What to Buy.
I think the first thing to say is buy what takes your fancy but if you want a watch to be completely accurate over a long period and in all conditions then don’t buy a 100 year old watch unless you can afford a really superior one, know exactly what you are doing and are prepared to take a lot of time and effort (or put lots of money) into fine tuning and maintaining it; it is unlikely that you will find such a watch on my web site. Although the odd one does turn up.
Secondly if you want to use an old pocket watch frequently or even every day you need to be very selective and preferably have several watches and rotate them. If you want a watch that will run very frequently then you can e-mail me for recommendations but please first read my overview of the subject in this PDF file so that you can give me some general indication of your preferences. My thanks to J.S. for his review of this paper.
Apart from the above it is important to decide when and how often you will be wearing a pocket watch, if it will be worn rarely or not at all then practical considerations such as setting the watch are irrelevant as it will be done so rarely and you can make your decision on the aesthetics or other factors such as the age of the watch.
See also my page "Using your Watch" selectable from the bar above.
- Hunter, half-hunter or open faced?
- What size to buy?
- What affects the value of a watch?
- Watch is the optimum number of jewels?
- Are watches a good financial investment?
- How are watches dated?
- What should I consider when buying a placement watch key?
- What is the best way to sell a pocket watch?
Style and Cosmetics:
- What is the best sort of watch for evening wear?
- How do I choose a watch chain?
- Why does the watch have a black seconds hand when the others are gold?
- Why are so many watches not signed on the Face?
- Can I engrave a watch?
- How are watches timed?
- What is the significance of an "Elinvar" hairspring?
- What does "adjusted" mean (links to NAWCC wiki)
- What is an ebauche?
- What is "Geneva Stop Gear"?
- What is Isochronism and how is it managed?
- What is a half-chronometer?
- The watch is marked as having a reversing pinion, what is that?
- The watch is marked as having a safety pinion, what is that?
- What are 1, 2 & 3 piece watch dials?
- How are watch movements cleaned?
- How is a silver case restored?
- What is Ultrasonic cleaning? (Wikipedia description) see also How are watch movements cleaned? & How is a silver case restored?
- What is the significance of Omega's patent winding and setting mechanism?
This Wiki page on horology should provide an explanation of most technical terms and this one explains how a watch works.
Watch Cases & Case Makers:
- Watch Case Materials & Hallmarks
- More on Gold Plated cases
- Can I engrave a watch?
- What to the small scratches letters and numbers on the inside of the case mean?
more on watch cases can be found by selecting "Watch Cases" under "Labels" from the right hand panel.
Links to information on various case makers on the nawcc web site:
- Bates & Bacon
- Dennison Watch Cases
- KeyStone Watch Cases
- American Watch Case Co
- Wadsworth Watch Cases
- Joseph Fahys & Co.
- Chicargo & Crescent Watch Case Companies
- P.W. Ellis & Co, Toronto
- Illinois Watch Case Co.
- Philadelphia Watch Case Co.
- P.W. Ellis and Co (Canada)
- Star Watch Case Company
Watch faults and repairs:How do I put a minute hand on a watch?
How do I replace a watch crystal?
How is a balance staff replaced?
What is meant by "Bushing" a watch?
Slipping Cannon Pinion