Arlecchino Antique JewelryAntique Wrist Watches


European Watch History

The invention of the watch began in Europe in the 1500's. It happened as the industrial age took form, and the need for an accurate measurement of daily time became necessary. Clocks were not an option, because they were expensive and not very portable. This obstical was overcome by the invention of the watch. In 1675, England paved the way for the invention of the watch by creating the hairspring.

For the next two centuries, England continues to define the standards of the watchmaking industry. Even though England led the watchmaking revolution, there were important contributions in the development of mechanics and the elegance were made by the French and later, the Swiss. Every antique timepiece tells it's own scientific story. Each is an artifact of irreplaceable beauty and grace. Knowledgeable collectors of today, desire one or more of these unique creations as a tribute to the skill of the European watchmaker.


American Watch History

The American Watch Industry began in 1850. It was started by Aaron Dennison, and is an adaptation from the European method of the individual production of watches, to the factory system of machine production of high quality interchangeable parts. Later, driven by the rigid standards demanded by the railroad industry, for the first time, a high quality timepiece could be manufactured. This led to the ability to create a watch that could be bought by a population other than the most wealthy.

The American Watch Industry started to produce 18 size watches that mirrored English timepieces. Eventually however, the expertise and skillfulness of the American watchmakers, produced an original and distinctive style to their product. The 16 size watch which was popular around 1910, morphed into the 12 size watch as the industry entered the 1920's. At this time attractive smaller size watches were produced for the ladies of the era.

Today's collector is taken in by the unification of beauty and science in the smaller watches. The mechanical wonder of an instrument that actually measures time is enhanced by its attractivness and scarceness. To own one or more of these classic timepieces allows you to hold a part of American history in your hand.


Antique or Vintage?

In the watch collectors world, there is a definate difference between antique and vintage. It is very important for you to know which of the two your watch is. Generally, for a watch to be considered an antique, it must be at least 100 years old. A vintage watch is any other watch that has not yet reached 100 years.

A vintage watch could be 3 years old, or 90 years old. Objects, including watches, are usually considered vintage when their production ends. In many cases, if a watch is only produced for one year, after that year it is techinically vintage. Although some watches that are only a few years old may actually be vintage, you may find that you have a hard time passing them off as so.

Sometimes it is hard to determine the age of your watch. There are however, some fairly simple ways that this can be achieved. The easist of them all is to have your watch appraised. The appraiser will be able to tell you the age and the value of your watch at one time. Having your watch appraised can be expensive, so many people prefer to try to discover the age of their watch on their own. One way that you can tell how old your watch is, is to use the serial number of the movement to find out the year that it was made. You can find this by contacting the manufacturer, looking online, looking in books, or contact someone who might know. This is only useful if you know who the manufacturer of your watch is. A good way to find that information, is to simply search through books. Many books contain color photos of the watches they talk about, who knows, one of them could be yours!


What Condition is Your Watch In?

New Old Stock
This means that the watch has never been used. The total condition of the watch is 100%.

This watch is very close to New Old Stock. The watch has been used, but shows very little sign. There is no oxidation on any gold filled items, although there may be some minor blemishes on the watch. The watch dials are free of any imperfections. Any new redials are shown as mint. The total condition of the watch is 95% or better.

Near Mint
This watch has been used, and it has some minor signs of use. There is no oxidation on gold filled items, there may be blemishes present but they are not unappealing. The watch dials are clean, but they may show slight discoloration. The total condition of the watch is 90% or better.

It shows slight normal use. There may be some oxidation on gold filled items. The watch dials will show minor blemishes and discoloration. The total condition of the watch is 80% or better.

Very Good
This watch shows normal use. There is oxidation over most of the gold filled item. The watch dials show stains, blemishes, or heavy discoloration. The total condition of the watch is 70% or better.

This watch shows heavier than average use. There is oxidation and possible dents, dings, or cracks present on the watch. The watch dials unappealing. The total condition of the watch is 50% or better.

Below Average
There is some damage or other obvious problems with the watch. It is not collectible except in a very rare item. The watch dials unappealing or discolored to the point where it should be restored.



European Antique Jewelry




LOOKING FOR that unique
vintage watch?


1915 Rolex

It's a 1915 Rolex and it's a good little runner. But, you know, they haven't quite got the hang of it yet, it still looks like a fob watch. It'll cost you $5,500.


Cartier Wrist Watch

In 1911 Cartier claimed to have made the first wrist watch for the aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, who found a fob watch difficult to use in the cockpit. The wrist watch found new popularity in the trenches during the First World War.



Check if the case is original, in particular have a look at the lugs, does one look newer than the other?.


Winding Mechanism

And check the winding mechanism: it should run smoothly. If it doesn't, you could be in serious trouble, old watches need winding every day.


Jaeger Le Coultre Watch

If you have trouble waking up in the morning, what you need is this Jaeger Le Coultre watch, made in the 1960s. It has a vibrating alarm and was used by divers to warn them of their lack of oxygen. Today, this watch is worth about $4,800.

  Copyright 1998-2007, StudioSoft. All rights reserved.
Arlecchino Antique Jewelry Footer