I am trying to cut back on the watch acquisitions. I’m going to focus on repairing the ones that stopped running (my Gruen Bumper Automatic and my diving watch). Instead, I’m getting my watch fix by looking for watch-related accessories.
It’s much harder to find old watch boxes. I used to find them with some regularity in the Goodwill on Jarvis (how I miss you, Dollar A Pound store!). Now if I see one once a year at an antique show it’s like spotting an ivory-billed woodpecker. So I was absolutely giddy when I found this Gruen Precision case (pictured above) from the ’40s or ’50s at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago.
The reason for their scarcity: Timepieces are hot on the resale market (that’s why Harold the Jewellery Buyer wants your old gold and watches). And if they have their original boxes and papers they are even more valuable. Therefore, some folks buy old boxes and marry them with an old watch (it’s harder to marry the papers as they usually contain the model numbers, etc.)
Wait. I’m marrying old boxes with watches. I swear I’m not doing it to deceive. I just like the old boxes because it’s like giving a watch a Barbie Dream House. Look how happy my Gruen Precision looks all tucked into its bed.
The Wittnauer pictured below is much more pedigreed, with its box and papers and receipt (dated December 3, 1960 from Sheffield Jewellers, Toronto EM-6-4122 — original price $65.)