The cellphone has replaced the pocket watch as a timepiece for most, but horology, the study of time and timepieces, continues to fascinate collectors.
Horologists repair and restore, make, conserve and appreciate watches and clocks of all sizes and styles, reports The British Horology Institute. Old pocket watches carry secrets as well as the time.
Look at the entire pocket watch before establishing a date. The case may not be link original, and replacement parts are common.
Another indication of replacement parts is subtle differences in the color of the metal. Check the name of the manufacturer on the watch face.
Pocket Watch Movements
Write the information out as you work so it will be available for researching the date. Open the watchcase carefully from the back to look inside.
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Some pocket watches have a hinged back, with a tiny indentation for lifting the back; others have threads that screw the back onto the bezel. Look for a serial number with a loupe or magnifying glass.
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This should be on the flat part of the dating pocket watch movements when the case is open. There may also be a number on the inside of the case, and maybe the name of the maker. Check for hallmarks on a sterling silver or gold case. There are three or four logos used on silver to identify the country of origin and date.
Movements dating pocket watch
Gold marks are often in logo form as well; the crown and sometimes the rose are the indicators of English gold. Gold watches may have the gold karat content within the logo, or they may have a number like. Gold-filled or gold-plated pocket watchcases were common.
Read the information carefully to determine the metal content of the case, as this will aid in dating the watch.
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This information will require a loupe or magnifying glass to see. Research the hallmarks on a website of silver marks or gold marks to date the watchcase. Silver hallmarks may be researched on the website see Resources belowand gold hallmarks are detailed at The British Horological Institute website. Check the manufacturer and the serial number to date the pocket watch.
Compare the dates of the watch and the case. Similar dates for the watchcase and the watch movement should indicate that the timepiece is in its original case, and will provide an estimated date for the pocket watch. Tip Some pocket watches show the dates of repairs inside the case.
This is also an indicator of age.