Value My Watch: These Online Sources Will Tell You What Your Timepiece is Worth

Value My Watch: These Online Sources Will Tell You What Your Timepiece is Worth

We all love our watches, but in many collectors' lives there comes a time to part with a once-beloved timepiece — often in the service of acquiring an even more beloved one to replace it. And in that circumstance, even the most sentimental of us will turn our focus to the realities and practicalities of the marketplace. “How much is my watch worth?” becomes the burning question of every would-be seller, whether they’re eyeing an auction house like Sotheby’s or Phillips, an online marketplace like eBay, or a secondary-market resale giant like Chrono24 or WatchBox. Fortunately, in today’s well-served watch-enthusiast universe, there are many resources available to value your watch before selling it — most of which you can access without ever leaving the comfort of your sofa.

Rolex Watches for valuation

Of course, much like selling a car for its maximum return, it’s essential for the owner to do his or her homework. Hopefully, you still have all the watch’s original documentation, including the manual, the bill of sale, and the box that it came in, all of which will be helpful in determining the most important elements that factor into your watch’s resale value — i.e., its brand, model, age, and condition. Even if you don’t have all these original documents, however, you can still use the watch’s serial number or reference number, which is usually engraved somewhere on the case, as a starting point to track down more of these details. 

Rolex serial number case engraving

Once a seller is armed with as much knowledge about the age and provenance of the watch, the next step is a thorough and honest assessment of its condition — both from an aesthetic and functional standpoint. A full servicing of the watch before selling it can be beneficial, but it’s much better for the timepiece to have had regular servicing throughout its time in the seller’s possession. Replacing older parts, like the bracelet, crystal or bezel, can make an older watch look newer but could also diminish its value, especially if the older, replaced parts are rare. Scratches, dents, and other cosmetic defects must be taken into account and honestly evaluated as well. All together, these factors should paint a fairly accurate and well-rounded picture of the timepiece in question for any potential buyer that might be interested in it.  

eBay watch valuation

Unlike selling a car, however, there isn’t a Kelly Blue Book or any single universal authority on valuation to consult. Fortunately, there are multiple platforms, each with its own set of talking points, for potential sellers to consult, whether they’re private collectors, entrepreneurs, or professional retailers looking to maximize and/or optimize their secondary-market business. We spotlight some of the notable (and newer) ones below. 

WatchRecon homepage iOS

WatchRecon is an aggregator website that bills itself as “the most intelligent and comprehensive search engine for private watch sales.” While it is very basic and no-nonsense in its architecture, and doesn’t offer market-driven data to sellers, it is useful to a private seller as a real-time snapshot of what actual individual sellers are asking for pre-owned watches on sites like WatchUSeek, TimeZone, and Watchexchange. 

WatchPatrol site screenshot 

Another peer-to-peer marketplace, Watch Patrol's clever stock-in-trade is transforming the discussion threads on the various online watch forums — which build communities but don’t enable commerce — into actual sales listings. Its “smart spiders” index this online community hourly, keyed into more than 300 brands and 2,000 models. Its 40,000+ listings are filterable via brand and other metadata. The “WatchPatrol Discover” function tracks community popularity and trends for various models, organized by price tier or region; and the site’s Smart Price Engine can determine accurate prices in a dozen different currencies.

eBay authentication guarantee screenshot

In a similar vein, online auction sites, particularly industry-leader eBay, can be an ideal venue to search for a timepiece similar to the one you’re contemplating selling. With millions of watches listed on the online marketplace each year, finding out what other sellers across the globe are asking for a similar watch should be a cinch. Keep in mind that if you’re leaning toward selling a watch on eBay, and it sells for $2,000 or more, the watch will be sent to an independent authenticator before being shipped to the final buyer as part of eBay’s “Authenticity Guarantee” program established in 2020.  

WatchCharts data graph

Founded in 2019, WatchCharts offers “Market Insights for Watch Collectors” with its data-driven approach and its commitment to bringing transparency to the secondary watch market. WatchCharts is a pure market analyst rather than a dealer, and its search engine enables a user to instantly determine the market value of a particular watch brand or popular watch model; results will include the watch’s retail price at an authorized dealer as well as the going market estimate for a pre-owned model, with an option for an instant appraisal based on just a handful of factors such as its condition, region, and delivery contents (i.e., watch box and papers). The service is free, but users can upgrade to a premium tier,  up to an additional $799 annually, to access up to five years of historical price data, notifications on saved searches, and watch brands’ own indexes. 

ChronoPulse mobile app screenshot

German-based Chrono24, founded in 2003 and now touted as “the world’s largest online marketplace for luxury watches,” has long offered a proprietary “Watch Collection” tool for its 25 million-plus users that can monitor the financial performance of individual models that are either already in one’s collection or on a wish list. In 2023, for its 20th anniversary, the company took its analytic capabilities up several notches with the launch of ChronoPulse, a new, free resource on its website that uses real sales transaction data, driven by its own anonymous first-party sales data, for its indexing. Chrono24 says that the volume of its data surpasses that of any of its competing services and incorporates more brands, and more models per brand, than you’ll find anywhere else. The data set, the company proudly points out, reflects actual final selling prices rather than original list prices for a more realistic view of the secondary market. The index data is updated daily and the set of individual manufacturers and models is updated every six months to make its model less prone to bubbles and crashes and more reflective of the actual watch marketplace. The ChronoPulse index covers the top 14 watch brands by their trade volume, with a focus on the 10 highest-selling models from each, for a total of 140 models — and the company says that is just a start, with a plan to establish independent brand-specific indexes over the coming months. 

EveryWatch screenshot

Professional watch retailers and private sellers alike will want to check out EveryWatch, a new AI-based platform launched in 2023 serving what it terms “the international watch universe.” Among the platform's founding team are Watchonista co-founder Alexander Friedman and former Piaget CEO Chabi Nouri. The service, which offers both a free and premium tier (the latter for a $50 monthly fee), tracks more than 500,000 references through more than 250 auction houses in addition to 150 online marketplaces and dealers. Its meta-search function pinpoints watches currently for sale at auction houses and marketplaces worldwide and includes a database of historical sales results, dating back to 1989, to offer a prospective seller a more long-range view of a model’s performance. A series of analytics, including charts and graphs, are also accessible, with yearly analysis of the overall watch market, top models per year, and total sales by the top 10 auction houses and top 10 brands.


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