How to get your antique or vintage watch valued

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Look around your home and you could just be sitting on a goldmine. If you’ve come across an old piece of jewellery, there’s a chance it could be valuable. Getting old watches valued isn’t the chore you might think it is – it could help you sell your old watch for a lot more than you thought.

How much does it cost to get antique and vintage watches valued?

The cost of finding out your old watches’ value is often part of the service when approaching a seller. You may find that antique collectors offer a free appraisal as part of the service when you try to sell to them, whether this is for an auction or an antiques dealer.

Of course, if it’s not for sale, then you may incur some cost. It’s possible to find out antique watches’ value online, for example, but you need to be careful when sending out photos. Likewise, you need to ensure the person valuing the items has a good reputation and isn’t a fraudster.

At Vintage Cash Cow, we offer a free valuation service whenever you sell a watch to us. We’ll offer you a cash price, or send the watch back if you’re not happy with the quote.

Sell your old watch to Vintage Cash Cow >

What are the best vintage watches to collect?

Perhaps you fancy yourself as a bit of a collector. This could certainly add up on the long run – often, it’s better to sell many watches together (particularly if they’re in bad condition) than sell one at a time. For the best value vintage watches, we recommend:

Rolex

The Rolex brand first came to be in 1908. Known for being the mark of successful athletes and celebrities, they are ranked as Forbes’ 71st most valuable brand in the world.

Do Rolex watches keep their value?

Many Rolex watches do appreciate over time, but as with most vintage items, it depends on the model you buy. Understandably, the rarest models have the biggest chance of appreciating, like the Submariner or Cosmograph Daytona.

 

Cartier

Known for their connections to the British royal family, Cartier has been producing jewellery since 1847. In 1938, they gifted one of the smallest wristwatches in the world to Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom.

Do Cartier watches hold their value?

 

Thanks to their unique design, featuring a square watch face and Roman numeral dials, Cartier watches hold their value extremely well. They’re also made from precious metals and are produced in Cartier’s own factories. Look out for models such as the Tank Francaise Auto or the Santos collection.

Tag

Like Cartier, Tag Heuer produce Swiss-made watches as well as other fashion accessories. Founded in 1860, Tag Heuer work with many famous brands such as Formula One, and use a chronograph (stopwatch and display watch) in their designs.

Do Tag watches hold value?

Tag watches are not generally considered as luxury a brand as others such as Rolexes. However, some models will appreciate a lot better than others, for example if they’re a limited edition like the Jack Heuer 80 Carrera.

 

Omega

Omega, now known as Omega SA, was founded in 1848 and is a popular watch brand among many celebrities. It has been the official timekeeper of the Royal Flying Corps since 1917.

Do Omega watches hold value?

Again, Omega doesn’t offer the same prestige as brands like Rolex, but their watches do hold their value. Thanks to their recent changes in manufacture, making their Co-Axial movements in-house, they can sell for even higher. Look out for the Seamaster, Speedmaster or the Constellation.

 

Patek Phillipe

Another favourite of the royals including Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II, Patek Philippe was founded in Switzerland in 1839. The Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication sold at auction in 2014 for $24 million.

Do Patek Phillipe watches appreciate?

You may struggle to get a Patek Phillipe in perfect condition due to the overwhelming number of parts. However, as seen above, they can sell for an incredible amount of money – particularly the Nautilus, Chronograph, and Aquanaus models.

It’s also worth looking at antique watches, which may be trickier to find. Antique is generally classed as anything more than 100 years old, so you’re far more likely to find a pocket watch, as wristwatches were not invented until 1838.

 

Where can I get my antique or vintage watch valued?

So now you know which watches hold their value best, it’s time to look at selling. There are a few options with valuing watches, all with varying costs.

Online evaluations

Perhaps the easiest method is to enter your watch’s serial number, or even just the make and condition, into an online evaluator. This may work if you’re short on time, but there are many factors which may decrease the final selling price. For example, if you’re using pictures, these aren’t always accurate, and the evaluator may be guessing. This is usually free but you’ll likely be expected to sell through the evaluator.

Antique dealers

Visiting a land-based dealer may be better if you’re looking for a few quotes. They can examine the watch in person and give you an overview of its background. Be mindful however that this can take time – often you may have to wait weeks for an appointment, and there is more likely to be a charge. You may also have to provide certificates of authenticity or other paperwork.

Value your watch with Vintage Cash Cow

At Vintage Cash Cow, we offer the best of both worlds. Send your watch securely to us via insured post, and our in-house experts will personally appraise your watch. If you’re not happy with the quote, we’ll send it back to you. We can even arrange a courier to collect it personally.

 

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