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What Is My Watch Worth?

People frequently want to know how much their antique or vintage watch is worth. Unfortunately, determining your watch's value is a hard question to answer. These web pages covers many of the general ways to try and find an answer to this question.

NOTE:   If this watch has been in your family or somehow has a connection to you, DON'T EVER SELL IT! Selling your watch usually won't get you more money than the price of a nice dinner out, but you will never get another watch from your grandfather. Besides, watches don't take up much room, just take care to store it in a dry place.

Table of Contents

There Is No Single Dollar Value
The Most Accurate Method
The Quickest Method
The Price Guide Method
The Online Elgin Database Method
The eBay Completed Auctions Method
The Appraisal Method
The Evaluation Method     (General Overview)
The Evaluation Method     (Detailed)
The Email the Webmaster Method

There Is No Single Dollar Value

It may seem obvious, but still it should be pointed out that there is no single dollar value for a watch.

Different people will pay different amounts of money for the same watch for many different reasons. People may pay much more because it will complete part of their collection, or because it looks exactly like the watch that their grandfather had, or because it is somehow tied to their home town. Some people will spend 100 hours in order to save $50 on a watch, the hunt for the bargain being a large part of the fun. Others will pay thrice the going rate because it strikes their fancy and they don't want to waste their time trying to save a few bucks.

A seller may need to unload a watch quickly or unload a large number of watches and may be willing to sell for much less than the going market rate. A seller may also not be aware of what they have and will either try to get far too much or far too little for the watch.

To sell a very rare watch, you may need to find a very rare collector in order to get close to the market value. Knowing how to sell a watch or who to sell it to is not something that can be taught in just a few hours.

The general market will also rise and fall with the economy and fads. In general, watches gain in price over time, but often they do not even keep up with inflation. A watch that sold in 1910 for $500, about the price of a new car, might only sell for $3000-$10000 today, which is hardly the price of a new car. A watch that sold for $50 in 1870 can often be had today for under $100. Watches are fun and hold their value better than, say, used computers or used cars, but they are generally not as good a long term investment as a savings account.

While I'm not an expert, I believe the information on this page is correct. Please send suggestions and corrections to the webmaster.
This web site runs on 100% Open Source Software. This web page was last changed on 09/02/2002 at 22:11:06.