Waltham pocket watch in Illinois 14K gold case

Save rotate

Pocket watch
Medina ohio USA
Description from user:

I think it is called a hunter case. Watch needs repaired. Case in good condition. Case has designs on front and back. Inside one of the cover that covers the mechanical part of watch reads NAPOLEONS 14K. 238254.

Was my great grandfather. Do not know how old it is

Answered within about 2 hours
May 10, 15:56 UTC
By David

Fair Market Value

$130 - $160 USD

Suggested Asking Price

$270 USD
What does this mean?

Hello Steve,
Thank you for sending in this pocket watch to mearto.com for an appraisal.
Gent’s, Art Nouveau, 14k rolled gold plate, pendant wound and lever set, savonette, hunting case pocket watch, Movement serial number (Not supplied), Size (not supplied), made by the American Waltham Watch company, Waltham, Massachusetts, circa 1900-1910. Accompanied by an open link and ringlet watch chain with T-bar. Assumed the gold is the same content or similar to the watch
“Was my great grandfather.”
Case: Size not provided but the Napoleon cases came in two sizes, 18 & 0. I will assume this is the men’s full size 18 pocket watch. This is a keyless, four leaf, 14k rolled gold case (similar to 14k gold plated base metal). There is a suppressed fluted ball pendant with round gilt bow placed at the three position (savonette) opposite the case hinge. One outer cover is shown and is engraved with a plethora of floral and foliate engravings with a double beaded edge around the edges of the cover. There is a small central area for the initials of the owner, left blank. The barrel of the watch appears to be knurled edge much like some fluted edge coins have.
The case number is 238254 which relates only to the case manufacturer. I am told that the cuvette or movement cover says Napoleon 14K. The Napoleon model was made by the Illinois Watch Case Company during the decade or two before they registered the name Napoleon on July 26, 1910. It was always a case made of 14k rolled gold plate with a gold finish guaranteed to last at least ten years. Your example lasted a good deal longer.
SEE: {https://pocketwatchdatabase.com/guide/case-companies/illinois-watch-case-co/grades/Napoleon}
I can see the inside of one of the covers and it does not carry the hallmark for 14k solid gold. (Some pocket watches used solid gold covers and a non-gold cuvette, but I have never heard of a watch that uses a solid gold cuvette with non-solid gold covers.
Dial: This is a round white enameled dial with black Roman hour chapter ring, open bar minute track, sunken subsidiary seconds dial @6, blued steel Continental type spade hands and the upper dial marked ‘Waltham’. Both Waltham and Elgin were the chief watch companies that were supplied by the Illinois Watch Case Company.
Movement: The movement is not shown and therefore cannot be described. I will make the extraordinary assumption that the movement is original to this case, genuine but is currently NOT functional.
Condition: Case – Appears to be in good condition with a modest amount of scuffs and scratching in the inside covers. The single outer cover is also in good but slightly worn condition. . . Dial- Excellent. . . Movement – Not shown nor examined but assumed to be the original movement for this case.
~Waltham Watch Company
This American company was the first to produce watches by the machined use of interchangeable parts. This was the vision of the founders of the company; Aaron Dennison, David Davis and Edward Howard. The initial company was located at Roxbury, Mass. in 1851, and was called the Warren Manufacturing Company. The business moved to Waltham, Ma in 1854 and the name had just been changed to the Boston Watch Company. That business failed in 1857 and was sold at a sheriff's sale, reorganized and called Appleton, Tracy and Company. In 1859 the Waltham Improvement Company merged with Appleton, Tracy to form the American Watch Company. Between 1859 and 1885 the firm operated under that corporate name. These early watches were key wound. Stem winding was introduced in 1870. The last key wound watches were produced in 1919. In 1885 the name was changed to the American Waltham Watch Company. In 1906 it became the Waltham Watch Company and in 1923 the Waltham Watch and Clock Company. Production ceased in 1950.
The following information on the Illinois Watch Case Co., of Elgin, Illinois is from the article, "Historic value? Case closed Elgin's Illinois Watch Case Co. site to receive state historical marker."
Max and Solomon Eppenstein founded the company in Chicago in 1886. A few years later, after producing about 20,000 cases, the firm was lured to Elgin by the offer to assist with a building and a parcel of land upon which to build it. By the 1930s, this was quite a substantial operation. Despite the questionable use of the name "Elgin" (see below) the Illinois Watch Case Co. was a reputable company, standing behind its guarantees, and it continued to make cases at least as late as the 1940's. U.S. patent No. 2601029, "Method Of Making A Thickened Reinforced Portion In A Relatively Thin Metal Plate," was awarded to David M. King, assignor to Illinois Watch Case Co. on June 17, 1952. The manufacturing plant and office equipment was sold at public auction in 1957.
From looking at the pocket watch database for a 14k rolled gold plate napoleon cased Waltham size 18 watch in non-functional condition the fair market value would be in the range of $130-$160 with the chain included in that price and with a retail value of about twice that. I cannot be specific about the date because you did not give me the movement serial number. Assuming the ringlet and link chain are also not solid gold they add little to the value of the watch.
We can always alter the price by a few dollars if you show me the movement and we certainly can be more precise about the date seeing the movement or getting the serial number. If you wish to show me the markings and or the movement I would be happy to adjust the write-up of the appraisal.
Thank you for choosing mearto.com for your appraisal.
My best
Dear Steve,
Thank you for contacting Mearto with your appraisal inquiry. So that I may best assist you, can you please
1 - Send me a photo of the movement
2- What is the width (diameter) of the watch case NOT counting the winding pendant?

Please log in to your Mearto account to contact this seller or make an offer on this item.