Jewel Count as a Marker of Pocket Watch Quality


Pocket Watch Dial pic

Pocket Watch

Craig Duling is a San Francisco Bay area executive businessman who directs Heritage Management Services, Inc. Reflecting his longstanding interest in collecting timepieces, Craig Duling has created the site, through which he offers a host of informational resources, as well as access to quality watches and accessories.

For those new to collecting vintage watches, jewel count is an ideal starting point, with those fully jeweled issues that contain at least 15 jewels to 17 jewels preferred. Often directly relating to quality, the jewels are comprised of hard minerals that ensure minimum wear and tear at collision and pivot points within the watch mechanism. Higher quality watches typically contain between 19 jewels and 23 jewels, and they are among the most sought after.

If there is no marking of the jewel count on the interior of the watch, it likely has 11 jewels or fewer and is not as collectible unless rarity or condition dictates a premium. Over time, those watches with fewer jewels tend to experience heavy wear at the plates’ pivot points because of the moving wheel’s continuous, high-pressure grinding activity. Once they are worn into ovals, it is extremely challenging to repair the timepiece into proper working condition and the value declines correspondingly.


Properly Opening a Hinged-Back Cased Pocket Watch


Pocket Watch pic

Pocket Watch

Craig Duling is a well-established San Francisco Bay Area executive who leads Heritage Management Services, Inc., and has a passion for the history of timepieces. An avid watch collector, Craig Duling maintains and provides enthusiasts with a wide range of informational resources.

One of the topics covered centers on the proper way of opening a pocket watch for the purpose of viewing and evaluating the movement. With four major types of backs existing, the hinged-back case pocket watch is particularly common. It is opened by turning over the watch such that the back is upward facing.

The case is then opened using a small tool with a specialized end that is similar to the tip of a butter knife. The instrument fits precisely and is used to pry the lid gently open. Alternatively, a small knife blade can be employed, with extreme caution exercised to avoid the types of scratches that can devalue watches.

A Guide to Opening Pocket Watches with a Snap-Off Case

Snap-Off Case pic

Snap-Off Case

A successful businessman in the San Francisco Bay Area, Craig Duling has a strong interest in antique pocket watches. Craig Duling explores this interest through his website, which offers information on a number of different topics related to timepieces, including how to take them apart. For a pocket watch, the process largely depends on the type of case used.

The snap-off cases can prove tricky to remove since they do not involve any screws or other fasteners. However, the entire back can come off to reveal the moving parts inside. Once removed, the case can easily be snapped back into place to off seal the watch once again.

To open this type of watch, individuals should try to find a case knife tool created for watchmakers as not to damage the watch. However, in a pinch, people can use a dull-bladed tool and take care not to slip while opening the watch to avoid scratching. On the back rim of these watches is a small notch that can be used to rock the case open. Typically, the tip of a knife will not fit in the notch so people usually have to use the side.

Once the blade is inserted, a gentle rocking motion should cause the case to pop. If this does not happen, individuals should not try to force it open, as this will typically lead to damage. Closing the watch also requires care. If the watch is not closing smoothly, the case may not be aligned properly. Often, watches have small marks on the rim of the case that should be lined up when closing.

An Overview of Basic Pocket Watch Case Designs


Pocket Watches pic

Pocket Watches

Craig Duling serves as chairman of the board at Heritage Management Services in Northern California. Outside of his business pursuits, Craig Duling maintains a passion for pocket watches, which he shares through his website On this website, he provides extensive information about the history and construction of watches, including their cases.

Pocket watches are designed to be hunter-cased or open-faced. A hunter-cased watch has a metal housing around the moving elements and an additional metal cover over the dial. A hunter case has a metal latch that clips into the lip of the front cover to protect the face of the watch. These watches have a stem that users push to release the latch. With open-faced watches, the metal cover goes only around the moving parts and the face remains unobstructed.

Another element of the case is the back attachment style. Individuals need to be able to remove the back to reveal the working parts. Four main styles exist. The first is a screw style, which uses threads to attach the backing. Other watches may have a back that snaps on with a notch for inserting an opening tool. The third style adds a hinge to the snapped back, and the fourth style employs a single-piece body that has no seams. To remove the back, individuals must firmly take off the front bezel and then a swing-out mechanism gives access to the moving parts.

Florida United Numismatists to Host 63rd Show in 2018


Florida United Numismatists pic

Florida United Numismatists

Craig Duling possesses an avid interest in antique pocket watches. He began collecting the timepieces after becoming acquainted with a colleague at work who owned an antique pocket watch. With nearly four decades of experience as a collector, Craig Duling shares his knowledge of the hobby, as well as information on upcoming events, through the website. One event of interest to collectors is the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Convention Show.

An annual January convention, the FUN Show maintains a reputation as the leading numismatic calendar event with more than 1,500 dealers, exhibitors, and Heritage Auctions. Welcoming dealers and collectors involved in numismatic hobbies, the show will include a variety of activities and highlights including educational seminars and meetings for professional groups and organizations. Attendees may also browse a diverse exhibitor hall featuring experienced dealers and collectors from across the country. Additionally, the show will host auctions through Heritage, the nation’s largest collectibles auctioneer with a network of more than 130 authorities in the collectibles field.

FUN will host its 63rd annual show from January 4-7, 2018, at the Tampa Convention Center in Florida. Admission is free to the public, although attendees must visit the public registration booth to receive a badge before entering the event.

How Do Watchmakers Fabricate Dials?

Pocket Watch Dial pic

Pocket Watch Dial

An accomplished San Francisco Bay Area business professional, Craig Duling maintains a passion for timepieces, which he explores through his website, On this site, Craig Duling explores a number of issues related to watch collecting and manufacturing, including the creation of dials.

Some watch dials start with a metal plate that is enameled on at least one side to improve overall rigidity. This enamel gives watch dials their characteristic glass-like look.

Often, watchmakers layer different sections of the dial by “sinking” – creating multiple enameled plates and soldering them together. Some companies save money by pressing a dial instead of sinking it. However, this process does not produce the same distinct transition layers.

Manufacturers may choose not to use enamel on watch dials at all. In addition to making a different fashion statement, these metal dials are more durable than enamel ones.

Patek Philippe – Unrivaled Maker of Luxury Timepieces


Patek Philippe pic

Patek Philippe

In addition to his professional responsibilities as the CEO of Heritage Management Services, Craig Duling is an antiquarian horologist. Through his website,, Craig Duling shares information he has gleaned from over 40 years collecting rare timepieces. Patek Philippe crafted one of the impressive watches featured on

Patek Philippe stands as one of the most prestigious watchmakers in the world, as well as the world’s oldest independently owned watch manufacturer. The company was founded in 1839 by polish immigrant Antoni Patek, who was later joined by Adrien Philippe, a talented Frenchman who invented the keyless winding mechanism.

Widely recognized for its meticulous craftsmanship, Patek Philippe continues to make some of the finest timepieces in the world. The company makes all of its own watch components according to rigorous standards. Each year, Patek Philippe only manufactures about 40,000 watches. As a result, the timepieces are highly sought after and are often sold at auction for staggering amounts.

One watch, the Sky Moon Tourbillon men’s watch, has an estimated worth of $1.45 million. Patek Philippe’s most complicated model, the watch was introduced in 2001 and features 12 complications on two dials and has over 2,800 components and 242 jewels.

Temperature Adjustment – One of the Marks of a Quality Timepiece

Craig Duling

An experienced engineer and business professional, Craig Duling serves as chief executive officer of Heritage Management Services in San Francisco. In addition, Craig Duling has collected and studied antique pocket watches for four decades. He maintains, a website that explores several different facets of timepieces, including how to judge the quality of a specific watch.

One of the biggest markers of quality remains adjustment for temperature. Simply put, this feature means that the workings of the watch have been positioned so that the watch will remain accurate even when the external temperatures change, which would cause the metal to expand or contract.

Typically, adjustment is achieved through the balance wheel, which has screws that adjust to changes in the hairspring caused by temperature fluctuations. Newer watches use a bi-metallic compensating balance made from steel and brass. Because the balance is cut at two points, it can fluctuate with changes in temperature while keeping the time consistent.

Watch technicians are able to change the positions of the weight screws in the balance to increase or decreases the amount of compensation provided. With some tinkering, the watch should keep time accurately in a wide range of different temperatures.

The Process of Creating a Pocket Watch Dial

Pocket Watch Dial pic

Pocket Watch Dial

The recipient of a bachelor of science in physics from San Jose State University, Craig Duling is a former engineer for Lockheed Missiles and Space Company who serves as chairman of the board for Heritage Management Services. Beyond his professional responsibilities, Craig Duling enjoys sharing his extensive knowledge about timepieces on his website

Pocket watches are best identified by the information and designs on their dials, the smooth, often-white surface that displays numbers and other markings. The complex process of creating the dial starts with granulated enamel, which is laid upon a metal plate with raised edges roughly the same size of the dial before being heated to create the glass-like appearance. The enameling process is normally done on both sides of the metal plate to strengthen the dial.

Although all watchmakers follow the same process, they’re able to create vastly different-looking watches by a process called sinking, in which they layer different sections of the dial. For the most part, dials are single-sunk or double-sunk, but they are sometimes triple-sunk. To single-sink a dial, a watchmaker fires two dials as outlined above, but the second is thinner and smaller than the first. An opening approximately the size of the smaller dial is then created in the larger dial and both are soldered together, which creates crisp edges and a tiered effect. To double-sink a watch, the process is repeated twice with three dials of varying size.

Pocket Watch Jewel Settings


Craig Duling

Craig Duling, an antiquarian horologist, is a former engineer that currently serves as the CEO of Heritage Management Services. Craig Duling also owns and operates, where he applied his expertise in the evaluation of antique timepieces.

When evaluating pocket watches, it is important to assess the quality of the movement as well as the condition of the dial and case. Jewels are an important watch component that help to reduce friction at movement pressure points and ensure the watch operates correctly over a long period of time.

Pocket watch jewels come in several forms, including round shaped hole and cap jewels, angled pallet jewels, and pin style impulse jewels. Jewels can be set with friction, where they are pressed into a tight hole that keeps them secured. Watches with friction set jewels are typically less expensive and lower quality. Another method to set jewels includes the use of small screws which attach to the movement plate. Screw set jewels can be flush with the plate or a raised style where the setting’s rim is slightly elevated. Watches with screw set jewels are often higher quality pieces.