5 Tips on Getting the Most Value When You Sell Your Luxury Watch

Are you an avid watch collector looking for a legacy watch to add to your collection? Selling a piece already in your collection may bring you enough cash to buy the luxury watch you have had your eye on for years. A luxury watch is a substantial investment. In most cases, the demand far outstrips the supply. That is why your timepiece may be worth more than you think, especially if yours is one of a few exceptional models from the most prestigious watch brands in the world. 

However, collectors are very picky and particular with the watches that they choose. Expect them to scrutinize your wristwatch closely before they quote a price. If you are considering selling your watch, here are five tips to ensure you get the best deal possible. 

Tip #1: Ensure That You Have Complete Documentation

The most reputed watch sellers and buyers ensure that the watches they sell are 100% authentic. Having complete available documentation can boost the value of your wristwatch. Though watch appraisers can accurately determine your watch's authenticity, buyers, especially watch collectors, are very particular about having the complete documentation and certificates on hand before they can quote a fair price for your piece. Similar to an automobile, it pays to have the complete records of your watch in order to secure a buyer that is willing to spend top dollar. Try to compile every document possible relating to your wristwatch, from sales receipts to service records. If your watch includes original parts, make sure that you state it as part of the package.

Tip #2: Be Aware of How Valuable Your Watch Is on The Market

Rolex Submariner Date Kermit Stainless Steel Black Dial

It pays to be 100% aware of its value, possible history, the model's history, uniqueness, and condition. Start with the model name, model number, and serial number. Since you have your paperwork on hand, these details are straightforward. Watches like those made by Rolex have serial numbers etched between the case lugs. Some watch brands have these details stamped or etched inside the case back. 

Once you determine the exact model and age, it is time to determine the market value of your watch. You may find it surprisingly valuable, especially if you have a rare and sought-after Patek Philippe or Rolex watch. Certain wristwatches, such as the Rolex Submariner Date Kermit, hold their value well, even when bearing scratches. However, it is important to note that this is not the case with most wristwatches. 

Breitling Navitimer 1959 Edition, Platinum, Blue dial, 41mm
Omega Speedmaster Professional Legendary Moonwatch 42, Stainless Steel, Black dial,

Another crucial factor that makes a watch valuable is the demand. Specific watch models, such as the 1959 Edition Breitling Navitimer, or the Omega Speedmaster, are sought after because of their interesting backstories and inherent qualities. For instance, the Omega Speedmaster was worn by astronauts in space, while the 1959 Navitimer harks back to when Breitling issued premiere dress watches with maximum functionality.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronograph

If you have an heirloom watch, it pays to do some research to confirm if the watch you possess belonged to a limited edition or production run from a renowned brand. For instance, well-maintained Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Tourbillon Chronographs, for any runs, often fetch a higher price on the resale market than their original real value. The production runs for each of these are in the low hundreds.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Leo Messi

A watch model worn by a celebrity such as a sports superstar, or an actor, can increase its value. Signature brands endorsed by soccer players, such as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 26325PL Leo Messi, hold their value better than most Royal Oaks not identified as being worn by a celebrity.

Tip #3: Ensure that Your Watch Is in Excellent Condition

For most watches, having a major scratch means a significant decrease in its appraisal value. Moreover, missing essential components can cause a major drop in its price. The appraiser will provide you with a condition grade for assessing the functional and physical conditions. Bringing back the shine of your watch can help bring its value up.

Though there are exceptions, such as military-issue vintage watches like the Rolex 1675 GMT Master 1275, most timepieces are valued higher if they have more of their original parts in place, despite signs of wear. Moreover, vintage timepieces with an aging patina that shows their natural aging are valued by watch collectors because of the character this patina brings to the watch. However, it is crucial that despite having signs of age, the watch should function perfectly to be deemed worthy of a high price tag in the eyes of appraisers and collectors.

Tip #4: Take Excellent Pictures of Your Watch

Whether you intend to sell your watch online or not, it pays to gain maximum visibility for any piece that you intend to sell. Make sure that the photos you take accurately reflect the pristine condition to which you have restored your watch and enhance its endearing traits. Posting those photos through various online channels will make your piece more visible to collectors and potential buyers. If you are lucky, it might end up being seen by someone who searches explicitly for this particular watch. Moreover, you may consider dropping a call to reputed watch buyers who may see your photos and take a second look at your watch. They may have contacts or clients who are looking for this specific model. 

Tip #5: Look for a Reputable Dealer Who Will Pay a Fair Price for Your Watch

Rolex Submariner Date Stainless Steel w/ Black Dial & Rotatable Bezel

If you have an ultra-rare historical watch, auction houses may be viable options for you to consider selling your watch. However, prepare for the commissions, which may bring down your take-home pay for any deals made for your watch. Selling online on your own does not mean you intend to finalize the sale through this channel. Instead, use this as a platform to test the market for its demand. 

The best way to sell your watch is to look for a reputable dealer who is entirely honest about how much your watch is worth. They value their reputation for honesty, professionalism, and buyer/seller experience more than squeezing a profit from the watch you sell. Diamond Source NYC, for instance, is among the top watch appraisers who can help you accurately and fairly determine the expected base price of your watch. 

Final Thoughts: 

When selling your watch, it pays to be as informed as your market about the particular model you are considering selling. That way, you can prepare your wristwatch and present it in the best way possible to make it more attractive to prospective buyers. Moreover, one of the most critical aspects of selling your watch is looking for a reputable dealer renowned for honesty, professionalism, and an eye for detail. With decades of experience in appraising watches, watch buyers such as Diamond Source NYC ensure that you get the best price for your wristwatch. We will even give you advice on how to enhance its value so that you can get the most when you sell. To learn more about selling your watch or jewelry, visit this page for more details. If you plan to sell your watch now, call us at (212) 730-5959. If you are in the area, visit our store so we can give you a same-day assessment.