The Watch Circle

Luxury watches are passion buys. And if you are selling your now, here are some tips to keep in mind

By: Soumya Jain

Posted on: November 20, 2015

There are multiple reasons for why you might want to sell your luxury watch. First, it could be because you want to trade up to a better brand. Second, you want to lessen the watch clutter in your home. Third, you think the cash could be used better somewhere else. Four, the watch is too old fashioned and heavy – you want something more contemporary. Maybe the new smart watches coming in the market?

Jager-LeCoultre Ultra Thin watch

Whatever the reason, however, you need to be careful where and how you are selling your luxury watch.

Can it really be sold?
To begin with, check the working condition of your watch. It’s highly likely that you won’t get a fair price if the watch is not functioning properly. Luxury watches require expert attention – a proper service history helps in the value of the watch. Do not do DIY repairs as they might just end up hurting the proper functioning of the watch, and consequently, its value. So show it to a credible watch center before putting it out in the market. Be assured, this further investment will certainly reap benefits.

IWC Schaffhausen women's watchTo put it down in a checklist, there are various other factors that affect the value of a watch as well. 

1. While the brand name has value attached it, its original paperwork and packaging will help you get a good price as well. These help to determine that the watch is genuine (and not fake) and made with the customary level craftsmanship associated with that brand. 

2. Swiss precision is known and trusted world over. Is you watch Swiss made? Well, you can definitely score a good value for your timepiece. Having said that, German made watches, such as A. Lange & Soehne and Glashutte also command a high amount of respect in the market. Provenance matters, but so does the craftsmanship and history of the brand.

3. The mechanical prowess of the timepiece is an immensely important feature. Is it a chronograph? Does it show moon phases? Or is it a traveller’s watch showing time in multiple cities a la Vacheron Constantin? Such features set a watch apart from others and can fetch good prices. 

4. It goes without saying, the more the amount of metal and gemstones in a watch, the higher its value. Whether it’s a rose gold case or a dial encrusted with diamonds, the timepiece will surely shine out from under the loupe. 
The go-to places
As for places to sell, there are several options available, but each have their pros and cons. 

Ebay and Amazon are probably the first names that jump to our consciousness. While they give you control over the entire selling process and payments and pricing, it is tough to sell luxury items on such mass marketplaces. Consumers can be uncomfortable spending high value of money for an item they can’t see and touch before buying. It is risky for the buyer and seller and there is no guarantee of success.

Auction behemoths such as Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Bonhams are another, very credible options. While it adds brand value to your selling project, you might just also score more money than what the watch is valued at – if, and it’s a big ‘if’ – you have a special limited edition or antique watch buried in your treasure trove. Normal watches – meaning more recent purchases, or those, which really have no history to speak of – are not suitable for auctions. Selling a watch through an auction house is usually a long process, often taking up to six months. Also, significant amount of fees are associated with auctioning a watch. Dreams aside, you might not end up getting much even after being patient and going through all the hassle. 

The third category, which has recently come up, is selling watches online through specialty websites. The specialists behind these websites have the expertise to give correct appraisals, and also ensure that the process is smooth. As for the time, sites such as WP Diamonds mention that the transaction can be completed with money in your account in as little as two days! Having low overheads, my best guess is that not much fees are attached to selling your watch through such websites.  

Breitling Galactic Luxury Watch

Just be sure you research such websites carefully, check their past reviews and then take a decision. After all, it is not easy to part with a watch you probably love dearly!

Post your comment

    We encourage thoughtful discussion, debate and differing viewpoints, with the understanding that all comments must be civil and respectful. We encourage you to remain on topic and to be mindful that the comments are public. We do not permit messages selling products or promoting commercial or other ventures. Upon request of individuals named in comments, some comments may also be removed. We reserve the right—but assume no obligation—to delete comments, and report offenders who do not follow the code.