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Watch found in a paper bag

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Waltham Pocket Watches125 of 155WALTHAM 10K 17J pocket watch
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    Posted 12 years ago

    (1 item)

    My wife and I operate an estate sale business, and while pulling out merchandise to put on display we found this Waltham pocket watch in a paper gift bag that was full of tissue paper. The serial number on the works is 21187, which I think puts it at 1857, a pre-Civil War watch. Is that correct? It is inscribed "P.S. Bartlett" on the works, too. I also believe that it's an 18s as it is approximately 2 3/8 inches wide. The case is inscribed as coin silver. I do not know if it still runs as I have not yet tried to wind it with the key.

    Are there any other things I should do or discover about the watch before trying to sell it? Should I just wind it up? Get it cleaned? What do collectors need to know or require in a watch they would consider buying?

    Note: I thought a watch that seemed very similar to this one just recently sold on eBay for $2,200.

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    1. johnarthur, 12 years ago
      Thanks for any information you might be able to supply.
    2. kerry10456 kerry10456, 12 years ago
      This is a neat find, First, it was mfg 1860, it is a model 1857 with grade type of AT Co. and 16 jewels. I'd be temped to wind it a few turns and seeing if it runs. Great watch and thanks for sharing.
    3. toolate2 toolate2, 12 years ago
      Here's a link to more info. Just enter the serial number:
      Be sure and check the glossary to understand some of the terms. Look closer at the serial number and I think you'll find that it's actually 1021187
      That puts it after the Civil War in 1877... Still a beautiful watch though. It's worth around $250-$300
    4. kerry10456 kerry10456, 12 years ago
      Thank to toolate2 for catching the correct serial number, I didn't blow picture up, my mistake for just reading the desciption of the serial #. He is correct, which null and voids what I posted. Still a beauty and 1877 isn't a bad year, lol. Thanks again toolate2 for seeing the correction
    5. PSiloveyou, 12 years ago
      A Beautiful Watch.... With prices for some models so low...... i wouldnt Sell it. Though when you wind it, be gentle. I would enjoy keeping that watch & caring for it, far more than $250-$300.
    6. MrRoundel, 11 years ago
      That watch appears to be cased in a rather heavy coin silver case. I'm guessing at least a 5 oz case, perhaps as much as 7 oz. Once they get that big, there is a decent premium paid by collectors.

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