Glashuette pocketwatch

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$1,000
Inherited
Pocket watch
Boston, MA USA
Description from user:

This is my grandfather's pocket watch. It seems to be from reddish gold material. It has two covers, front and back. It has no markings on the dial. Cannot seem to be able to open to see the movement. I am not sure when and where it was acquired. It seems not to be functional and gold leaf has peeled off of a part of the winding knob.

My grandfather's watch. It has not been exhibited, found it as part of the inheritance.

Answered within about 4 hours
Dec 07, 17:59 UTC
By David

Fair Market Value

$900 - $1,250 USD

Suggested Asking Price

$900 USD
What does this mean?

Hello Vlad,
Thank you for sending in this pocket watch to mearto.com for an appraisal. I shall try to help you with that today.
TITLE:
Gent’s, 58mm, 14k rose gold, pendant wound and lever set, keyless, savonette hunting case pocket watch, specifically designed as a wedding case, Serial number 200262, Unsigned by the maker, made in Switzerland in the “Glashutte Style”, made circa 1890s.
PROVENANCE:
“My grandfather's watch. It has not been exhibited, found it as part of the inheritance.”
DESCRIPTION:
Case: 58mm in diameter (without the crown). This is a 14k rose gold, four leaf, hunting case pocket watch with a fluted ball push-button pendant and oval bow placed at the three position (savonette) opposite the case hinge. The peeling of the gold from the pendant indicates the pendant may be gold filled rather than solid gold like the rest of the case. The makers of pendants were different form from those that made the cases. Both back and front covers are engine turned in an overlapping circular pattern with one cover engraved with foliage and two shield-shaped patterns with a double polished shield shaped surface for the initials of the bride and the groom for this “Wedding case”. The inside of the cover has an individual case number and bears the 14k solid gold mark along with the squirrel, the Swiss hallmark for 14k gold quality. (Any other marks inside the covers are illegible in the photos.) The cuvette is signed in script “"Systeme Glashutte, no. 200262”. (See History for system Glashutte.)
Dial: Absent crystal. This is a round white enameled dial with Arabic hour chapter ring, closed bar minute track with Arabic markers placed every five minutes around the periphery, a sunken subsidiary seconds’ dial @6, and very unusual variants of rococo lyre-shaped steel hands. {These are a close variant of what were called “Oriental hands”.} The dial is unsigned.
Movement: Not shown, but almost all companies that made the System Glashutte movements copied aspects of the ‘Glashutte Original’ in that they were gilt or damascened three-quarter plate movements with exposed crown and ratchet wheels, 15/16/17 jeweled, straight line lever escapement, bimetallic compensated balance wheel, Swiss made index regulator with some of the movements actually signed ‘Systeme Glashutte’ on the movement plates.
CONDITION:
Case: Some wear to the gilding on the pendant, especially at the base of the stem. Modest amount of scratches. This is a ‘wedding’ case with the initials of those getting married left blank.
Dial: No crystal. Unsigned. Speckled with mold and bits of grime from moisture in the air.
Movement: Not shown but assumed genuine and original to this specific case and NOT in functional condition.
Overall Fair to Good.
HISTORY:
"System Glashütte" and the Glashütte Rule
The success of watches made in Glashütte spawned an industry of copycats, producing pocket watches in the town's distinctive style in other locations. The Swiss were particularly active in copying these watches, which were often marked "System Glashütte". They featured the distinctive elements of Glashütte construction: Three-quarter plate, ribbing, and perlage and copied the movement layout as well. As a result, the Glashütte makers began marketing their watches as "Glashütte Original", a name that has resurfaced today.
Among the companies profiting off of the Glashütte name was Nomos-Uhr-Gesellschaft, Guido Müller & Co, Glashütte i/S., which assembled Swiss components in the town. A. Lange & Söhne sued the firm in 1910 in a landmark case designed to protect the Glashütte reputation. Today the Nomos name has resurfaced on a respected maker of watches in Glashütte. The unwritten Glashütte Rule states that any watch using the name should be primarily constructed in the town, though cases and dials have long also been produced in Pforzheim. Therefore, name Glashütte Original comes from something the historic Glashütte companies did to protect the industry. The Glashütte way of making excellent, functional watches became known around the world, so much so that companies from other countries added the words “System Glashütte” to their watches to capitalize on the reputation of the town. To combat this confusion, watchmakers based in Glashütte started to add the word “Original” to their watches, to identify them as truly Saxon-made.
‘Systeme Glashutte’ COMPARABLES:
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/82205786_systeme-glashutte-14k-pink-gold-pocket-watch (Rose gold with wedding case sold in 2020 for 600 Euros)
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/en-gb/item/72521500_systeme-glash%C3%BCtte-heavy-14k-gold-pocket-watch (SOLD FOR 1130 Euros in 2019)
~https://www.catawiki.com/l/23465133-systeme-glashutte-pocket-watch-men-1901-1949 (Sold for 1700 Euros in 2019. Has two tone ceramic dial.)
~https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/77987270_system-glashutte-14k-pink-gold-pocket-watch (Pink gold with similar hands (unnamed here) also made by Systeme Glashutte sold in 2019 for 830 Euros)
~https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/a-pocket-watch-with-small-second-by-system-glashuette-m-STy33pzOF (Sold in 2020 for $875 with signed dial)
https://www.barnebys.com/realized-prices/lot/a-gold-hunter-cased-pocket-watch-german-circa-_jMTMi1lM1r (Sold in 2020 for $883)
PRICING:
With the price of gold at $1868 today such watches remain elevated in price as you can see from the comparables. The dial can easily and carefully be cleaned and a new crystal should be put in place over the dial. I am uncertain how much you would have to put into fixing the movement. Certainly if it just needs a cleaning it would be worth doing.
The fair market value, given the condition of your watch in today’s market place would be in the range of $900-$1200. Retail value would be about twice that amount.
This is a very handsome family heirloom watch and one to keep in good shape by using a good jeweler. I do not know the dates of your grandfather’s life but wonder whether this could have been a wedding gift given to him and your grandmother?
I hope you learned something from this appraisal. I enjoyed doing it for you. Thank you for choosing mearto.com.
My Best,
David

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