...this is because they were built during a time when the pocket watch was a timepiece, not a showpiece, like it is today. Emphasis was on QUALITY, not quantity or appearance, necessarily. But on mechanics.

    Pocket-watches in almost any style can be had for almost any kind of money. I could go out right now and buy a mechanical pocket watch for $15 (and I did, a long time ago). But it won't last.

    If you're after a nice, silver hunter-case watch, I would PERSONALLY suggest buying a vintage American watch. For $500 you should be able to get a good watch with a good movement in a good case and still have money left over for a watch-chain and servicing.

    I quite understand your desire for a mechanical pocket-watch, but be sure to do as much research about them before going any further. I believe the National Watch & Clock Collector's...thingy....has a nice article on their website which is effectively like "Pocket Watches for Dummies". Read that. I did. It'll educate you real fast and real easy and you'll soon get a good idea of what to look for and what to look out for. With silver, this is particularly important, because not all vintage pocket-watches that are marked "Silver" are actually silver. Knowing the marks and jargon and tricks that old case-makers used to try and fool customers into buying a 'silver' watch is important if you intend to buy a genuine silver pocket watch.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  7. #6
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by agdodge4x4 View Post
    I am looking to get a pocket watch. Originally, I was going to just go buy one, but quickly realized there is a lot of difference between all of them. I was also looking for a 'new' one since I wanted to use it daily and not worry too much about damaging an antique (not that I am abusive to them). I have found a couple that I like. They are made by Classique, Bernex, and Jean Marcel. Are any of these brands 'good'? They all have the swiss 6498 movement.

    My price point is in the ballpark of 500 give or take. IF I decide to go with an VINTAGE one, what would you guys suggest? I can't imagine an older one would keep better time than a new one, but that's why I am here to ask you folk's opinion.

    My taste is that I want something 'silver' in color, preferably a hunting style case.

    Thanks for the help!
    I think I want a mechanical. Id like the accuracy of a Quartz movement in a 10 dollar watch, but if Im going to carry a PW, then I may as well at least get a mechanical one.
    Here's an Orient pocketwatch with a power reserve indicator.




    And here's a Seiko.

    Last edited by Eeeb; November 9th, 2010 at 16:31. Reason: cleaned up missing "["

  8. #7
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    Re: Looking for a pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by RON in PA View Post
    I have several pocket watches with the 6498 movement and they seem quite capable of accuracy within 5 seconds a day.

    Vintage American pocket watches, while much more interesting can be a crap shoot. Individual examples of the same model watch can vary considerably in timekeeping probably due to their history of use and maintenance. And this even after servicing. The already mentioned Hamilton 992B represents the last and best mass produced American
    PW built to railroad standards. The earlier 992 is also excellent. I would also consider Waltham model 1908 Vanguards and Crescent Streets, Elgin B.W. Raymonds and Illinois Bunn Specials.

    It is also possible to purchase good, solid 17 jewel American pocket watches for less money because they were not built to RR standards. You need to do your homework before making any purchase.

    I really like the Waltham Vanguard Model 1908....that one has a wind indicator right? They seem to be going for 1,000 plus....Can one of these be had for half that price?

  9. #8
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    Re: Looking for a pocket watch

    Hi there,

    how about THE classic among the non classic pocket watches?





    Shock protected, waterproof, and actually self winding if you don't couch the whole day long. I have one in my pocket watch collection (the only self winding), and it is one of my favorites even for daily use, or a week end on the water.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft
    Attached Images Attached Images


  10. #9
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    Re: Looking for a pocket watch

    Dodge an option not metioned is buying from a reputable dealer. If we knew where you lived it might be possible to steer you to a good one.

  11. #10
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    Re: Looking for a pocket watch

    Quote Originally Posted by nsmike View Post
    Dodge an option not metioned is buying from a reputable dealer. If we knew where you lived it might be possible to steer you to a good one.
    Houston OR San Antonio area would be the place.

    Thanks!

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