Calling pocket watch nerds!

Hi y'all,

I am mesmerized by minute repeaters.  Unfortunately my wallet doesn't support any wrist options, so I'm searching for pocket minute repeater watches.  I'v found some amazing vintage ones but I need advice.  Help?

  • Is quarter repeater worth the "discount"?
  • Are there places who would service these pocket repeaters?
  • Are full hunters too much work to keep on opening the cover?
  • What are important questions to ask the sellers?
  • Should I stay away from obviously polished ones?
  • How can I tell if the movement is still sound?

So many more questions.  yeah, I need help.  😀

-Amy

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I have no answers on most of these but the two working pocket watches I have are full hunter cases (for newbs, that means hinged cover must be opened to see time) and I'd opt against them. Maybe some people like that flare of opening the thing, but the novelty wears off quickly. Remember you'll have to have it open to adjust the time. It's going to be in a pocket, so the crystal should be fine, and they are quite replaceable anyway.

Actually, if you're going for repeaters, you may get into gold cases. Supposedly the catch indentation on a gold lid can wear very quickly.  You want to depress the release button while closing and not snap it closed with one hand.

Do know that vintage watch chains may cost more than the watch. You can buy new ones cheap, but you need one for the purpose of not ever dropping the watch.

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OscarKlosoff

I have no answers on most of these but the two working pocket watches I have are full hunter cases (for newbs, that means hinged cover must be opened to see time) and I'd opt against them. Maybe some people like that flare of opening the thing, but the novelty wears off quickly. Remember you'll have to have it open to adjust the time. It's going to be in a pocket, so the crystal should be fine, and they are quite replaceable anyway.

Actually, if you're going for repeaters, you may get into gold cases. Supposedly the catch indentation on a gold lid can wear very quickly.  You want to depress the release button while closing and not snap it closed with one hand.

Do know that vintage watch chains may cost more than the watch. You can buy new ones cheap, but you need one for the purpose of not ever dropping the watch.

Thank you OscarKlosoff.  You offered a point I've not considered and reaffirmed that a full hunter case requires extra care and effort to operate.  

Now to further impose upon your hospitality :), where are good places besides eBay to look for vintage chains?  I was just thinking using ribbons but you're right - a vintage chain would be cool.

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DittoDot

Thank you OscarKlosoff.  You offered a point I've not considered and reaffirmed that a full hunter case requires extra care and effort to operate.  

Now to further impose upon your hospitality :), where are good places besides eBay to look for vintage chains?  I was just thinking using ribbons but you're right - a vintage chain would be cool.

I haven't actually bought a watch chain separately yet, so eBay and Etsy for vintage. If not concerned about precious metals or similar vintage, new ones can be had on Amazon or probably a lot of other online places. A shoestring or anything that tethers the watch to clothing such that it won't fall too far gets the job done. Where you are securing it and where you want the watch for reading will influence the preferred length.

But I imagine if one is a thrift/antique store shopper, they might spot something, although an amateur jewelry maker can probably make something too. Hopefully one of our more knowledgeable people can provide better answers.