Pocket watches, how to become an avid collector

The one obvious dynamic that comes to our attention at JenTel Packing is the amazing diversity of what is deemed a collectable. Undoubtedly, the typical stamp and coin are still the dominant force in the world of antiques and collectables, but what is apparent, is just how much is collected and how global the networks of collectors are. We fully appreciate this because of the multiples of any one type of item sold at auction that ends up coming through our warehouses for distribution to the end-user or buyer. One such desirable item from the world of horology is pocket watches.

We have been fortunate to have shipped valuable wrist and pocket watches across the world to collectors and interested buyers. The humble pocket watch certainly has a global reach when it comes to the sheer number of avid collectors and in our humble opinion, it is very easy to see why.

The pocket watch demonstrates a feat of engineering. The intricate nature of the mechanisms, an incredible number of extraordinary designs and a type of watch for all occasions. It is a collector’s dream and finding that gem of a watch is what all collectors pray for. With a Patek Philippe fetching more than US$23M at a Sotheby auction in 2014, it demonstrates just how collectable pocket watches are.

What are the desirable makers for collectors?

Undoubtedly the European pocket watchmakers, Brequet, Patek Phillippe, Vacheron, Constantin, Audemars Piquet and Girard-Perregaux sit highest on the desirability and valuable list. However, there is a very strong market in US manufactured timepieces. The likes of Waltham, Elgin, Hamilton, Hampden, Burlington, Dudley and Illinois to name a few, are all makers that have demonstrated a desirable collector’s market for many years. Indeed, when it comes to sheer numbers, the lower end in relation to value is a popular and very sizeable market, with pocket watches carrying these exampled makers marks being traded across oceans for many £thousands.

The world of pocket watch collectors is most certainly a vibrant one. A great item to collect and you never know, we could see another extraordinary auction sale of a beautiful timepiece of this nature in the future. We certainly hope so, and we most certainly like seeing some of these great pieces of engineering coming through our warehouse.