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What do I do to begin collecting? "Click" to Login or Register 
Hello everyone,
I just joined IHC 185 and i have already spent many hours reading through the thousands of posts and i have begun to absorb many bits of knowledge. I can only hope that someday i have 10% of the knowledge that the regular posters.
I have always loved pocket watches but I haven't had the resources to even begin to think about collecting. However I am older and more established so i want to learn as much as possible so I can make informed purchases.
I am focusing on South Bend watches because both my parents grew up within a couple blocks from the factory although it closed when they were very young.
But what I am really looking for is a methodology for looking at watches. Other than ebay and here are there other auction sites? I have seen some beautiful watches on several sites so there must be other ways to find watches. What should I know about watch cleaning. It would get expensive to try to guess when a watch needs to be cleaned. Should I learn how to do this and if i should what do i need where do i get it and how to i begin to learn.
I could go on and if I am asking to many questions please let me know.

Thanks for you help
Posts: 101 | Location: New Jersey in the USA | Registered: February 22, 2008
Picture of James H. Miller
hi michael welcome to the club.more folks will reply to your post if you use the private conversations area (more folks read that).your right ebay is a tricky place to buy watches on you better know what you are looking at.you may be able to find a watch here at the club this is a good place because i dont think anyone will rip you off.if your going to start working on them i would start by buying the best set of screw drivers you can find.try looking under jewelery supply on your browser.one thing you may want to get on ebay is one or two junk watches listed under parts you can get them cheep.i think they would be better to learn with as you you can mess them up and not cry. i hope this helps some james
Posts: 279 | Location: Wheatridge, Colorado in the USA | Registered: January 20, 2008
IHC President
Life Member
Picture of Lindell V. Riddle

Hello Michael and Welcome Aboard!

This is a fascinating hobby, you will find it to be a continual learning experience.

By all means, read posts on our site, do a "Find-Or-Search" for any subject you find interesting. There is a general tab on our main page plus one in every forum. That way you can "fine-tune" the search. Bear in mind much of what you read will be opinions, consider that carefully. None of us have all the answers, I have often said that those who claim to have all the answers have not been paying close attention to the questions. Wink That's because there are far more questions than answers, some will never be answered definitively as everyone who could have answered are long-gone. Much of what we obsess over today would have been inconsequential fifty years ago.

Since you are primarily focused on South-Bend a good place to begin is in our South-Bend Research Forum which you found already, print yourself a copy of the "HISTORY OF SOUTH-BEND WATCHES" and of course go through every post in the Research Forum. Study the advertising, print those that interest you most. Do not ever hesitate to ask a question, the only dumb question is the one you did not ask. Read and participate in our "Avoiding the Pitfalls of On-Line Trading" and if you are considering bidding on an eBay Auction, start a topic about it. You'll find the opinions of great help to you. Having other pairs of eyes evaluating an item is of tremendous value, examine comparisons such as we often offer.

Also, look through our IHC 185 "Timekeepers Photo Gallery" and our MEMBERS ONLY WATCH AND CLOCK AUCTIONS to see the differences in watches and the way they are photographed. You have a right to see what you are considering before you buy it, the angle at which images are taken is crucial, you will begin to understand what you want to see before you buy. In our auctions and with our Items For Sale you can ask questions and request additional images before you make your buying decision. Buy quality, not quantity! I always say... "Buy only the best, step away from the rest and don't look back!"

Finally, here are two book offers you might want to consider. First the "Complete Guide to Watches" is $27.95 delivered to our members, get it, read it, use it as the worthwhile reference it truly is. Second, the "AMERICAN WATCHMAKING SPECIAL INCLUDES HAMPDEN BOOK BONUS!" features "American Watchmaking" which is the basic overview of watch manufacturing. Buy it along with the Hampden book, study it and read both of them over and over!

Again, ask questions and read the all IHC185 topics carefully.

If I might ever be of help, just call.

Best always,


Phone: 440-461-0167 afternoons eastern time.

Posts: 10553 | Location: Northeastern Ohio in the USA | Registered: November 19, 2002
IHC Life Member
Picture of Frank Kusumoto
Michael - One of the major considerations is money. How much are you planning on spending on your hobby? If you have a certain budget in mind then it narrows down what you're going to be successful at collecting.
Posts: 1029 | Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A. | Registered: October 08, 2004
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