Whether you are a serious watch collector or simply curious about a watch that you already own, a watch appraisal by a knowledgeable expert will help you understand the value and history of your timepiece. With this information at hand, you’ll be able to accurately evaluate your investment. Below are some frequently asked questions about the watch appraisal process to help get you started.
When should I get an appraisal?
Simply put, if you’re unsure of your timepiece’s value, it’s worth having the piece appraised. There are many factors that determine a watch’s value and only an expert is truly qualified to determine how much a timepiece is worth. An appraiser can indentify the unique features of your timepiece, which may affect its actual value.
If you have had a watch appraised previously, you may consider having it examined again every five years or so to obtain an up-to-date value.
You may also consider a watch appraisal for the following purposes:
- Insurance – replacement or cash value in case of loss
- Understanding a Fair Market Value for equitable distribution among heirs or preparing to donate a timepiece to charity
- Assessment before attending a watch auction or purchasing another watch
Who should I go to for an appraisal?
In order to determine a watches true value, you’ll need to consultant an expert, not just a catalogue. A watch appraisal should be conducted by someone with a formal education in horology and training in the principles of valuation. Seek out an objective, third-party appraiser who has a knowledge of current wholesale and retail prices.
How will my watch be appraised?
Once you locate an appraiser, you’ll want to tell them your goal for appraising the piece. An appraisal performed for insurance purposes to determine retail replacement value may differ from an appraisal that will give you an idea of what the watch might sell for at auction.
As part of a formal appraisal process, photographs will be taken of your timepiece and the appraiser will go over the all their findings with you, so you fully understand the value and unique features of the piece.
How much does an appraisal cost?
You may be able to have a simple valuation done free of charge, however more thorough appraisals and reports for insurance can vary.
How long does an appraisal take?
For one timepiece, a typical appraisal takes between 45 minutes to an hour.
Dan Heinkel is part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs blogs and news sites.