How to Value Your Vintage Watches

As a seasoned collector of vintage watches, chances are that you’ve developed a wealth of knowledge revolving around classic timepieces. But do you know how to properly value your collection? The reality is that it can be difficult trying to put a dollar figure on certain watches. In this blog post, we will go over some of our tips for determining the worth of some of your favorites.

Just last summer, Bloomberg put out an article explaining where to look and what specifically to look for when coming up with a value for your treasured timepieces. You never know when the market will start to cool, so be sure that you use these tips if you’ve been looking to cash in on a certain piece.

  1. Do some initial research - Start with the basics in the first step. Your online search should consist of any combination of words that appears on the dial. If the watch happens to be an heirloom, you could be facing a lot more work on your hands. During your research, you’ll more than likely find a variety of results. Keep in mind that all of these websites won’t have the most accurate or up-to-date market information. Do what you can to avoid feeling overwhelmed by using little facts to get moving in the right direction.
  2. Getting a ballpark value - Now that you have a general idea of your vintage watch, it’s time to get into the money conversation. Consider using for a relative value, along with Watchuseek and Timezone for a collectors-based approach. Again, try to stay in the middle of what you find. If you are the owner of what you believe is a watch in immaculate condition, there are several routes you can take. HQ Milton and Hodinkee’s online shop are recognized in the industry as the best in the vintage realm. It goes without saying that if there is any sort of damage to your piece, be sure to lower the professional sticker prices.
  3. Scour eBay with a grain of salt - In the article, it’s mentioned that many folks who use eBay as their primary source of research often think along the lines of: “Well, I saw one for sale on eBay recently for $X.” But really, that could just be an over-the-top asking price for the seller. Rather than browse listed prices on eBay, we advise putting your trust in watch-specific marketplaces instead.
  4. Condition, condition, condition - Now is the step where putting values on vintage watches becomes challenging. If you have paperwork associated with servicing or repair efforts, you’re going to want them at this point. It’s important to know that a full watch service for vintage models may cost at least $100, depending on your item.
  5. Ask the professionals - By now, the research is done, at least on your end. But don’t just take your timepiece to the local jewelry store thinking that you’ll get a decent offer. Instead, take the time to get in touch with a highly regarded auction house. The folks who work here have expertise in evaluating all sorts of vintage watches. Not only that, but they can provide a clear-cut answer if you believe that you’re the proud owner of a timepiece worth well into the thousands.    

Craft & Tailored - Expertise in Vintage Watches

Cameron Barr, the founder of Craft & Tailored, has been collecting and sourcing vintage timepieces for more than a decade. He has always loved things that possess history, quality, and a purpose. Not to mention, Cameron appreciates the idea of form meeting function, where something is beautifully designed while also providing actual purpose.

That’s where Cameron’s love of vintage watches lies. Today, he’s one of the industry’s leaders in high-end timepieces, such as Rolex, Heuer, Breitling, and others. As a self-proclaimed “watch nerd,” Cameron combines his love of watches and history.  Rest assured that each of our pieces has that exclusive, classic, and luxury feel that you desire in a vintage watch.

With an inventory that can’t be replicated, Craft & Tailored has just what you’ve been looking for, from rare Rolex timepieces and Tudor timepieces to Seiko timepieces and Omega timepieces.

Plus, if you’re ever looking to sell your vintage timepiece, please let us know. All we ask is that you provide the brand, model, asking price, and pictures.

Shop our selection today or contact us with any questions you may have.