Will antique/vintage clock prices go up or down in 2022?

Will antique and vintage clock prices go up or down in 2022? Is this the time to buy or sell? Read further for my thoughts and observations.

First off, some definitions. According to the United States Government, the term “antique” is reserved for items that are over a century old. Webster’s dictionary defines an antique as a work of art, piece of furniture, or decorative object made at an earlier period and according to various customs laws at least 100 years ago. Wikipedia defines antiques as applying to objects at least 100 years old.

The word “vintage”, according to eBay and other sources, is a defined period that is less than 100 years but more than 30 years. You may find various definitions of vintage for example in the jewellery business vintage may be considered as anything 10 to 20 or more years.

Anyone, who regularly shops for antique or vintage clocks is well aware that the clock market has been depressed for quite some time but is this the time to sell or buy?

Pricing is as volatile as it was a year ago. There is no true “standard” pricing for any vintage or antique clock. As with most objects, there is a price range that most would consider reasonable.

How are clock prices set?

Sellers use a number of metrics to set prices;

  • A price more or less consistent with prices achieved at reputable auction houses and online for sale sites,
  • The condition of the clock, whether it runs or not and if it has been serviced,
  • A seller’s personal experience buying and/or selling online,
  • A seller prices higher than the value leaving room for a downward negotiated price,
  • A seller knows that most clocks are not sold to a serious collector and count on uneducated buyers who think they are worth more than they are.

Factors affecting the sale of clocks

Any object is ultimately worth what someone is willing to pay a higher price for it. High-end and truly rare clocks have managed to retain their value althrugh sales are largely based on market conditions and demand.

But what conditions influence the sale of run-of-the-mill antique and vintage mechanical clocks and those of slightly better quality?

Antique and vintage clocks have flooded the market in the past several years driving prices steadily downwards. The new generation of millennials have little interest in antiques and find it pointless to collect antique and vintage clocks.

Modern homes do not have the room for clocks as floor and wall space is limited. In an age when families are living in 800 square foot apartments space is at a premium though that could change as people migrant from dense cities to smaller communities. And when space is at a premium grandfather clocks and jeweller’s regulator clocks though finely crafted and cost thousands when new are not items many would consider as wants for the modern family home. Sentimental reasons aside, the cost of servicing far exceeds the value if the desire is to have a working clock.

I don’t have a crystal ball but judging from prices in the past few years I can comfortably predict that things will be much the same. I do not expect a significant change in 2022 or beyond. It is a buyer’s market and there are some terrific bargains out there. Knowledge is power and no doubt there are some great clocks to be found but shop carefully and do your homework.


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