Suggestions pocket watch, engraved, <$100?

Thread: Suggestions pocket watch, engraved, <$100?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Suggestions pocket watch, engraved, <$100?

    A friend of mine is looking for such a gift to her (non-WIS) fiancee. I might suggest getting something on Ebay and getting it engraved. That might fit inside $100. Any other suggestions?

    She sent me a link to pocket watches, with custom engraving, from Things Remembered. They fit in her budget, but from the descriptions I cannot learn much about the watches themselves. At least some appear to be mechanical (skeleton). Anyone know about the quality of these watches?

  2. #2
    Member Shangas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Re: Suggestions pocket watch, engraved, <$100?

    Eeeeh...this could be a serious problem.

    These are just my opinions, and will probably differ wildly from the opinions of other, more notable people who will doubtless read this thread, but...

    I would discourage buying an antique or vintage pocket watch for this purpose. If the fiancee isn't a watch person, buying him an antique or vintage pocket watch would be a waste of money. Not to mention the fact that they're expensive, require servicing and that engraving them could seriously damage their value.

    Going for a more modern pocket watch is the best option here. There are several quartz and mechanical pocket watches of modern manufacture that are available for people to buy from online stores and from eBay, of course.

    Are you after a quartz (battery-powered) watch, or a mechanical (wind-up) watch? Quartz is cheaper and practically maintenance free, but I doubt that it'll come in a skeleton case, if that's what you're after.

    A mechanical pocket watch will require periodic servicing (every 5-10 years) by a qualified watchmaker. It may not keep as good time as a quartz watch, and the quality of the mechanics can vary wildly. The really cheap watches aren't worth looking at. But if your friend is willing to spend a bit more, she could get a very nice skeleton pocket watch with a Swiss, 17-jewel movement which will keep good time and be very presentable.

    One word of warning: Most modern pocket watches (with the exception of those produced by the really high-end watchmakers) have GOLD-PLATE on their cases and not solid gold or gold-filled, as was the custom in the 'old days'. Gold plate can wear off really easily. If you're getting the watch engraved, I suggest getting a silver or stainless steel watch, so that any rubbing will be less obvious, or, getting the engraving done on the inside of the watch, where it's unlikely to be damaged.
    "Pipes are occasionally of extraordinary interest...nothing has more individuality save, perhaps, watches and bootlaces."

    - Sherlock Holmes.

    'The Yellow Face'.

  3. #3
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Canada

    Re: Suggestions pocket watch, engraved, <$100?

    As a general rule, just the mechanical part of a Swiss watch is in excess of $100, so if you're looking at mechanicals in that price range, you're probably looking at a Chinese watch. From what I've read, quality of these can vary widely, but have gotten better in recent years. If you buy from a place that will warrent them, that's probably your best bet.
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages:

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