What is my old clock worth?



Grandpa left you a grandfather clock in his will, and it just doesn’t fit in your post-modern pad (literally or figuratively). Or your spouse fell in love with a mantelpiece clock at the flea market – but you don’t actually have a mantelpiece. And who needs an alarm clock when your smart phone can wake you with a variety of tones? Whatever your reasons for parting with that timekeeper, our Savvy Specialists can help you determine what sort of value it might clock in at.


There are dozens of varieties of clocks, ranging from portable carriage clocks (so-called because they were geared for travel) to wall-mounted varieties like cuckoo clocks to floor-standing long case or tall case clocks (better-known as grandfather clocks). Clocks that have to be wound daily are less desirable than eight-day clocks. Smaller clocks are generally easier to sell: Transportation costs are less, and most people have more space available for a small piece than a big item of furniture.

Clocks occupy a sphere between furniture, jewelry and decorative art, and factors that influence all those fields affect their worth too. Basically, the value of a horological item is determined by its maker, date of manufacture, complications in the movement, style (often, the more ornate the better), material of the case, originality of all the components, rarity, and its present condition. A paper label, stamp, serial or patent number (usually on the back plate of the movement) or trademark that can tie the clock to a well-known manufacturer can add value, the same way the artist’s signature enhances the value of a print – though sometimes the name on the face, or dial, is that of the retailer, not the maker.

Some antique clocks are what the trade calls a marriage: the movement signed by one maker is in a case by another. This diminishes the clock’s worth in comparison to a comparably all-original piece. An original case finish, an intact maker’s label or signature, original glass and decorative elements, a well-preserved, clean working movement – all can increase the value considerably.

Specialists can tell you the value of your clock from photos


Obviously, the better the condition of the clock, the more valuable it will be. Aside from keeping the movement clean, well-oiled, and operating, however, it’s better not to try to fix a piece: An unrestored or unaltered clock often fetches a better price, even if it looks worn or shabby (that originality thing, again).

Collectors expect old clocks to look used – it proves they were useful, and loved. Keep clocks well-dusted and far away from fire or heat. Keep it running. Try to wind it fully every day or week depending on the type, at the same time. Since collectors like their pieces alive and ticking, it’s worth paying a professional to get a towork.


It always helps to send us images of a clock’s papers, labels and markings, them, along with pictures of the piece itself. Once we've identified the clock’s manufacturer, age, model, and condition, our Savvy

Specialists complete a Quick Appraisal which includes research, stories and special features about your timepiece. We can also tell you more about the specific model, including a valuation analysis that includes what similar clocks have sold for.


After our Quick Appraisal, StuffSavvy can match you with Online Partners to get you the most value for the clock you'd like to sell. This is a good option once you know the value you want to sell the item for.


After our Quick Appraisal, StuffSavvy can also match you with local consignment shops and auction houses. This is the best option if you want to work with additional Specialists to maximize the resale value of your clock.