Buying a

The nice thing about buying Weston's is that they are readily available in a variety of conditions and there are real bargains to be had. You can get meters from the 650 to the Master 3 for ten pounds or less. You can keep your eyes open at boot fairs (garage sales) and if you go to enough you'll come across them. Prices and conditions will vary and be prepared to haggle on price. I bought a brand new Euromaster in the box for £4 at a boot fair!

A more fruitfull source is ebay - you'll find lots of them there. Problem is you can't test them so make sure you establish with the seller that the meter works i.e. the needle moves across the scale when exposed to light. Westons are very reliable but the photoelectric cell can fail and if it does it's very costly to repair - in fact, don't even think about it! Don't be tempted to bid beyond what you want to pay. Prices vary crazily so track each meter and bid at the last moment if you want it. If it goes for a price above your range, don't worry - there will be more coming along! For UK collectors, US sales (available to UK) are generally a lot cheaper even adding postage.

Now here is what you should be looking for:

  • General condition - should be no cracks in the case or glass.
  • Make sure it reacts well to light - with the rear baffle open in daylight the needle should travel right acros the scale.
  • Check that the zero adjuster works by moving it slightly and seeing the nedle move away from the zero point.
  • Meters with case are worth more and the case will probably have offered the meter protection. Many cases are well worn but you may get a good one sometimes.
  • Box and instructions are fairly rare but add a lot to the value and are geat for collecting.

Westons made in US and UK are different - the Weston 3 UK for example is black, whereas the Newark version is stainless steel.

Oh, and if you want one to use, a Weston 3 onwards makes a good workhorse.