Whether you buy a watch for your style passion or as a rising investment asset, knowing what you are doing at an auction can go a long way in making a good purchase.
There is a reason watches are often associated with pilots. In fact, first wrist watch for men was created for the vivacious Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont in 1904, after he complained to his friend Louis Cartier that it was a struggle to check his pocket watch while flying his aircraft. Until then wristwatches were considered feminine, worn by women as jewellery.
Nowadays in auctions men’s watches outrun women’s because “men love machines and a watch collection takes up less space and is easier to look after than a car collection” according to Adrian Hailwood, watch specialist at Birmingham-based auctioneers Fellows & Sons.
The price of some watches are extremely high not only because they are encrusted with diamonds but also they are “complicated pieces of machinery with limited manufacture.”
However, online auctions are excellent platforms for buying affordable vintage watches.
For new collectors, watch auctions can be tricky. The pressure to buy impressive brands can leave out historical and technical importance. Experts council buyers to;
Do their homework:
Try to determine what you are interested in. Are you more focused on history and want to buy military watches from the Second World War Era? Or are you fascinated by the machinery? Or are you a fan of the Rolex line from 1980s? Or what trend is on the rise these days, what would be worth more tomorrow?
Read all of the condition report:
Not just the top line. Always trust that prices are high or low for a reason. If you think you got a bargain before you read the whole report, you might end up with a watch not as good as your expectations.
What to look for when reading the condition report?
- Is there any oxidization or damage?
- Are there scratches and if so how many and how bad? Does it appear to be worn? Are there dents, chips, engravings?
- Has the watch been serviced? Do the parts appear to be originals or replacements?
- Are there missing stones, embellishments etc?