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I have a watch that is inscribed "huit rubis". Is it valuable?

"Huit rubis" is french for "four holes jeweled". Your watch is almost certainly an early Swiss watch from 1830 to 1875. These watch movements were made in small workshops from standardized parts. The watchmaker needed to do a great deal of final fitting and polishing and assemble the movement and adjust the movement. The movements were sold to other merchants who combined them with dial, hands, and cases.

Many of these watches are quite beautiful. Because the movements were made in quantity and were not of exceptional quality, a running watch in a simple case is probably going to sell in the $100-$250 range. If the movement does not run, a watchmaker should check to see if there is damage to a critical part such as the balance staff or hairspring. Such damage is usually not economical to repair. A non-working watch pretty much is worth in the $25-50 range if it is in otherwise good shape.

If you have a solid gold case or a case with exceptional enameling, of course, these values are just starting points.