How Much Is My Watch Worth? How to Value Your Timepiece
Interested in knowing how much your watch is worth? Learn how to value your timepiece with Frost of London.
If you own a luxury watch — perhaps one made by a prestigious brand like U-Boat or Franck Muller — it probably cost you a few thousand pounds. If you’ve owned the timepiece for a few years and you’re ready to add a new piece to your collection, you might be asking yourself, “how much is my watch worth?”. By analysing a few factors, you’ll be able to get a much better understanding of your watch’s value.
Why Should You Value Your Watch?
Not only can learning how to value your watch help you appreciate the watchmaking craft, but it can also help you make smarter investments. If you’re planning on adding a luxury timepiece to your collection, understanding the different factors that make certain watches more valuable can help you pick out a unique piece that could make you money in future.
There are plenty of examples of people receiving life-changing valuations of their vintage luxury watches. Esteemed brands like Rolex — and their customised counterpart Blaken — tend to see a dramatic increase in value over time, especially if they’re kept in good condition. But why is this?
How to Determine the Value of Your Watch
Valuing a watch isn’t as simple as checking the brand and whether or not it works — there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration when valuing a timepiece. The three main ways of determining a watch’s value are:
- The Make and Model of the Watch
It’s often the case that luxury watches increase in value rather than diminish in worth. A watch created by a luxury brand such as Rolex, Franck Muller or U-Boat will hold its value across time, much more so than a timepiece from a less notable watchmaker. This is one of the reasons why collecting luxury watches is so enjoyable — your assets won’t depreciate if they’re kept in good working order.
If you’re able to locate the unique serial number on the watch, this can be incredibly helpful in the valuation process. Knowing the serial number can help valuers identify the exact year of manufacture, as well as other important information about the watch that will have an impact on its value. This unique reference can usually be found somewhere on the back or side of the watch, but sometimes you’ll need to remove the watch’s strap to see it.
- The Original Box and Documentation for the Watch
If you have the original box and papers that accompanied your watch at the time of purchase, this will dramatically increase the chances of being able to sell your watch for a high price. The original documentation can help to prove that the watch is genuine, and a record of the original purchase price will help further prove the watch’s value.
Potential buyers can be put off if you don’t have the original papers, as they won’t have a guarantee that your watch is genuine. Fortunately, all of the watches sold at Frost of London come with full documentation, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to make a sound investment that could prove fruitful in years to come.
- The Watch’s Overall Condition
The better the condition of the watch, the higher its value is likely to be. Watches can pick up everyday wear-and-tear, especially if you enjoy wearing your watch regularly. This is normal — after all, watches should be worn and enjoyed — but serious damage like a cracked watch face or broken components will have a significant impact on how much your watch is worth.
Accidents happen, which is why we offer an after-sales service with the sale of any Franck Muller watch. We’ll handle the process of repairing your luxury watch, saving you the hassle of getting in touch with the manufacturer.
What Can Make a Watch More Valuable?
If your watch was made by a reputable manufacturer, is in good condition and has all the original documentation, you might be in possession of a highly valuable timepiece. At this stage, it’s recommended that you get a second opinion and a formal valuation from a reputable jeweller.
If you don’t have the original box or you’re unsure of the watch’s model, there are a few other factors that affect your watch’s worth:
- The Age of the Watch
Vintage luxury watches — typically watches over 25 years old — need extra care and attention. They’re more prone to issues with their functions, as the oil that keeps the components lubricated can eventually dry up (which can lead to timekeeping issues), and other things can go wrong too. But a watch’s age can work in your favour, especially if it was made by a prestigious brand. Getting a professional valuation for an inherited watch or a family heirloom might earn you a lot of money.
- The Watches Servicing History
If you have a watch that’s over five years old, you might’ve taken it to be serviced, especially if there was an issue with one of its functions. Service history documentation can help prove that the watch has been looked after, but that doesn’t mean you need to rush out and get your nearly new luxury watch serviced — especially if your watch is in perfect working order. Servicing simply helps keep your watch in good shape.
- Limited-Edition Pieces and Celebrity Affiliations
Limited-edition timepieces can often be valued significantly higher than standard watches. Having a limited run of watches can increase the demand for given pieces due to their rarity. Plus, if your specific make and model of watch is synonymous with a celebrity, it can dramatically increase its potential sale price. In 2017, the actor Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona sold for over $17 million, making it the most expensive Rolex ever sold at auction.
What Are the Most Valuable Watches?
Watches that retain the highest value are those that are made by prestigious manufacturers, such as Franck Muller, U-Boat and Blaken. It’s also important that watches be kept in pristine condition to maximise their value to potential buyers. Limited-edition watches, such as the Cvstos Challenge Jetliner II or the limited run of the Franck Muller V45 Vanguard Chrono could see a dramatic rise in value over their lifetimes, making them a sound investment for any collector or luxury watch connoisseur.
If you still have your watch’s original documentation, this can also be a sizable factor when determining its worth. Luxury watch brands typically hold their value a lot better than less prestigious brands, as they’re perceived to be valuable collector’s items, especially if they’re a limited-edition model.
Who Can Value a Watch?
You can do your own research by checking online listings for similar watches to yours and finding out what watches like yours are currently retailing for. Alternatively, you can take your watch to a jeweller who could give you an approximate valuation.
Be aware that online prices can often be higher than what a jeweller will offer. This is mainly due to the fact that selling a luxury watch online will likely gain the attention of international buyers, not just those within the country. Jewellers also need to factor in their own costs to make a profit on the watch you sell to them, but this is, in essence, saving you time in finding a buyer.
Whether your watch was bought as a gift and you’re unaware of its price or you’re hoping to cash-in on a long-term investment, we’re proud to offer a huge selection of creations from world-renowned watchmakers.
Looking for your next luxury watch? Why not explore our astonishing collection of luxury timepieces from some of the world’s most renowned watchmakers, including Blaken, U-Boat, Franck Muller and Cvstos.