Yo, Diamond Buyer, What’s My Watch Worth?

RolexAsking a question like ‘what’s my watch worth’ is like meeting someone who is a realtor and asking them how much your house is worth without them inspecting it. The reason why I am saying this is because it is all in the details.

I get asked all the time, what’s my watch worth or how much will you give me for my Rolex, when I haven’t seen the watch, don’t know the model number or year and don’t have a clue if the watch even runs! There are quite a few factors that go into evaluating what I am going to pay you for your watch, so before you ask me “What’s my watch worth,” read my watch list!

‘What’s My Watch Worth’ Watch List

Brand. I hate to be a brand snob, but when it comes to valuing your watch I don’t have a choice. If you go to sell your car, you will get more for a Mercedes than a Ford. Same with your watch.  Of course, I like to purchase Tag Heuer’s and Omega’s just as much as Rolex and Cartier, but that is the first thing that I look for.  And, it’s important to note, that sometimes your lower to mid-end watches will be worth more than your higher-end watches!

Age. Age doesn’t always work against you, in fact, much of the time with watches, it can work in your favor, as many vintage watches raise in value, but once again, it goes back to brand and condition of what you have. It also goes to popularity of what you have. If you have a watch that no one has ever heard of, but is worth a ton of money, I won’t be able to resell it because the market is too small, so it won’t be worth as much to me.

Inner Workings. Then I break open the back of the watch to make sure that the parts are not only all original, but that the watch is real and not a replica. These days, the replicas get better and better, and although it isn’t easy to put a fast one by me, there are times that taking a look at the inner workings reassures me that my instincts are still working.

Condition of Inner Workings. Once the watch is open and I can see it is original, I now take a look to see if everything is running, as it should be. I calculate how much it will cost me to clean it up and get it working if it isn’t working, and if it is working, the actual condition of what is there and what are the chances that it should or will need to be replaced.

Materials. Is your house made of brick, wood or sticks? Just like the Big Bad Wolf I want to know if it is gold, stainless, mother of pearl, diamonds and all of these make a difference. Why? Because if it is gold, it is worth more because the price of gold is high right now, and gold is always worth more than stainless, just like a diamond bezel will resell better than a watch without diamonds.

Crystal, Bezel, Crown and Other Features. Another way you can say this is Scratches, Chips, Nice and Tight and Bells and Whistles.  Everything on a watch can be replaced, but the more that I have to replace, the less your watch is worth to me.

The Band. Is it loose, is it old, does it smell, is it scratched, is it dirty? I give it the “shake” test. I grab the face of the watch and if the band is a bracelet, I shake the face to see how loose the bracelet is from the face.  If it wiggles and jiggles, it is loose and although I might buy the entire watch, I am really just paying you for the face, because I am going to scrap the bracelet.

Box and Papers. If you have the box and papers for your watch, it is always worth more.  All things being equal and all things being unequal, your watch is worth more to me with the original box and paperwork that it came with. Period. So, hang onto the box and papers. Put it on a shelf, stick it in a shoebox, just don’t throw it away!

So, as you can see, you can’t just ask me “What’s my watch worth” without me taking out my special tools and practically taking your watch apart and doing my research.  What I can tell you is that once I do all of this, I can tell you almost exactly what your watch is worth.

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Sergio About Sergio

Sergio Nuncio has been a diamond and watch buyer for over 20 years. He loves valuating fine estate jewelry, diamonds, watches and gold. When Sergio isn't working with diamonds, he is working on his salt water aquarium, fishing or spending time with his wife and children.

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