Timeless Investments: How to Sell Your Watch for The Best Resale Value

Seller's Corner
Timeless Investments: How to Sell Your Watch for The Best Resale Value

Are you a watch owner looking to sell your luxury timepiece? Whether you're upgrading to a newer model or simply need extra cash, selling your used watch is always a good option. However, selling a watch is not always straightforward. It requires careful research, preparation, and strategizing to ensure you're getting the best possible price for your timepiece.


In this blog, we will guide you through the process of selling your luxury-brand watch for the highest resale value. We'll discuss how to determine the value of your watch, how to find the best buyers or platforms, and how to prepare your watch for sale.


We know that selling a watch can be a daunting task, but we'll provide you with expert insights and tips to make the process as smooth and profitable as possible. With our help, you can rest assured that you'll be able to sell your luxury-brand watch for the best possible price. So whether you're a seasoned collector or a first-time seller, keep reading to learn how to maximize the value of your watch.


Determine The Value of Your Watch

Watches come in all shapes and sizes, from ones bought on a whim to those passed down for generations to come. No matter how significant your watch is to you, determining its value is crucial if you plan on selling it. The process can seem overwhelming at first, but there are two key ways to go about it: researching past sales of similar watches or consulting with a reputable appraiser. The method you choose will depend on your watch's rarity, condition, brand, and other factors that will ultimately determine its market value.


Here are the top five luxury brand watches that have a great resale value:


  1. Rolex Daytona: The Rolex Daytona is a highly sought-after watch that has seen a significant increase in value over the years. According to recent reports, investments in Rolex watches have beaten out houses, gold, and the Dow Jones average over the past few years. In March of 2022, the price of a second-hand Rolex Daytona watch peaked at an impressive $48,500. CEO of Bob's Watches, Paul Altieri says that some models are worth two or three times their retail price when leaving the store.


  1. Patek Philippe Nautilus: For watch enthusiasts, the Patek Philippe Nautilus is a true icon. This luxury sports watch first debuted in 1976, and since then, its popularity has only continued to grow. The watch's signature rounded octagonal face and sleek design make it a favorite amongst collectors. But the Nautilus isn't just beautiful to look at—it's also a smart investment. Over the past five years, the Patek Philippe 57111A has delivered an average ROI of 788%, making it one of the savviest investments in the luxury watch market.


  1. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak: The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is an iconic timepiece that has become a must-have for collectors and watch enthusiasts alike. Boasting a unique steel case, octagonal bezel, and “Tapisserie” dial, this watch makes an aesthetically and technical statement. But what may surprise many is the notable return on investment that an investment in the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak can yield. Recent statistics reveal an average ROI of 21.87% across a seven-year period, making it a smart purchase for those looking to own a piece of history while also financially benefitting down the line.


  1. Omega Speedmaster: The Omega Speedmaster is a luxury watch that has been around since 1957. It was the first watch to be worn on the moon and is still considered one of the most iconic watches in the world. Generally, vintage models have seen a significant increase in value over time and are considered to be good investments. The Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch, for example, has seen an average ROI of around 200%. Other popular models such as the Seamaster and Speedmaster Silver have also seen increases in value over time.


  1. Cartier Tank: The Cartier Tank has a rich history that spans over a century. It was originally designed by Louis Cartier in 1917 and was inspired by the design of a World War I tank. The watch's unique design and heritage make it a highly desirable watch among collectors. The watch is also relatively rare, with production numbers kept low to maintain its exclusivity. According to a 2021 report by Chrono24, the Cartier Tank is one of the top 10 most-searched-for watches on their platform, demonstrating the high level of customer demand for this classic timepiece.


Research Other Online Marketplaces

Chrono24 is a marketplace for luxury watches that also provides a comprehensive database of watch models and their market values. You can search for your watch model on the website and see its estimated value based on its condition.


WatchRecon is a search engine that aggregates listings from various watch forums and marketplaces. You can search for your watch model and see what similar watches are being listed for on different platforms.


eBay is a popular marketplace for buying and selling watches. You can search for completed listings of your watch model to see what it has sold for in the past.


WatchBox is a luxury watch retailer that also provides valuations for watches. You can submit information about your watch on their website and receive a free valuation.


Christie's and Sotheby's: If you have a particularly valuable or rare watch, you may want to consider consulting with an auction house like Christie's or Sotheby's. They can provide expert valuations and help you sell your watch through their auctions.


The RealReal is an online luxury consignment store that specializes in selling authenticated pre-owned designer items, including clothing, accessories, jewelry, and home goods. It offers a sustainable way for consumers to purchase high-end products at a fraction of their original retail price.


You might also like: Luxury Consignment: How to Sell With The RealReal


Remember to compare the values you find across different sources to get a better understanding of the market value of your watch. Additionally, consider the condition of your watch and any unique features it may have when determining its value.


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Clean and Service Your Watch

A watch can be more than just an accessory; it can also be an investment. But just like any investment, it requires maintenance to keep it in top condition. Cleaning and servicing your watch is not only crucial for its longevity, but it can also increase its resale value. By taking your watch to a professional watchmaker, you can be sure that it will be thoroughly cleaned and in good working order. Plus, a well-maintained watch is a sign of a responsible and trustworthy owner, which can be a selling point for potential buyers.


There are several options for cleaning and servicing your luxury watch, depending on your watch's brand and model. Here are a few options:


Authorized service centers: Many luxury watch brands have authorized service centers where you can take your watch for cleaning and servicing. These centers are staffed by trained professionals who specialize in the specific brand and model of your watch. You can typically find authorized service centers by visiting the brand's website or contacting their customer service department.


Independent watchmakers: Independent watchmakers are also an option for cleaning and servicing your luxury watch. These professionals may have expertise in a range of watch brands and models and can provide personalized service. You can search for independent watchmakers in your area or online.





Local Jewelers: Some local jewelers may also offer watch cleaning and servicing, particularly for more common luxury watch brands. However, be sure to research the jeweler's expertise and experience with luxury watches before entrusting them with your valuable timepiece.


Online services: There are also online services specializing in watch cleaning and servicing. You can ship your watch to them, and they will clean and service it before returning it to you. Some popular online watch services include WatchRepair.net and Manhattan Time Service.


When choosing a service provider, be sure to research their reputation and expertise with your specific watch brand and model. Additionally, consider factors like turnaround time, pricing, and warranty or guarantee policies. A properly cleaned and serviced luxury watch can retain its value and performance, so it's important to choose a service provider who can provide high-quality work.


Choose The Right Marketplace to Sell Your Watch

While online marketplaces like eBay and Chrono24 can be great options, you'll want to consider sites that have a reputation for selling high-end timepieces. Auction houses like Christie's and Sotheby's are reliable choices, as they have a global reach and attract some of the most affluent collectors in the world. These platforms are more cumbersome to use than online marketplaces, but they offer the added benefit of professional appraisals and expertly curated sales.


How to get started selling your luxury watch through Christie's or Sotheby's:


  1. Begin by requesting a free auction estimate from Christie's to determine whether your item is suitable for sale with them.


  1. After a free auction estimate from Christie's, a specialist from their team will reach out to you to discuss potential estimates, advise you about sale dates, and provide an explanation of the commission structure and Seller's Agreement.


  1. After signing the Seller's Agreement, make arrangements for delivering your item to Christie's saleroom or warehouse. You can seek assistance from Christie's for this process, or they can connect you with reliable local shippers.


  1. Christie's specialists will handle every aspect of the process, including cataloging your property and marketing it to potential buyers around the world.


  1. Experience the thrill of the sale day by either attending in person or following online via Christie's Live.


You will receive payment for the final sale price minus commission fees.


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How to get started selling your luxury watch through eBay:


  1. Take clear and detailed photos and videos of your watch to showcase its features and condition. Make sure to take photos of the front, back, and sides of the watch, as well as any special features or markings. It might be a good idea to hire a professional photographer to do this for you!


  1. Write a detailed description of your watch, including its brand, model, year, condition, and any special features. Highlight any unique aspects of the watch that may make it more desirable to potential buyers.


  1. Price your watch competitively based on its market value and condition. Avoid overpricing your watch as this may deter potential buyers, but don't underprice it either as this could result in lost profit.


  1. Be open to negotiating with potential buyers, but make sure you're willing to sell the watch at a fair price. Don't be afraid to decline offers that are too low.


  1. Once you've agreed on a sale, package your watch securely and ship it using a reliable courier service. Make sure to include tracking and insurance to protect your watch during transit.


You might also like: 10 Great Marketplaces Every Reseller Should Consider


Determining if you should sell your watch on eBay or enlist a professional to handle the entire sales process ultimately depends on your level of risk tolerance. While the option to sell on eBay may seem tempting, the risk of running into scammers is far too great. Taking it to an auction house like Christie's is a smart choice. The downside is that auction houses charge commission fees (more than eBay), but the good news is that they also have the expertise to realize the full resale potential of your watch.


If you're thinking of investing in a luxury brand watch, it's important to do your research beforehand. Not every high-end watch is a watch that will appreciate over time, and you don't want to end up with a depreciating asset on your hands.


To maximize your investment potential, it's crucial to keep your timepiece in pristine condition by taking it for regular maintenance. Even after taking all these precautions, choosing the right platform to sell your watch can make all the difference in how much money you receive.


If you want to get top dollar for your timepiece, consider selling it on a luxury platform like Chrono24, Christie's (if that's an option for you), or The RealReal. These platforms attract the right buyers who are willing to pay top dollar for a well-maintained, high-quality watch.


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