How to Value Watches

Do you have a watch that you would like to learn more about? Would you like to learn the value of a piece you inherited? Perhaps you would simply wish to acquire some knowledge regarding an old family collection.


close up view of watch face

Watches have been a staple item of fashion and elegance for over a hundred years. Their practicality, timeless class, and sense of luxury impresses buyers and collectors across the world. Both men and women alike are able to admire watches and the many impressive qualities that they have to offer. From antique pieces to cutting edge technological of the modern age to classics like the Rolex Oyster, there is undoubtedly a perfect watch for anyone and everyone. Would you like to learn more about how to value your watch? Here are some tips and suggestions to assist you in doing so.

Related: Buyers Guide to Watches

Brand name

The first aspect of your watch that will be pivotal in determining its monetary is the maker and brand name. Rolex, Omega, and TAG Heuer are a few of the brands that will attract the highest prices. Even when watches from brands such as these are used or secondhand, the sheer force of their brand recognition will have a great impact on their worth. Most often such examples will retain their wholesale value on the secondhand market, and this may even increase over time. On the other hand, fashionable but short lived trendy watches will be less likely to retain their worth in the long run.

Check The Latest Watch Auctions At Barnebys Here!

In order to identify the brand and maker of your watch, it is always easiest when the item is accompanied by its original packaging, manuals, and bill of sale. Otherwise there might be warranty papers or a certificate of origin which are equally effective in determining the maker and authenticity of your watch. However, while having these accessories certainly does simplify the process, it is not necessarily crucial in identifying your watch. Other techniques that may be used are observing the name on the watch as well as any engraved numbers and letters and typing the results into a Google search. Some brands employ sequential serial numbering systems that will be able to illuminate the year of make for their models.

Related: Buyers Guide to Rolex Watches

man wearing golden watch

Man wearing a golden watch, Image: Public Domain


The next most important quality of your watch in regards to its value is the condition. If the piece bears any apparent physical damage or has missing or faulty parts that compromise its appearance or functionality, its monetary worth will be negatively affected. The closer to like-new condition the watch is, the more valuable it will be. A watch sold with all of its original packaging and accessories will also always be worth more. However if the watch is a particularly sought after antique piece, its rarity and demand may compensate for some hindrances in its quality. Some collectors actually enjoy the presence of a patina, or thin layer of discoloration from aging on the face of the watch, as it can add a certain quality of character to a piece.

Related: Learn About Longines

"Sometimes if a piece is associated with a famous person who has endorsed it, its value will rise significantly."

Rarity & other factors

Another one of the more important factors in determining the worth of your watch is its rarity, or how many watches of the same model are still in circulation. If your item is special edition, had a limited production run, or is simply old enough that most others haven’t survived the test of time, buyers will be much more motivated to pay large sums of money to acquire a piece that is owned by a very small amount of other people. 

Sometimes if a piece is associated with a famous person who has endorsed it, its value will rise significantly. For example, in 1971 Rolex was beginning to slow down production of their Submariner model but when Steve McQueen wore one in the movie Le Mans, their popularity skyrocketed and today one must pay upwards of £200,000 to own one. 

Related: Q & A with ValueMyStuff's Clock & Watch expert


While the above suggestions will be able to guide you in finding the value for your watch, the only truly fool proof way to attain an accurate estimate for the worth of your item is to consult an expert. A professional will be able to use their years of experience and expertise to provide you with the most accurate value as possible. Here at Value My Stuff there are experts in the field that will be able to offer their services in professional appraisal and valuation so you can embark on your journey to have your watch valued today!

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