How much is my watch worth?

You have decided to swap your watch for cash. The first question you will most probably be asking yourself is, ‘how much is my watch worth?’ Once you have some idea of what it’s worth, the second question will be ‘where can I sell it?’

Just as with any other product or market, the value of a watch depends on supply and demand. The more in demand the make and model of your watch the more it is worth. This demand is mainly determined by seven things:

  1. Brand – Some brands, brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Omega, Seiko, etc, have a reputation for quality and luxury. Owning a Rolex means more than owning a reliable and quality timepiece, it’s a status symbol, particularly if it’s a rare one of a kind piece.
  2. Model – Just as different brands retain their value better over other brands, different models, lines or collections within a single brand will command higher prices and retain their value better than others.
  3. Age – Over time a particular make and model of a watch is likely to become rarer, which will improve the potential value of any remaining pieces.
  4. Condition – Condition includes whether a watch has any damages or marks on it, or whether any of its pieces are faulty or missing. Ideally, a watch should be in as close to pristine condition as possible. Of course, with an antique or particularly well-loved watch, this can’t always be the case. Another factor to consider is the overall completeness. Boxes, papers and other accessories can get separated from the watch overtime, but a watch sold as a full set will almost always bring in higher prices.
  5. Rarity – Following the principles of supply and demand, the rarer the watch, generally the more valuable it is. And a rare, valuable watch today can be worth considerably more in years to come as it becomes much harder to find. Watches made in limited editions, depending on make and model, can be particularly coveted.
  6. Celebrity – If a celebrity has worn or endorsed a particular make and model of a watch than that will increase its value. The Rolex Daytona has been associated with Paul Newman for over 50 years.
  7. Watch Patina – refers to the aging process of timepieces that generally alters the hands, hour markers, and dials of a watch face. In the eyes of collectors, the patina adds character as every scratch and faded numeral represents a story of the watch’s past.

To find out how much your watch is worth you need to take it to a second watch dealer, jeweller or auction house. You can do an online search with your make and model. But most prices shown will be above market price with vendors being over optimistic about the value of their watches. It may not be 100% accurate, but it will give you some idea of how much your watch could be worth.

Do a Google search for the make and model of your watch to see how much comparable models sell for. Understand that the prices being charged by a pre-used watch dealer or jewellery shop will be more than what they will buy the watch for from you.