How To Increase The Value Of Your Watch

In today’s market, where the demand for luxury watches is so high, there’s never been a better time to make some extra cash by selling your watch. Unlike some other assets, luxury watches from elite brands such as Rolex and Omega rarely depreciate in value, and depending on the style and model you have, you could find that your luxury accessory is worth far more now than when you first bought it. There’s a collectability factor that comes with watches, making them a great investment that can fetch a high price. 

However, while these types of watches tend to hold onto their resale value, that’s not to say you can’t increase the value even more through proper care and attention. Many watch collectors and watch buyers will pay more for pre-owned timepieces that have been serviced regularly and are in great working condition, meaning that taking care of your watch could get you a higher price when you come to sell. Here are a few tips on how you can increase the value of your watch and fetch a higher price on the resale market. 

How Can I Increase The Value Of My Watch?

1. Keep it in great working condition

Keeping your watch in great working condition is the best way to prepare it for sale. A watch buyer is always going to seek out a watch in good working condition, that they can wear themselves or sell on again in the future if they so wish, so a timepiece that is in pristine condition will yield more money compared to the same model in poor condition. So, if you want to increase the value of your watch, you need to make sure that any damage or blemishes are repaired and that you keep the watch in good condition – ideally in its original box.

Take it in for a service

A luxury watch should have regular servicing to keep its value over time but do your research, as the needs of different models will vary depending on the brand. Both Audemars Piguet and Rolex, for example, have ten significant steps in their maintenance, while Omega needs a surprising 26 servicing stages. Servicing your watch every two years is recommended to help the watch keep its value and will keep the watch in mint condition, which helps you get the best possible price when it comes to selling it. 

Protect it from damage

Damage, no matter how insignificant it might seem, can result in a significant reduction in a watch’s value. Therefore, protect your timepiece from scratches, avoid exposing it to harsh conditions, and ensure it is properly sealed to prevent water damage. Be mindful of the watch’s water resistance rating, and remember, even a small dent or scratch can cost you big when it comes to the resale value.

Avoid unnecessary alterations

While it may be tempting to personalise your watch, remember that any alterations can significantly diminish its value. Customisations, aftermarket additions, engravings, or swapping original parts with non-original ones can decrease the watch’s desirability. If possible, keep the watch as close to its original state as you can to preserve and even enhance its value.

Avoid polishing it

Polishing your watch may seem like the best way to keep it in mint condition and keep that alluring shine, but the opposite is true. Polishing a luxury watch without taking proper precautions can actually cause microscopic scratches to the surface of the watch, and this wears away the edges over time. In some cases, such as the signature lug twist on an Omega Speedmaster watch, the polish can blur these features.

While keeping the watch clean and well maintained is important, don’t overdo it with the polishing, as you could be doing more harm than good. 

2. Sell your watch within five years

While luxury watches hold a high value for many years, it’s difficult to predict the long-term value of any item precisely. Popular models such as the Rolex Submariner or the Paul Newman Daytona demand a decent resale price for the first five years of ownership, while more limited models such as the Omega Seamaster 300 ‘SPECTRE’ demand a higher price when sold within the first few years. So, if you want to earn a higher price for your watch, consider selling within the first three to five years of owning your luxury timepiece. 

3. Keep all original packaging & documents

It’s possible to sell a watch without the original documents, but it’s also true that a pre-owned watch with its original papers will fetch much more. If you’re aiming to get as much as possible for your luxury timepiece, having the paperwork to hand, such as the original box, servicing documents and any other relevant paperwork, will prove the authenticity of the piece and serve as evidence of the condition of the watch to the potential buyer. It also makes the selling process much more convenient for you. 

4. Keep up to date with market knowledge

Having a keen understanding of the watch market can undoubtedly help increase your watch’s value. Keep up-to-date with market trends, limited editions, discontinued models, and the demand for different brands. A sought-after model or a watch that becomes a classic can dramatically increase in value over the years.

What Watches Are Worth Selling?

The type and brand of watch you invest in can significantly impact its appreciation potential. Luxury watch brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet are known for their exceptional craftsmanship and timeless appeal, often resulting in their models retaining or even increasing in value over time. Researching and choosing a watch with a strong track record of value retention can be a wise move.

Final Notes

Luxury watches are a great investment and since the pandemic, they have grown in popularity and demand. Now’s the time to invest and to get the best possible price for your luxury timepiece, but make sure you follow these steps to get the best possible price for your watch. From servicing and maintenance to keeping any related documents to prove its authenticity, these tips will help you fetch the best price, whatever model of watch you have. 

If you would like more information about getting a great price for your watch, get in touch with the experts at The Watch Exchange. We have extensive experience in the industry and would be delighted to help you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of watches increase in value over time?

Typically, luxury or well-crafted timepieces from respected brands have a greater potential to increase in value over time. Notable examples include Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Omega, and Tag Heuer.

How can I maintain my watch to preserve its value?

Regular servicing and cleaning, careful handling to prevent scratches or damage, and storing your watch in a cool, dry place can help maintain its value.

Does the original packaging and documents increase the watch’s value?

Yes, having the original packaging, manuals, warranty cards, and any other documents or accessories that came with the watch can significantly increase its value.

How often should I service my watch to keep its value?

The frequency of service depends on the watch brand and model, but generally, a watch should be serviced every 3-5 years.

Can customisation increase the value of my watch?

Generally, customisation like engraving or replacing original parts decreases the value of the watch as collectors often prefer original, unaltered pieces. However, there might be exceptions based on the uniqueness or quality of the customization.

How does the rarity of a watch model affect its value?

Limited editions or discontinued models can increase in value due to their rarity. The fewer pieces of a model, the more likely it is to retain or gain value over time.

Does the material of the watch affect its value?

Yes, the material of the watch can significantly impact its value. Watches made from precious metals like gold or platinum are often more valuable than those made from stainless steel or other common materials.

How can I ensure I’m buying a watch that will increase in value?

While no one can predict the future with absolute certainty, choosing a reputable brand, a model with a history of value appreciation, and ensuring the watch is in excellent condition can increase the chances of the watch appreciating in value.

Will wearing my watch decrease its value?

Regular wear can lead to scratches or other damage that might decrease the watch’s value. However, if a watch is well-cared-for, normal wear should have a minimal impact on its value.

Is it necessary to insure my watch?

If you own a luxury or valuable timepiece, it might be wise to consider insuring it against loss, theft, or damage. Insuring your watch will be a personal decision based on the value of the watch and the cost of the insurance policy.