Looking to sell your watch? Read this first for our expert tips on determining watch value.
Asking a question like ‘what’s my watch worth’ is like meeting a realtor and asking them how much your house is worth sight unseen. The honest answer is that it’s all in the details.
We’re asked all the time, “what’s my watch worth?” or “how much will you give me for my Rolex?”, when we haven’t even seen the watch!
If we don’t know the model number or year and don’t have a clue if the watch even runs, there is no way to know its value.
There are quite a few factors that go into evaluating what we can offer you for your watch. Before you ask: “What’s my watch worth,” read our list of the top factors that determine value.
8 Factors that Determine Watch Value
We hate to be a brand snobs, but when it comes to valuing your watch we don’t have a choice. If you go to sell your car, you will get more for a Mercedes than a Ford. It works the same way for your watch.
Of course, we like to purchase Tag Heuer’s and Omega’s just as much as Rolex and Cartier, but we look for the latter first. And it’s important to note that sometimes your lower to mid-end watches will be worth more than your higher-end watches!
Age doesn’t always work against you. In fact, much of the time with watches it can work in your favor.
Many vintage watches rise in value, but as always, it goes back to brand and condition of what you have.
Related: A Nearly 1 Million Dollar Paul Newman Watch Debuted on Antique’s Roadshow
Popularity of the watch is also important. We unable to resell a watch if no one has ever heard of the watch (even if it’s worth a ton of money). The market would be too small and won’t be worth as much to us.
Then we break open the back of the watch. First we make ensure that the parts are original. Secondly, we verify the watch is real and not a replica.
These days, the replicas get better and better. It isn’t easy to put a fast one by us by appearance alone, but taking a look at the inner workings shows its true colors. And most of the time, our instincts are right.
Condition of Inner Workings
Once the watch is open and we see the watch is original, we take a look to see if everything is running as it should be.
We calculate how much it will cost to clean it up and get it working if it doesn’t properly function. If it IS working we’ll check the actual condition of what’s there and what may need to be replaced.
Is your house made of brick, wood or sticks? Just like the Big Bad Wolf we want to know about any gold, stainless steel, mother of pearl, or diamonds. All of these make a difference.
Why? Because the gold market may be high at the time (not to mention gold is always worth more than stainless), or the amount of diamonds might make the watch extremely valuable.
Crystal, Bezel, Crown and Other Features
We then examine the condition of every single complication.
Everything on a watch can be replaced. But the more we have to replace, the less your watch is worth to us.
Are there any scratches, chips, or dents? Which watch pieces are tightly secured and which ones are loose?
Is it loose? Is it old? Does it smell? Is it scratched or dirty?
We give it the “shake” test, which means we grab and shake the face of the watch. If it wiggles and jiggles, the band is loose.
Although we may buy the entire watch, we’re really just paying you for the face/case because we may need to scrap the bracelet.
Box and Papers
Always save the watch box and papers! If you have the box and papers for your watch, it is always worth more.
All things being equal and all things being unequal, your watch is worth more to us with the original box and paperwork that it came with. Period.
So, hang onto the box and papers. Put it on a shelf, stick it in a shoebox, just don’t throw it away!
Final Thoughts on How We Determine Watch Worth
So as you can see, you can’t just ask us “What’s my watch worth” without us taking out special tools and practically taking your watch apart and doing a thorough examination.
What we CAN tell you is that once we do all of this process, we can tell you almost exactly what your watch is worth!
Looking to sell your watch in Houston?
Let us help! We are the #1 jewelry, diamond, and watch buyer in Houston and we have decades of experience.
Fill out a contact form and we’ll reach out soon to schedule an appointment in our showroom for a free appraisal.
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