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Watch Value Guide

watch value guideMen’s Watches:  Watches are more straight forward (versus jewelry) to determine the Cash Market Value but still present complex challenges.  An important place to start is with the company that made the watch.  There are numerous watch brands that enjoy very high resale value and several stand out more than others.  Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, Jaeger- LeCoultre, Panerai and Audemars Piguet.  There are literally hundreds of different watch brands and many of them enjoy good to very high Cash Market Value.  

Watches, like all merchandise, is marked up by retailers (stores).  The wholesale cost of a watch is anywhere from 40% – 70% less than the retail price.  So that means a $10,000 watch will only cost the retailer (store) anywhere between $3,000 and $6,000.  Those costs are for a brand new watches with all boxes and papers.  So obviously a used watch will likely have a Cash Market Value less than the wholesale cost of a new one.  Mechanical watches (automatic or manual wind) will almost always be worth more than watches that have a battery.  Many people have at least one good watch and for many men, that is their one piece of good jewelry.  So watch companies tend to put more attention on men’s watches.

Rolex and Patek Philippe are in a class by themselves.  If you own one of these and it’s in good condition you will most probably be pleased with the Cash Market Value.  These two watch brands enjoy wonderful Cash Market Value for two main reasons.  First and foremost, they both build high quality, attractive watches.  Secondly, they both do a wonderful job of advertising and controlling production.  The end result is that there is more demand than supply, so Cash Market Values are high.  But even within these two brands there are significant different values which depends most importantly on… exact model number, condition, watch features and accessories (boxes, papers and tools).  Let’s dive into the details a little more.  For an example let’s talk about the Rolex Submariner.  That model was first introduced in 1954 and it was available in 3 different models with different features.  Since then, the Rolex Submariner has changed 20 times, each different model has changes and a different model number.  So just knowing it’s a Rolex Submariner, would not be enough information to determine Cash Market Value.  

The condition has to be considered, watches in like new condition with all boxes and paperwork will enjoy the highest Cash Market Values.  While watches that are significantly worn, dented, scratched, not keeping time and/or missing the box and papers will have a lower value.  In the case of the Rolex Submariner models are certified to be water resistant to various depths and some Submariner’s have a date, while others do not.  Even “fine” watches that are broken or do not keep time will have cash value.  The original box and papers will increase the Cash Market Value.

The watch features will also play a role.  Examples of additional features include; a second hand, a chronograph (stopwatch), day, month, date, repeater, power reserve, moonphase, day/night indicator, ceramic dial, porcelain dial, split second, alarm, quick adjust band, deployment buckle and many others.  These watch features (also called complications) make the mechanical watch movement more complex and therefore demand higher prices.  Many pocket watches also enjoy high Cash Market Values and the same general guidelines apply.  Brand, model number and condition dictate the Cash Market Value.

Women’s Watches:  Many (but certainly not all) women’s watches do not have high Cash Market Values.  The reason is that most women’s watch brands focus on fashion rather than mechanical complexity and size.  Women’s watch fashion also changes more often.  There are of course many watches made by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, Audemars Piguet and others which do have high cash market values.  Watches with mechanical movements are typically worth more than watches that have a battery.  There are women’s pendant watches which often have very good Cash Market Value because many of them are sold gold.  There are also gold or platinum diamond watches which have great Cash Market Value.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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