Germany Staiger Alarm Clock… Elgin National Pocket Watch… Seth Thomas Mantle Clock…
What do the above have in common? Well, besides being timekeepers, all of them are examples of old, vintage, and antique clocks and watches.
Antique clocks and watches were made using different materials, designs, styles, and sizes long, long ago. The ability to accurately identify and research on this antique clocks and watches are important then because of the diversity, as well as the number, of clock and watchmakers and manufacturers around the world.
If we are going to trace the history of clocks and watches, we would be back to the late 14th century when the first clock was made. In the early years, as well as many centuries over, mechanical clocks and watches were so uncommon and made by few that only rulers and noblemen had such. The common people, especially those in Europe, have to rely on the few public clocks that are existent.
The majority of clocks and watches made from the 15th to the middle of the 17th century are now mostly in museums and a small percentage in different individuals’ private collection. Most people will never set eyes on these timekeepers nor will be able to recognize them.
Many antique clock and watch collectors would agree that periods in history greatly influenced the materials and styles of clocks and watches, such that these timekeepers were not only used for time measurement, but as decoration as well. Also, they were made with such high quality that with proper care and maintenance, they are apt to last several centuries.
There are several things that you may take into consideration if you are a collector or just a one time buyer of an antique clock or watch – besides the fact that it should be interesting, beautiful, befitting your needs or you want it to be a part of your life and home for many years.
Any changes made on them will diminish the value of the antique clock or watch.
• Rarity. Common sense dictates that the rarity of anything brings value. To determine rarity, research is required, which may be costly and time consuming. When done, however, it may result into identification of clocks and watches that have excellent value.
• Provenance. Determining the origin of the timepiece, like rarity, can affect the value of the clock or watch greatly. This also is done through research and documentation.
The values of clocks and watches range from a few to several thousand dollars, though there are those that amount to a million or so. Determining a timepiece’s value, however, can only be done if the four areas mentioned above are well looked into or researched. You must search, therefore, for an authority that is honest and with integrity to help you before making a purchase.