The factors that affect the value of an Elgin pocket watch include age, quality, appearance and condition. There are two serial numbers on an Elgin pocket watch, one located on the inner movement, and another on the case.
The age of the pocket watch is determined by the serial number located on the inner movement of the watch. The serial number located on the case is never used to determine the age of the watch. There are several books and online resources that can help to pinpoint the exact age of the watch, using the serial number as a reference.
The quality of the watch plays a crucial role in its value. Pocket watches with a fine finish that use the best materials fetch more on the market. The jewel count is a good way to determine the quality of the watch. A higher jewel count translates to higher quality. Higher-grade watches have a jewel count of between 19 and 24.
The condition of the pocket watch is widely considered to be the most important factor affecting the value of the piece. A watch that works fetches a higher price than one that does not. The external condition of the watch is a good indicator of the internal condition. Cracks, missing hands, dents and dings in the case usually mean that the watch has been roughly handled and is likely to be in poor overall condition.