Waltham Watch Values: What Makes These American Classics Tick

Switzerland has Rolex and America has the Waltham Watch Company. Learn how to determine Waltham watch values, and which models are worth passing down.

Updated June 7, 2024
Vintage Waltham Pocket Watch

When you think of money-making watches, Swiss companies like Rolex and Patek Philippe probably come to mind, but you shouldn't count the United States out just yet. Waltham watch values may vary tremendously, but the special finds can eke out in the six-figure range. Let's get to know the long-lasting watch company that took America by storm and which Waltham watches are worth keeping.

Waltham Watch Valuation: What Makes These American Classics Tick 

Antique and vintage Waltham watches range in market value from under $100 to several thousand dollars. On rare occasions, exceptional timepieces will go for six figures at auction. But which Waltham watches are worth something, and which are the ones you shouldn't shell out a ton for? 

There are several types of Waltham watches that consistently do well at market, and these are the ones you want to keep an eye out for. 

Valuable Waltham Watches Recent Sales Prices
Antique Chronograph Pocket Watch $266,500
Lady Radiant Wristwatch $129,064
Vintage 14K Gold Wristwatch $330
Dennison Trench Watch $1,000
"Baby Blancpain"  $3,300

19th Century Waltham Pocket Watches 

Antique Waltham pocket watches are the most valuable from their historic catalog, frequently bringing in tens of thousands of dollars at auction. Because of their high-quality mechanisms, age, and precious materials (often being made out of gold), these are worth picking up. 

For example, one chronograph pocket watch out of about 1,350 ever made sold for $266,500. 

Fast Fact

The Waltham Watch Company, also known as the American Waltham Watch Company, made over 40 million watches, clocks, and other precision implements between the years of 1850 and 1957.

Antique/Vintage Platinum & Gold Wristwatches 

Vintage Waltham Ladies Watch circa 1950's in Original Blue Case

Waltham wasn't against putting a little glitz and glamor into their wristwatches. From diamond-studded bands to platinum cases, antique and vintage Waltham watches may not be as associated with luxury as Rolexes, but you shouldn't count them out. 

In 2022, a 1991 platinum and diamond bracelet watch called Lady Radiant sold for an impressive $129,064.52 at a Sotheby's auction. Similarly, a vintage 14k gold Waltham men's wristwatch sold for about $330. Of course, the level of luxury materials dramatically contributes to what the hammer price comes out to. 

Military Waltham Watches 

Another interesting Waltham niche is the military watch. Wristwatches became a vital piece of a soldier's equipment in World War I, and Waltham was one of many watch manufacturers to create watches specifically for military purposes. 

Since these watches cross-pollinate with the timepiece and military paraphernalia collectors, they always find an audience willing to buy them. Recently, one 1916 WWI Waltham Dennison trench watch boasting a 9K gold case and black dial sold for just under $1,000. 

Waltham's "Baby Blancpain" 

Waltham's didn't carry the same weight into the mid-century that it had in the 19th, but there were still a handful of their vintage watches that made a splash. One came from their Swiss subsidiary, nicknamed the "Baby Blancpain."

This diving watch may not have the same reputation as the famous Omegas, but they still bring a few thousand at auction every year. For example,  one recently sold on eBay for $3,300

How to Assess Waltham Watch Values at Home

Vintage Waltham Men's Manual-Wind Swiss-Made Watch

Of course, the best way to find a Waltham watch's value is to take it to a professional and qualified watch dealer and/or appraiser. However, you don't always need an official appraisal — especially if you're just looking to see how much it's worth for fun.

Curious about how much your old Waltham watches might be worth? Assess your watch using these appraisal standards.


Condition is one of the most critical factors in determining the value of any watch, whether it is antique/vintage or not. A watch in poor condition is likely to be of less value than a watch in good condition. Most watches are more valuable if they are in their original state, haven't had parts replaced or repaired, and are still in working order. 

Related: Antique Pocket Watch Identification and Valuation Guide


Watches made from precious metals or set with diamonds will have an inherent scrap value. For instance, a watch made from platinum will always be valuable for the platinum's value alone. This can make some broken Walthams worth more than others.  


As a rule, the rarer a watch, the higher the value. This applies to Waltham watches as well as watches by other manufacturers.

Economic State 

The general economy can affect the value of watches. In good times, when people have more spare cash and are prepared to invest in collectibles, this can lead to higher prices. When the economy performs poorly, collectors often sell some of their collections. People also have less money to spend, pushing the value of watches down.

How to Identify a Waltham Watch 

Before you get too excited with your potential find, you want to make sure you haven't picked up a poorly done dupe or passed on a hidden treasure. Watches are easier than some collectibles to identify without an expert. Make sure your Waltham watches pass this identification test. 

They Have a Genuine Waltham Serial Number 

Serial numbers are handy when you want to learn more about how old your watch is, what model it is, and if it comes from a rare batch. Thankfully, Waltham collectors have made it easy for novices to look up serial numbers on the fly.

Check the watch movement (inside the case) for Waltham's serial numbers. Yes, this does involve you taking the case off. Once you have the serial number, you can plug it into the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors' Waltham serial number lookup

There's a W and/or the Waltham Name on the Face 

Branding is important, and most Waltham watches come obviously branded. Unlike Movado watches, which steer clear of branding on their watch faces, Waltham puts theirs front and center. 

Often underneath the 12 (though you can find it in other positions) is the crown-like Waltham "W" and the name Waltham. For a period, the Waltham Watch Company was called the American Waltham Watch Co., and with these antique watches, you'll find A.W.W.C. on the case instead. 

Tips for Buying & Selling Waltham Watches

Vintage American Waltham Open Face Pocket Watch

Buying and selling a Waltham watch is relatively straightforward. There's an established market for Waltham watches, and many antique and vintage watch dealers or jewelers are happy to strike a deal with you.

Additionally, you can also buy and sell Waltham watches through online auction sites such as eBay. There are many advantages to buying and selling watches on eBay, not least the fact that it gives buyers and sellers a worldwide marketplace to operate in. 

And if you've got something pretty special, you may want to contact a larger auction house like Sotheby's or Christie's to see if they're interested in your piece. 

It's Never Too Late to Own a Piece of American History

There's a reason people pass down antique pocket watches and wristwatches as family heirlooms. These practical tokens are often worn for so many years that they have a personal touch worthy of commemorating. If you're looking for a valuable — but overall affordable — historic watch, Walthams are the way to go. 

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Waltham Watch Values: What Makes These American Classics Tick