Why isn't my watch worth more?

April 18, 2018

By Kate Pearce

It is one of the most difficult things to explain to a client that their favorite old timepiece from their aged relative is only worth the "value in utility" that is, the watch (maybe) tells time.  The secondary market for watches is mostly limited to the premium brands - Rolex®, Patek Philippe® Breuguet ® etc. and then only if it is in decent condition. Most of what is presented to me are the "steel backs" - quartz battery operated - with plated finishes and steel metal snap backs. The market for old pocket watches and fancy period wrist watches of gold and platinum are most often determined by their intrinsic or "melt value".  When requested to perform an appraisal on time pieces, I will do an  preliminary evaluation, and explain that my time may be worth more than the item, before my clock starts to tick!

One piece of advice I like to share is that it is very important to write and record the history of the items you have. Often a verified story can add value to the item.