So what's all the fuss about? Well, a quick visit to eBay and it soon became apparent that a lot of people are buying and selling this collectable pocket watch. I saw special edition watches from the Franklin Mint for sale, special anniversary pocket watches, 100 year old watches, brand new watches; the list went on and on.
One name that I definitely did associate with watches kept cropping up as my search continued; that of Bulova. Now Bulova also make some fine quality wristwatches too, but I must admit I was more than a little intrigued about their involvement with the Harley Davidson brand. It appears that when Harley were looking for a partner company to make watches for them, they settled on Bulova as a fine, well known, quality watch maker and entered into an agreement which has seen them create some wonderful watches and pocket watches bearing the famous Harley Davidson name.
The list of watches you can buy that has been made by these two partners includes not only pocket watches, but also a range of functional wristwatches incorporating chronograph functions, water-resistant watches and highly elaborate dress designs. There are clocks on the menu too.
In order to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Harley Davidson Bulova produced a solid 18ct gold pocket watch that, when new cost $11,750. There were only 50 of these watches ever produced, and only available to Harley Davidson dealerships, not to the public, which will certainly give them an exclusivity much sought after by collectors. Although the downturn of 2009 has seen prices drop to less than the original new price, they don't come up for sale that often. I would say prices would start to climb in the not too distant future.
What I didn't know was that Harley Davidson themselves also make their own pocket watches. I thought they just made bikes, (very fine bikes I should add!), but that's not all. They also make a range of collectable goods, clothing and general apparel, but their watches are gaining in popularity with collectors around the world.
Pretty much all of their own designs are embellished with stainless steel or Sterling Silver decoration and of course, their trademark "Bar & Shield" logo (see pic).There are some interesting variations on the motor biking theme, with the Oil Can pocket watch proving to be quite popular too. These were produced in small numbers around the 1960s and hence are quite rare, and attract quite reasonable sub-thousand dollar prices.
So as much as I thought this was just another gimmick, the Harley Davidson pocket watch is actually quite a respected and collectable item that should adorn your pocket watch collection, especially the more rare and sought after items.