What’s It Worth? Value By Land, Sea And Air

Land watches are typically characterized as chronographs and alarm watches. Chronographs at one time were used to time sporting events – most often, horse races and auto races. Any chronograph, working or not, is worth at least $100 and some vintages such as Omega, Breitling and Longines, bring in $500-$2,000 – in steel, and more in gold – even if they don’t work.

What we characterize as sea watches are not just Rolex Submariners – which usually bring $3,000-$20,000 each depending on age and condition – but also watches with unusual names like Eterna, Seiko, Enicar, Racine and Benrus, which can bring $100-$1,000. Even more collectible are Heuer, Aquastar and some Doxa. Diving watches typically have huge turning bezels and are water-resistant up to 300 feet or more (colorful dials a plus).

Air watches can be some of the most expensive and will typically have wings, military markings or the words ‘pilot’ or ‘aviator’ on the front or back. Air watches from 1920-1945 can top $1,000- $5,000, even in stainless steel! Names to look for are Hanhart, Flightmaster, certain Breitlings, early Glycine and Ulysee Nardin, and occasionally Gallets.

All of the watches discussed here will bring $50-$200 extra with original box and papers, and also have value if they are pocket watches.

Comments, questions or suggestions for this column, please send to jeffreyphess@aol.com.

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