How Much Is My Watch Worth?
“How much is my watch worth?”
It is one of the first questions someone asks themselves when they want to sell and liquidate their luxury timepiece. However, the answer is not always so simple. The quickest path from asking yourself this question to receiving cash in hand, and the most cash possible for that matter, is one that requires a fair bit of knowledge and research; such as, used watch market values for your specific brand and model, and how the condition of your watch affects the price.
This article will discuss everything you need to know before selling your watch, so you can cash in for your timepiece at the best price, and more importantly so you won’t get ripped off.
Determining Used Watch Values:
There are a few factors that will determine a used wristwatch’s value. The main factors are as followed:
- Brand & Model (which will tell you it’s age and rarity)
- Age & Rarity
- Condition & Completeness
- Original Box and papers
First and foremost, to be able to figure out each of the factors so you can come to an appropriate value, you need to be able to figure out the brand and model number. Unfortunately, this isn’t always such a simple task, especially with vintage watches.
So let’s start there and work our way down the factor list touching on important points for each.
Watch Value Guide:
Brand & Model
If you have the original box and papers of your watch, this will be a simple task as you can just look to the papers to find the model number. However, often times, people have lost the papers, or never acquired the papers in the case of the watch being given to them. Either way, don’t fret, you can surely figure out the brand and model number by searching the Internet and asking questions to a watch community, or even simpler, by seeking out a professional (which can also be done online – living in this day and age, convenience is everything).
For brands like Rolex, Audemars Piquet, and Panerai, you can use the serial numbering system on the watch and then do a search online to find out everything you need to know about your watch. YET, again, it’s not that simple as watches like Rolex require you to take off the strap to read the serial number, which is located on the case between the lugs. However, we recommend bringing your watch to a professional to take the strap off, as you wouldn’t want to risk damaging the watch in any way. But, if you are confident with your nimble fingers and watch repair skills, you can do this pretty easily if you have the right tool.
On the other hand, there are two easier ways to figure out the brand and model number of your watch, they just require a bit of patience:
Number 1: You can take a picture of your watch and post it to a forum of watch collectors and kindly ask them “What kind of watch do I have?” and while you are at it, you could ask “what is my watch worth(…approximately)?”
Number 2: You can send that same pic to Raymond Lee Jewelers or any other trusted jeweler that offers online services to find out what kind of watch you have, and you can also ask for an appraisal.
Then you just have to wait for the answer.
Age & Rarity
Once you know the Brand and Model, you can easily figure out the Age and Rarity. Just look for the years that model was in production, then check on the rarity by seeing how many watches were produced for that specific model number.
Once you have the brand & model number and age & rarity squared away, then you can figure out the demand by searching the web, or again, asking a professional. The easiest way to determine if your watch is in high demand is to check how the price of the watch has changed over the years.
If it is increasing, it is because it is in high demand. You can usually find the original price of a watch for which production has stopped by searching for what people paid when it was released and comparing to current prices, or if you have the original papers you can check them to see what the cost was. If your watch is still being produced, you can check to see how many are in stock or if there is a waiting list, as if there is a waiting list you can be sure it is in high demand.
Furthermore, a general rule of thumb, the more rare and old your watch is, the better its condition, and having the original box and papers, means a higher demand.
Condition & Completeness
Watches that have great movement but have been serviced many times will have a diminished value. Alternatively, vintage wristwatches that were kept in pristine condition will be of much higher value. If your watch isn’t in great condition, you should seek out a professional jeweler like Raymond Lee Jewelers as they will buy your watch without the need for you to repair it and clean it up, unlike selling it on eBay which will require you to clean and repair it first.
Furthermore, something that is important to note is, many times watch buyers want the original pieces, even if they are damaged, so make sure you keep those pieces if you are getting it repaired. Better yet, just talk with a jeweler beforehand and let them accommodate you, as it is risk-free. If you watch was already repaired and serviced, bring along the paperwork for its repair and if you have them, bring the original pieces as well.
Of course, the material matters quite a bit, as even an unpopular brand of watch that is pure gold would be valuable. A lot of watches can be priced based on their intrinsic value, along with the brand, model, and rarity. A platinum watch is going to sell for more than a silver watch. However, it’s important to consider watches like a Rolex Submariner, which many are made from stainless steel, can land you thousands of dollars and are as good as cash anywhere in the world. Sometimes it’s not about the quality, it’s about the fame. So, intrinsic value isn’t everything, and you should never let the price of your watch be based on just the precious metals it contains.
In the secondhand watch market, men’s luxury watches hold their value a lot better than women’s watches, as women tend to prefer to buy brand new over pre-owned when it comes to wristwatches and jewelry in general. Also, it is common now for women to wear both men and women’s watches, which gives men’s watches the ability for the entire population, unlike women’s watches were only women will wear them.
Original Watch Papers and Box
Selling a watch without papers is a bit more difficult than selling a watch with papers. If you don’t have the papers or original box, your best bet is to take your watch to a jeweler because they can authenticate your watch and resell it without any issue. You personally, on the other hand, will likely experience difficulty selling your watch without the paperwork because people buying from others online usually want to see that, and most will request you get it authenticated before they buy your watch, which will cost you money. If you sell your watch to a jeweler, they won’t ask you to pay for the authentication for them to resell it, of course.
Generally speaking, a watch with the original box and papers will fetch more money than one without, jeweler or not.
Determine Baseline Price
There are two easy ways to determine the baselines price for your watch.
Number 1: Check sites like eBay, chorno24 and online jewelers to see what they are selling your exact watch, or a similar watch if you somehow can’t find your watch for sale anywhere, to see what the price is on average.
And, number 2…
Watch Appraisal Online
You can contact us here and send us a picture of your watch (clear pics and good quality shots is best) and we can tell you a baseline price that we will pay for your watch.
If you can accept the estimate, you can send us your watch (we email you a prepaid, fully insured shipping label) then we will examine it, tell you everything you need to know about your timepiece and give you a final price. Then, if you accept the price we offer, we will immediately pay you (same day) by check or bank transfer, whichever you prefer. Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions about our online appraisal processes.
Raymond Lee Jewelers has been in business for over 30 years and we are BBB A+ rated and our goal is to get our customers the maximum amount for their watch. We aim to build long-term relationships with clients, so it’s in our best interest to achieve 100% satisfaction with the dealing. Also, as there are no middlemen, we are the direct source to the consumer who will repurchase your watch, we can cut out the costs associated with middlemen.
Estimate Watch Value & Used Watch Market Price
Its “value” is going to be based entirely on what people will be willing to pay you for it. No matter what prices you see, what truly matters is what you are offered. Everything else is speculation. That’s why dealing with a trusted jeweler can allow for a no-headache dealing of your watch. You are offered what they will pay, and you get paid what they offer. It’s that simple. Of course, most jewelers are open for a little negotiation as well.
Most expensive watch brands
The following brands of watches will fetch you a premium price for a pre-owned watch, especially if it is a limited edition model:
- F.P Journe
- Patek Philippe
- Richard Mille
- Audemars Piguet
- Vacheron Constantin
- A. Lange & Sohne
These are some of the best watches to collect as an investment as many are likely to increase in value. Such as the Kermit Submariner…
What watches hold their value best?
There are certain watches that hold values. There are a thousand different brands of watches in the world. However, essentially 90+% don’t hold the same value as when they were first purchased.
Some watches that hold their value whether they are new, second-hand or vintage. There are some collectible watches that even significantly increase in value from their original price. Most of the watches from the “most expensive watches” section above hold their value.
For example, a Rolex Submariner is as good as cash wherever you are in the world. You could have one of the most expensive watches in the world, but a Rolex Submariner could still land you more. This is because they are just highly re-sellable. Again, sometimes it’s not about the quality, it’s about the fame. With certain watches, like a Rolex Submariner, if you need cash quickly, you won’t lose money. This even goes for a recently purchased Rolex that is still in production and isn’t a limited edition. Even in this case, you’d likely get 80-90 percent of its original value. That’s the beauty of certain watches. It’s not only an amazing timepiece it is an asset.
A watch like a Patek will never lose money because they are limited. Furthermore, the waiting time is ridiculous as they are highly collectible. So when reselling your watch, make sure you know its worth. You can surely find the information you need online to determine if your watch is one that holds its value.
Where can I sell my watches? Sell Second Hand Watches
If you want to sell second hand watches for cash, we recommend going to us, Raymond Lee Jewelers. We are a time-tested, reputable watch buyer in Boca Raton. Raymond Lee Jewelers handles dealings in person or online to make your life as convenient as possible. Raymond Lee Jewelers is a family owned business that has been buying and selling watches for over 30 years. So, we know the ins and outs of the watch business better than anyone. It’s our duty to serve you and achieve complete satisfaction. And, we take pride in every, single dealing, no matter the size.