Grading the condition of an antique pocket watch
The following criteria may be used to evaluate and grade your pocket watch. These terms are standard in the industry for describing the condition of your pocket watch.
UNUSED - 100% - Never worn, no problems whatsoever, looks the same as it did when it left the jeweler's store. Watches in this condition are seldom seen and command significant premiums.
MINT - 90% - 99% - A seldom used watch showing very minor handling blemishes.
NEAR MINT - 80% - 89% - Shows evidence of occasional use, no easily noticeable signs of wear. A very presentable watch.
EXCELLENT - 70% - 79% - Wear and occasional use are evident, but there may be minor brass on gold-filled cases. There may be minor dings or scratches.
FAIR - 50% - 69% - Daily and frequent use are obvious, easily noticable brass and wear, and possible dings and scratches.
Mint watches are extremely rare and can have none of the flaws show in the photos below. Example of flaws are hairlines on the porcelain dial, age spots on the metal dial, chips on the porcelain dial, dings on the case, scratches on the case, scratches on the movement, rust or corrosion on the movement, brassing (brass showing through the gold plate), and wear and worn engraving. Examples of some watch flaws are shown below: