Who Buys Gold Watches Portland
Most Gold Watches are Worth their Gold Content Value
I am writing this article because I just busted out the movement out of two gold nice gold watches in order to send the carcasses to the refinery. Most likely I will do the same with a third one in about two weeks. The reason is simple. Most gold watches are worth their gold scrap value. If you want to sell a gold watch, you will most likely find this article interesting.
I have been buying gold just about every day since November 2009. This article is about gold wrist and pocket watches from the point of view of a gold buyer. Most gold watches end up at gold buyers sooner or later.
First I have to say that, even though my business is based basically on buying precious metals for refining, I do appreciate nicely crafted mechanical objects, specially when they are made out of gold. Gold watches are exactly that.
Back in the early 1900’s, pocket watches were almost as important as laptop computers or cell phone are today. Just consider that, with this invention, it was no longer necessary to refer to the clock tower at town center, or the train station, to know what time it is. Now a days, clock towers appear to us as quaint old building decorations. However, when they were built, they were critical service utilities. Thus, once they became available, pocket watches became very important every day use tools. This brand new device made it possible to always know the time, regardless of location. This was huge with railroads specially. Now they could schedule trains much easier. Most people would make the effort of at least have a gold filled watch. If at all possible, solid gold pocket watches were preferred. Most railroad watches (used by railroad employees) are high quality gold filled watches, not solid gold.
The thing is this. As the mechanical objects that they are, both pocket and wrist watches have lots of sensitive moving parts. The mechanism needs to remain tuned in order to work properly. The springs need to be at just the right tension, the jewels (axles) need to be lubricated just right, etc, in order for the watch to work properly, and thus, accurately indicate time. So this sensitive machines need to be properly tuned. So this is the situation, even if the watch is perfect mechanical and aesthetic condition, tuning is needed, and tuning is expensive. Properly tuning a mechanical watch, either wind or automatic, is most often more expensive that what is worth doing. Thus, the better use is most often to scrap the watch for its gold content.
Tuning a watch is a very specialized job. The average cost of doing this is in USA is between $200 and $500, depending on the gold watch. The job is basically to totally take the gold watch apart, clean all the parts, and put it back together. Here in Portland, where I am located, there is only one such professional individual that does this work. He is very good, and actually charges very reasonably considering the kind of work he does. But the service is not cheap.
If the gold watch is electronic, and the battery is fresh, most likely the problem is the PCB (printed circuit board). Maybe the movement needs cleaning and lube, but that solution is less likely. If it is the board, the movement is useless, and that is usually the case. The only solution in this case is to change the movement if it is possible.
Most battery operated watches from the early 80’s to even late 90’s are from an era were electronics were in their infancy. Even like this, most of this watches provided good, accurate, reliable service for 20 to 30 years or more. That is a long time. It is just that the cost of fixing them is not worth the expense. Might as well get paid for the gold content of the carcass.
Here are a couple of examples of the last two weeks. I am writing this article late afternoon February 15th, 2018.
I bought a nice Longines 14K gold wrist watch sometime in 2012. I put new batteries and it provided perfect service until January of this year. I wore it just about every winter. I talked to a watch maker. After changing the batteries and a couple of other evaluations, it was clear the movement was no good any more. So I sent it to melt.
Last week a customer brought me a nice Ebel Beluga 18K gold wrist watch. Since it was not working, and too expensive to repair, I had the owner bust out the movement and paid him for the 18K carcass mass.
I also just got a Maubusin 18K gold watch with diamond bezel. See video below. It does not keep on time. Chances are it is not worth fixing giving that it has a limited market. Given how nice it is, this is a petty. If nobody wants to buy it, it is worth just the gold content value. Guess what, this beautiful gold and diamond watch will most likely end up melted too.