Unless you’re a watch enthusiast or a professional jeweler, you may run into trouble when trying to assess the monetary value of a watch you’ve just inherited. The watch may have sentimental value; it may have passed down in your family for generations, and so you may want to keep it. But if you’re interested in selling your newfound timepiece, Justin Martine-Frost from IOL provides some necessary steps for success:
1. Search Goggle images: search under any combination of words that appear on the dial, and add any information you might get from people close to whoever bought the watch (like when the watch was acquired). Once you have the make and model, you can move on.
2. Get a ballpark figure online: visit Chrono24.com, one of the largest aggregator sites for watch retailers in the world. The aggregate site Watchrecon is also a place to visit. Skip eBay completely, which Martine-Frost calls “the armpit of online watch sales” – full of sellers who just throw around astronomical prices.
3. Condition and documentation are key: does the watch run? Is it scratched? Does it have all its original parts? Get your watch serviced to find out as much as possible on its condition.
4. Go to a professional: you may be satisfied with the background research you’ve done and a ballpark figure, but only a pro can give you a more exact estimate. If your watch is worth thousands or tens of thousands, email one of the big auction houses (they all have in-house watch specialists) like Christie’s, Philips, Sotheby’s, and Auctionata, and they’ll tell you exactly how much your watch is worth.