Dating antique pocket watches
Some American watch brands did not use a consistent series of serial numbers, but most of the big manufacturers did.Most vintage Swiss pocket watches did NOT have serial numbers and can't be dated by this method.
The example below uses information from the American Waltham Watch Company, but that is just an example.
Vintage watches are a unique and relatively complex mechanical antique that can span a range of several hundred years of production, with millions of watches produced and thousands of variations... Whether you are a buyer or seller of vintage watches, knowing what you're looking at and having a good understanding of the factors which affect the fair-market value of a watch could make hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars difference in the price you pay or receive.
While we are primarily concerned with evaluating vintage pocket watches, these same general rules apply to any antique watch, including vintage wristwatches.
While we can't make you into an antique watch expert with just a few web pages, we hope we can share a little of our knowledge in order to help you learn more about your vintage or antique watch.
We've tried to provide answers to some of the more common questions about the proper care and handling of a vintage watch, in order to help you learn more about this fascinating area of American history. The watch case is the outer protective cover, including the crystal that covers the dial.