Hi. My name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to help.
Is that serial number from the case or is it off the gears of the watch?
If it's off the case, do you think you can open up the watch to see the serial number that's on the gears?
Here's a site with some tips on how to open your watch in case you need it:http://www.thewatchguy.com/pages/OPENCASE.html
Hi. I know you tried to upload pictures, but for some reason they didn't load. That's okay though. The serial number and your details are a great help.
I do have one more question if you don't mind. Does the outside case of the watch have any marks or words on it?
Hmm...What about inside the back cover where the 185890 serial number on the case is located? The reason I'm asking is because there should be a mark or symbol that will tell me what the metal is---whether it's solid gold, gold plated, etc.
No. Unfortunately, no records were kept on the cases, just the gears. The serial numbers on cases were never recorded and most companies didn't use them for anything but their own in-house inventory. If it doesn't have any marks at all, then odds are it's gold plated. Solid gold isn't almost always marked in some way even it's just something random like a symbol.
Thanks for checking. I appreciate it.
I can't give you a list of buyers, but I can definitely give you an idea of some of the best routes you can take.
Based on the serial number, it's a Model 1873-6. You're right, it's an Ellery grade. It should be a size 6 with about 11 jewels. The movement style is called a hunting movement.
Based on those records, the movement should date to around 1885. There were nearly 50 different production runs between when it was first made in 1885 and when it was discontinued in 1890. They produced about 21,500 overall and about 1,000 in your run alone. It was a very popular watch even though that particular style was only made for a short time. It probably does say Safety Pinion. That's found on many watches. It was an alternate way of producing the mainspring (the coil inside the watch). If the coil broke with a safety pinion, the center pin would be unscrewed rather than recoiling and doing more damage inside the watch. It was safety feature.
In working condition, the movement alone will be worth about $100 to $200. With a gold plated case would be worth about $150 to $250.
I know you had a jeweler look at it, but one should be able to run a real quick test on the gold content. Many will do it for free. So, you may try taking it to another one. Also, just for future reference and in case you might be interested....If the case says anything like guaranteed or warranted that means it's most likely a gold-filled case. The majority of gold fill cases tend to show a little brass somewhere. If you can't read the marks, give the case a good look-over. Look closely at the pendant, on the bow or on the bottom edge. Also, look where the case was cut or turned down while manufacturing, like the lever cuts, the case spring holes, or where the movement is. Often you can see a bit of the brass showing at any of those places..The exact pricing will depend on the condition and where you sell it. At an auction, you're really dependent on the audience unless you stick a reserve on your watch. They can go high or low. Plus you might have dealers in the audience, so they might try to get values lower so they can make a profit later on..Online markets (like Ebay) tend to go for less. Trade shows and dealers won't offer the real value either because they will be looking to resell..Your best values will come from a private sale to another collector. Many specialize in vintage and antique jewelry and some will allow you to sell on consignment.
Rubylane, Tias, and Cyberattic are great online stores for selling old watches and do sell worldwide. Etsy is another great place and it generally has some of the lowest rates. It would be great for a watch like yours.
That should give you quite a few options, but if you need anything else, don't hesitate to ask..
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It's no problem. I'm glad I could help. If you need anything else, please let me know.
Have a great weekend.