Value & Sell Your Gold Pocket Watch

A gold pocket watch would have been a prized possession, and like designer watches today was often selected to make a statement about its owner. The style of watch, including decoration and the type of gold used for the case, as well as how it was worn, would all add to the statement made by the pocket watch. Each of those in turn impacts the value of your pocket watch in 2022.

The Market for Gold Pocket Watches

Gold pocket watches generally command a premium over pocket watches made from other materials. Firstly, there is the intrinsic value of the metal itself, but in addition gold pocket watches were usually made as a statement piece, are of a high quality and have often had light use or have been kept to a very good standard. As such they are highly sought-after by collectors and there is an active market for them in 2022.



The condition and originality of a watch has the greatest bearing on its value. What could outwardly appear to be a rare 17th century verge pocket watch, may have had a large proportion of its movement replaced or cannibalised over the years (replacement dial etc). These changes might only be known to a watchmaker or collector so a guarantee of originality will positively impact the value if you are looking to sell.

The outward condition of the watch is easier to assess yourself. Cracks to the dial, worn cases or erased presentation engravings can negatively impact the value of a pocket watch.


Very broadly speaking, the more complications the greater the value of the watch. Minute repeaters are some of the most sought-after complications as well as: tourbillon, split-seconds chronograph (or rattrapante), chronometers, perpetual calendar and phases of the moon, to name but a few.

If your watch has only the repeating complication then the repeating frequency (hour, quater, minute etc) will impact the value. With rarer repeating frequencies generally more sought after. Quarter repeaters are the most common. The mode of repeating (bell, gong, vibration) will also have an impact.

Case material

With the exception of watches with ‘out of the ordinary’ movements or features (chronometers etc) the case material can have a significant bearing on the value of the watch. Generally speaking 18ct gold pocket watches are more valuable than 9ct gold pocket watches, silver pocket watches and gold or silver plated pocket watches are worth less again.

The most obvious example of this can be seen with gold cased watches: three seemingly identical watches with identical Waltham movements could be several thousand pounds different in value depending on the case material, i.e. gold plated vs. 9ct gold vs. 18ct gold.


The most expensive pocket watch ever sold at auction was only made in 1933. The price of the Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 was not released, but it is fair to estimate that it is likely the most expensive pocket watch ever produced, and was only made in 2015.

As such the age of a watch does not necessarily invoke a high value. For example, pair cased silver verge watches from the reign of George III can be sold for as little as £100 at auction (condition dependant) yet an Edwardian minute repeater can easily sell for £1,000+.

Provenance & certificates

Provenance can add a significant amount of value to a watch and sometimes the provenance will be of more value than the watch itself.

A good example of this would be a watch that could be proven to have been on the Titanic; the story attached to the watch is what would be valuable rather than the pocket watch itself.

The original chronometer certificates, receipts, boxes and paperwork can also add significant value to a watch when they are still present.


In alphabetical order here is a list of some manufacturers that command a significant premium:

  • Audemars Piguet
  • Breguet
  • Harrison
  • IWC
  • Massey
  • Mudge
  • Omega
  • Patek Phillpe
  • Perrelet
  • Rolex
  • Tiffany
  • Tompion
  • Vacheron Constantin
  • Zenith

Credited to: marklittler.

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