What’s It Worth? Abercrombie & Fitch’s Watches Of Distinction

Abercrombie & Fitch, an upscale sporting goods store established in 1892, is one of the most prestigious in the world, particularly in New York City. Any item with the Abercrombie & Fitch name affixed – clothing, furniture, camping equipment, hunting supplies, jewelry or watches – can have collectible value.

There is nothing more iconic than Abercrombie & Fitch watches. It has been written that Rolex owes some of its success to Abercrombie & Fitch. In the beginning, Rolex was a watch made for swimmers, pilots, yachtsmen, adventurers, and those who worked around water (submariners). Legend has it that the clunky, utilitarian Rolex only became attractive after being seen on the wrists of well known New Yorkers who stopped by Abercrombie & Fitch to buy gear such as pith helmets and supplies for safari. These well to-do New Yorkers wanted watches that were impervious to dust and moisture, so they chose Rolex.

One of the most classic watches from Abercrombie & Fitch is the yachting timer chronograph with Valjoux and Heuer movements. These watches came in various designs – most notably the colorful Seafarer, which can bring thousands for certain models. Abercrombie & Fitch also made Tides and Solar watches, which are also quite collectible. The most collectible by far is the Seafarer Reference 346, pictured at top (a).

Also pictured is a watch we bought this week from a local retiree (b). It is quite unusual because it is 14K rose gold with a hinged back and has a fly back mechanism. We only paid $1,400 for it because it requires extensive repairs. Once it’s fully repaired, we expect it to sell for $2,500-$3,000. Intriguingly, it has an inscription on the back (c). It was a gift from Phil Lord to Brice Disque, both of whom wrote and produced for radio, television and films in the 1940s-’60s.

Whether you are a jeweler, dealer, collector or a private citizen, we want to bid on your item.

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