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Where to get a pocket watch?

Answers:1   |   LastAnswerAt:2009.12  

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Wally West 
Asked at 2009.12.21 02:55:23
I'm looking to get a pocket watch because I don't like to wear watches on my wrist. I'm looking for a trustworthy website or a retail store that will sell some really nice looking watches. Also, I'm wondering what are some top brands for pocket watches?
answer Ben H  Answered at 2009.12.21 02:55:23
How much are you wanting to spend, and what's important to you?

You can get cheap quartz pocket watches, or sometimes even Chinese-made mechanicals, at Walmart and other similar stores. These are usually under $50, however they're pretty much throw-away watches that won't hold up for very long.

Past that, there aren't really too many other pocket watches in production until you get to the crazy price category of Patek-Phillippe and the like. Middle range Swiss manufacturers like Rolex and Omega don't make them. The couple of Patek-Phillippe pocket start at around $26,000 on up.

Personally, if I were in your situation, I'd look for an antique American pocket watch. Elgin, Waltham, Hamilton, Illinois, Ball and Hampden are good brands. If you want a good time keeper, railroad grade watches are superb-some of the best mechanical timekeepers ever built. The Elgin BW Raymond, Illinois Bunn Special, Hamilton 992, and Waltham Vanguard are legendary in this regard.

For that matter, any American pocket watch with at least 17 jewels will be great.

The best place to get one of these would be a local antique store or jewelry store. You should probably budget about $200 for a good one. Then, figure on spending another $150 or so for a competent watchmaker to service it.

Avoid pocket watches from Westclox, Ingraham, Yankee, Ingersoll, Waterbury, and New Haven. These are what are known as "dollar watches". They are cheaply made, don't keep good time, aren't very reliable, and impossible to repair. Also avoid New York Standard brand watches, as they're not very good and impossible to get parts for.
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