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What Watches Are Worth Most in Today’s Market?

What Watches Are Worth Most in Today’s Market?

Even with these tough economic times, many used watches have actually increased in value, making them a way to make money. But what watches are sure to improve with age, while some depreciate rapidly? And why do people sell their watches in the first place?

Reasons People Sell Their Watches

People sell watches for a variety of reasons when they sell jewelry in Boca Raton. According to Forbes.com, most common three are: estate sales, collector sales, or a need for money due to a life-changing event.

In terms of estate sales, when a loved one dies, the family may choose to sell the watch because it is equitable to divide among the heirs, or perhaps it is too close to the deceased. Collectors may sell watches in their collection to afford or make room for a different watch that they wish to purchase. Lastly, changes such as loss of a job, sickness, or even the birth of a child may leave the watch owner looking for funds. Selling a watch may help pay for those expenses.

Reasons People Buy Used Watches

People buy used watches for a variety of reasons. One reason is to get a good deal on a watch that would normally cost much more brand new. Other reasons have to do with the collector value, the limited edition, the look, and even the history behind the watch. Watches with history, such as those owned by famous people (movie stars, war heroes, etc.) will command more money than the same watch brands and models that weren’t owned by someone famous.

What Drives the Prices

Watches are, by nature, not just a timepiece, but a luxury item. Think of them as functional jewelry. And if you’re selling jewelry in Boca, ultimately, what drives the prices are the overall desirability of the watch. So, when you look at the watch, you must take into account several factors. These include:

How rare the watch is. Rarer watches command higher dollars, as a rule.
How old the watch is. The older the watch, the more likely it will be worth more.
What condition the watch is in. If the watch is in good condition, it is likely to fetch a higher value.
Whether it is a man’s watch versus a woman’s watch. Although a bit sexist, men’s watches tend to hold their value over women’s watches.
The brand of the watch. Some brands, such as Rolex, Patek, Breguet, and Jaeger LeCoultre are likely to command more money than others.
The quality of the watch. Watches with 19 to 24 jewels are considered high-end watches. Those with 15 to 17 jewels are considered medium-end watches.

Brand Power

Even with expensive watches, the price varies. If you have a watch to sell, the most common are Tag, Rolex, Breitling, Panerai, and Omega. People like popular watches and are willing to pay up to 80 percent or more of the original price if they like the model and the look. Many don’t care that they own a used watch. It’s the watch, itself, that commands attention.

The Most Expensive Watch?

Arguably the most expensive watch sold for a cool $25 million in 2000 according to The Telegraph. It is a Chopard with 201 carats of gems. Now, whether the buyer wears it or keeps it in a safe is another story. According to Forbes, Chopard isn’t a good value because it makes women’s watches that are unlikely to exceed the original purchase price. Which goes to show that there are exceptions to the rules.

High Priced Watches

So what watches will command high prices? It depends, because prices vary from region to region and from buyer to buyer, but here is a list of interesting watches and the prices some have commanded.

Patek Philippe

Arguably, one of the best timepieces ever, in 2010, a Patek Phillippe wristwatch made in 1944 sold for $5.6 million dollars. Considered understated but elegant with one of the best movements, these watches are in limited numbers and are a quality timepiece. The Patek Philippe Ref 5016P made in 2012 went for $762,000. Too expensive? Check out the Patek Phillippe Reference 1436 by Tiffany & Co. went for a mere $214,000. Other Patek Phillippe watches include the Patek Philippe Calatrava which can go for around $9000.

Breguet Marie Antoinette

This timepiece actually disappeared from a Jerusalem museum. Originally commissioned for the ill-fated Marie Antoinette, this timepiece has 823 pieces. The owner of Breguet, Nicolas Hayek, set about and build a replica of the missing timepiece. It cost more than $100,000 to build. Buyers have offered as much as eight figures, but the owner refuses to sell it.

Rolex Watches

The Rolex Submariner is a fine watch which can command several thousand dollars, depending on the vintage–or the history. Take the Rolex that was owned by the actor, Steve McQueen. It sold for $234,000 at auction.

In November 2013, fifty Rolex Oyster Daytonas sold for a cool $13.2 million dollars at Christies. That brings the cost to about $264,000 a watch. These watches were more than 50 years old.

A 1969 Rolex “Paul Newman” model sold for a cool million. It wasn’t even owned by the actor.

The Rolex Day-Date sells for less than $5000, but if you’re in the market to buy one, that’s a bargain.

What You Can Get for Your Watch

So, what can you expect to get for your watch? Prices, as you see, can be quite high or may be low, depending on the buyer. In the end, it’s not what you think your watch is worth, but rather what the buyer is willing to pay. If the watch has a history or some meaning beyond a family heirloom, it is likely to command a better price.

A running watch in good condition is more likely to get more money than a damaged and broken watch. But until you have your watch appraised, you won’t really know what someone is willing to buy your watch for. That’s why when you’re looking to sell your watch in Boca Raton, visit Raymond Lee Jewelers in Boca Raton, FL.


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