On this page, we hope to answer some of the commonly asked questions from our first time customers.
Understanding Our Descriptions
We process a very large number of watches and accessories each year for sale via our web site, eBay and local avenues. We attempt to offer descriptions and photos that are as complete and clear as possible on each item, and we always encourage you to write us with questions if something is not addressed in the description!
In each description, we attempt to note the following things:
<maker><size><jewels><setting><adjustments><grade/model><serial number>, <movement information>, <dial information>, <hand information>, <case information>, <misc. information>, <overall condition and comments>
Taking an example of a watch already described, we've bracketed the different sections and ordered them as above:
<Ball-Hamilton> <16S> <21J> <LS> <adj.> <Official RR Standard> <#B651197>, <nickel movement with gold jewel settings and concentric circle damascene pattern, should be noted that the gears on the movement may not be all original however watch is running strong and not affecting running condition>, <porcelain Ball marked dial with Arabic numbers has very faint hairline (not distracting)>, <blue steel hands>, <beautiful YGF SB&B Ball marked case with engraved bezels and blank monogram shield showing normal even wear (no brass)>, <fancy bow>. <High grade Ball watch in very good condition, perfect to carry everyday!>
We also provide a List of Abbreviations that we use in our descriptions, as well as a Pocket Watch Sizing Chart that explains numerically and graphically the various sizes of pocket watches that we offer.
All of our watches are in good running condition, unless otherwise noted in the description. Most of our watches have been in storage for many years, so if you plan on carrying/wearing them everyday, you should have them cleaned and oiled, and then once a year thereafter to keep them in top running condition. If the watches will be for occasional use or display, they should be cleaned and serviced every 3 to 5 years depending on use.
We do have a professional watchmaker that does all of our cleaning and repair work for us. To have your watch serviced before shipping, simply add this Cleaning/Service Agreement to your shopping basket. The cleaning and timing service is $95, and depending on the time of the year, has a turnaround time of 1 to 3 weeks.
Please note that we provide this service as addition to the listed purchase price of our watches. If you do purchase this option and later decide to return the watch, this fee is non-refundable.
You will notice that the descriptions for most of our watches and accessories contain comments on the overall condition of the item. Here is a general scale to interpret those comments:
- Like New Condition & Factory New Condition - May never have been carried; all original condition, usually accompanied with the original box, papers or other items. This condition of watch was likely in the same condition as when it left the factory.
- Mint Condition - May have a few (2-5) small cosmetic problems, such as a scuff on the original finish, some wear near one hole of a leather band, or a small spot of discoloration on the hands. Overall though, this watch will have no flaws or damage that would detract from either running or overall appearance. This condition of watch was likely carried or worn very infrequently, and was taken good care of during its life span.
- Near Mint Condition - May have a number (5-10) of small cosmetic problems like those listed above, however the overall appearance and running condition will not be detracted from. This condition of watch was likely carried or worn more frequently but was still cared for well during its life span.
- Excellent+ Condition - May have 1-2 moderate flaws of note, such as the movement having scratches near the screws, a short or faint hairline on the dial, or wear on the engraving of the case. This condition will not have any serious defects, such as brass, dial repairs, serious damage or wrong parts on the movement. This condition of watch was likely carried or worn regularly but with care.
- Excellent Condition - May have 3-5 moderate flaws of note like those listed above, however the appearance and running condition will not be detracted from. This condition of watch was likely carried or worn regularly with care, however it may have been victim to a minor accident or poorly executed repair work.
- Very Good Condition - May have 1-2 serious problems of note, such as brassing on the case, expert repair on the dial, serious discoloration, or damage to the movement. Damage to the movement will not affect the running condition for items listed on the normal sections of the site. Any watches with major running condition problems we list under our Mechanical Special section, and those problems will be noted within the descriptions. Often we will use this grade to describe a watch that is still attractive and does not have enough flaws to overshadow the appeal, but that is starting to 'show its age'. This condition of watch was likely carried or worn regularly/daily, has at least 1 serious defect of note, and would be an ideal watch to carry or wear everyday now.
- Good Condition - May have 3-5 serious problems of note like those listed above, and although will be in good running condition and may still be very attractive overall, is showing its age. This condition of watch was likely carried or worn regularly/daily, has at least 3 serious defects of note, and would be ideal to carry or wear daily.
- Fine Condition - This is the lowest grade you will see in the standard listing section of the web site. This watch will have some serious problems similar to those listed above, and will likely be in a general state of wear overall. Although it may have other factors to make it desirable, such as the maker, fancy dial or case, etc. it will likely need some serious cosmetic restoration. This grade will still be in good running condition unless otherwise noted in the description. This condition of watch was likely the victim of a serious accident or was poorly cared for during its life span.
- As-Is Condition - Mostly seen in our Mechanical Special section of the web site, we will describe the overall condition and running condition as accurately as possible. However, this condition may have missing parts, serious damage or incorrect parts. We are happy to answer any questions prior to sale on this condition, however once the sale is made, we can not offer a refund. This condition of watch is damaged, and will need restoration work to return it to full cosmetic and/or running condition.
- (no condition listed) - If notes are made in the description about various aspects of condition on the movement, dial and/or case, the lack of overall grade may be an oversight from our describing process and we do apologize! Please contact us so we can give you more information, and of course update our listing.
On our layaway policy, we usually ask that you place 1/4 the price of the order (cost of the items + shipping charge) for the down payment, and then pay off the remainder within 6 months. We are happy, however, to work with you to find a schedule that meets your budget. Just contact us for more details.
Holiday & Vacation Dates
Unless otherwise noted on our Holiday Info & Dates page, you can expect an order placed to be processed and shipped out within 2-3 business days, and often much sooner. If you need an item quickly, please do double check our holiday page to make sure we will be in the office!
Additional pages that may be of interest or assistance:
- Watch Selector - Our step-by-step guide to help you narrow down our product offerings and find the right watch for yourself or as a gift.
- "How To Wear" Guide - Our guide, with examples and photos, on how to wear our various styles of watches and watch accessories.
- Pocket Watch Sizing Chart - A numerical and graphical chart of the different sizes of watches you will find on our site.
- Abbreviations & Glossary - A list of the abbreviations we use in our descriptions and a glossary of terms.
- Watch Winding & Setting Instructions - Instructions (with photos) for setting & winding various types of mechanical watches.
- Product Categories Outline - A list (with links) of our product categories, organized into outline form.
- Shipping Information - An overview of the various shipping options we offer.
- Ordering Information - An explanation of the ordering process for our website.
- Order History & Tracking - Order status and prior order summary page.
- Research Information - Further information and links to external watch-related sites.
- About Us - More detailed information about PM Time Service.