Written By: Vahid Moradi
Whether you’re saying goodbye to an old family heirloom, selling a watch you just don’t wear anymore, trying to discover exactly how much your watch is worth can be a tall task.
Often, there are a multitude of contributing factors that determine fair value for the wrist watch you are selling. While some of these factors, like physical condition and authenticity, might be obvious, there are other factors like market demand and comparable sales that may not be as commonly considered.
The best part about selling your watch is knowing that you have an expert like CJ Charles in your corner to help you sell your watch for maximum value. In this guide, we will go over some of the criteria that help establish watch value. That way, when you bring your watch such as a used Rolex for sale into CJ Charles for a quote, you already have an idea of how much your watch is worth.
The Best Brands Fetch The Best Prices
When it comes to finding out how much your watch is worth, the brand has a lot to do with the price your watch will fetch. For example, it is simply to say that the retail price of certain watches is generally higher on average than some of their counterparts.
Brand accessibility will play a role in how much a watch is sold for, both retail and resale such as in the case of most Cartier watch dealers. A used Patek Phillipe that depreciates is probably still going to be worth more than a Rolex that has appreciated. This is because the retail price of the Patek Philippe was much higher than the retail price of the Rolex, to begin with.
Remember, this is not an article about which luxury watch brand is the best long-term purchase. It is simply a guide to establishing all the factors which help determine how valuable your watch is.
If you want to learn more about selling your Rolex watch, read our guide on how to sell a Rolex watch.
Overall Condition And Market Demand
The condition of your timepiece will play a big part in how much it is worth. It is usually easy to tell if a watch has been well cared for. Used luxury watches in good resale condition typically do not show signs of egregious wear and still function properly. This is not to say that there can’t be any signs of wear. In fact, watches with an honest patina commonly sell for more than their counterparts. More on honest patina in the next section.
A quick check-up by a watch specialist like those at CJ Charles can give further insight into the condition of the internal mechanisms. While many believe that the resale value of a vintage watch is all about the exterior, it’s really more about what’s under the hood.
Finally, market demand plays a large role in determining the final price your watch can fetch. If the market is flooded with a certain kind of watch, then it may be harder to receive top dollar for your timepiece. On the other hand, your pre owned watch could easily be sold for more than its actual value if there is a gap in the market for that particular brand or model.
Patina And Age: Why A Well Worn Watch Is Actually Desirable
It has become very en-vogue for a modern watch collector to target a watch with an “honest patina.” Patina refers to the natural aging of the watch. Things like natural discoloration due to years of skin contact, light but distinguished scratching on the underside of the case and face, and even slight discoloration in the watch hands or face itself all speak to honest patina.
There are those who try to create patina using tricks like rubbing steel wool across the watch or by leaving it exposed to ultra-bright light for long periods to encourage fading. Typically these types of patina-induced tactics are easy to spot, especially when viewing the watch next to a watch that has an honest patina.
While a well-aged watch, such a Panerai pre owned watch, is currently a more desirable asset, there is something to be said for an old watch that is in mint condition. In fact, there are many collectors who would pay even more for an older/vintage watch that is closer to mint than it is to an honest patina.
Box and Papers: The Necessity For Provable Authenticity
Receiving maximum value for your watches hinges on the seller’s ability to establish and prove authenticity. Having original box and papers aides in the process of authenticating a timepiece.
Let this be a lesson for all those who buy a brand new watch: never throw away the box or papers!
Even if you think that you will have your watch forever, there are always unforeseeable circumstances where the watch could be up for sale. When it comes to the resale of fine watches, the box and papers make a big difference in how much you are able to get for your luxury watch.
Rare Finds: Pop Culture’s Obsession With All Things Unobtainable
Every watch owner dreams that their old vintage watch is some sort of “rare find.” Unfortunately, the reality is that most vintage watches are just old and not much more.
This is not to say that an old vintage watch can’t be beautiful or worth a good bit of money. It simply means that the vast majority of vintage watches don’t carry the same gravitas as something that is truly special.
In the case that your watch is a “rare find,” CJ Charles would be more than happy to take a look at your watch and be interested buyers in the timepiece.
Looking At Comparable Sales Will Establish The Most Accurate Quote
One of the last things a CJ Charles professional will do when determining the true market value of your watch is to look at comparable sales. This is done through a combination of looking at sales within the CJ Charles system, looking at online watch sites, auctions, and even checking with other professionals within the industry.
Using our resource of data, we can establish an average sale price for watches like yours. This average will set the baseline allowing the other factors like authenticity, condition, and rarity to push the price above or below the average sale price.
Comparable sales are not an exact science. Sometimes the market is flooded with a particular kind of watch. Even if a watch is vintage or even quite rare, there is a possibility that the presence of other options on the available market will drive the price down.
Comparable sales is the missing puzzle piece that allows the experts at CJ Charles to give you the best possible insight into the real value of your watch. If you want to know how much your watch is worth, looking at comparable sales with the experts at CJ Charles is key.
CJ Charles Can Tell You How Much Your Watch Is Really Worth
All of the internet research, asking friends, and taking offers won’t get you the type of clear-cut answer you will get from CJ Charles. The best way to determine how much your watch is really worth is to bring it in for one of our watch experts to assess and appraise.
Our luxury watch experts have the tenure and experience to carefully study the nuances of your watch and then establish a real value based on the current market, the condition of the piece, and the availability of such a watch.
If you truly believe your watch is a valuable commodity, why would you trust it to anyone except the experts at CJ Charles? We understand fine jewelry, and we have a special affinity for many types of watches. Whether you are looking to sell, interested in a quote, or just curious about what your watch is worth, CJ Charles will help you figure out exactly how much your watch is worth.
Written By: Vahid Morai
Vahid Moradi’s lifelong passion, dedication, and commitment for the jewelry industry led him to become the respected owner of CJ Charles Jewelers in 1988. From that moment, Moradi’s single focus in business was to become recognized as the pinnacle of value and world-class quality in the his Community. Over 34 years later, CJ Charles continues to grow and thrive as a successful, family-owned business that consistently provides exceptional service to all their clientele.