We still get lots of requests about "what is my watch worth" in spite of my sticky note on "7 Rules etc". So here is another take on the subject.
I'll try to outline some classes of value of vintage watches (without an actual monetary figure). Remember we are a worldwide community so we have all kinds of currencies to deal with. Also my thoughts on the economics of restoration for each class.
Before I begin, let me once again say that there's no point of talking about value unless you have a working, recently serviced timepiece in your hands. A non functional watch is the horological equivalent of a 1938 Packard in pieces in a farmer's barn somewhere.
So here goes:
Limited edition gold watches (Gruen 50th anniversary watch comes to mind.) Railroad grade pocket watch rarities. Antique Pateks, Vacherons, Rolexes. Museum quality stuff from 1800 or earlier. Count your blessings if you have these. Keep them purring in a fine box on a satin pillow, or in a safe.
High End Collectible
Vintage Omegas, Gruen curvex, Rolexes from the 1950s and 1960s, maybe some Hamiltons from the 1930s-1950s. Really nice chronos from the 1940s-1950s. Always worth fixing and keeping.
Bulovas, Benrus, some non railroad grade pocket watches, mid-range but well known Swiss makers from the 1940s-1960s, Elgins, Walthams and Gruens from 1940-1960. Probably not worth fixing unless you love the brand, or it's an heirloom.
Curiosities, Kitch and Junk
Worn out 1960s and 1970s Swiss wind-ups, generic Swiss 1970s and 1980s autos with the same ETA movement in every model. You're kidding, right?