Valuation Case Study - My Grandfather's Watch

Thread: Valuation Case Study - My Grandfather's Watch

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  1. #1
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Valuation Case Study - My Grandfather's Watch

    For those who think that antique watch collecting is the way to riches, let me tell the story of my grandfather's Elgin.
    1893 - My grandfather MacDonald buys a 7 jewel 18S Elgin in a cheap Silverode case. Cost - maybe $20.
    1937 - After my grandfather passes away, my uncle gets the watch. He's got a Rolex wristwatch by then, so the Elgin isn't of great interest to him.
    1976 - The watch sits neglected in a drawer at my uncle's home with a missing winding stem and crown. He gives it to me. A hobbyist friend fits a new stem and crown for about $30. The Elgin comes alive.
    2002 - Watch has been in storage at my home for over 25 years and now has a broken mainspring. I resolve to fix it once and for all, spend $300 on a total rebuild and cleaning. It runs like a top and looks great.
    2008 - 1893 Elgin's approximate value on eBay - $70. Its value to me as the only souvenir of a grandfather I never knew - priceless.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

  2. #2
    Member pacifichrono's Avatar
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    Re: Valuation Case Study - My Grandfather's Watch

    Cool story, Ray.
    Regards from Sunny San Diego..........Tom
    ____________________________________________________
    "There are two kinds of people in this world, my friend, those with loaded
    guns and those who dig!"................Blondie to Tuco in TGTB&TU (1966)


  3. #3
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    Re: Valuation Case Study - My Grandfather's Watch

    Hi Ray,

    remember that the average ebay price doesn't represent the value of
    a runnung watch in good condition.

    I often hit pocket watches on ebay to fill gaps in my movement archive.
    And although I regard me as reasonably experienced, the average watch
    still needs about one watchmaker hour to resell it with clear conscience
    (and "return-privilege proof").

    And these works still don't include a complete service. So the buyer must
    calculate this, if he actually wants to use the watch continuously.

    So if you have invested 300 bucks to change the watch to good condition,
    and ready for daily use, it was still an economical investment - besides
    sentimental reasons to keep the watch for the next generations.

    Regards, Roland Ranfft

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  5. #4
    Member Ray MacDonald's Avatar
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    Re: Valuation Case Study - My Grandfather's Watch

    Oh I think it was a wonderful investment for me, Roland. My grandfather has now been dead for over 70 years so I certainly don't expect to get another watch from him.
    If I can preserve this old but rather plain Elgin for my own grandchild or a great nephew then it is enough to justify the expense.
    I just worry that so many people are concerned about the "value" of an antique or vintage watch when the true value is in its family heirloom status. Thanks for your post.

    There are fathers who do not love their children; there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson. ~ Victor Hugo

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