Maybe you are thinking about posting your watch for sale, or perhaps you are just curious about what it is worth. Either way, you might find yourself wondering how you can find out the value of your timepiece.
You don’t have to take your watch to an appraiser to discover its value. If you are willing to do some legwork, you can come to an accurate estimate yourself by finding out your watch’s model, and checking sold listings for watches in similar condition.
This post will walk you through the process step by step. We’ll tell you how you can estimate your watch’s value by:
- Determining your watch model
- Evaluating its condition
- Checking retailer sites for similar watches
- Viewing sold listings for watches like yours
We will also provide some places you can sell your watch online once you’ve figured out how much to sell it for. Read on to find out more.
1. Figure Out Your Model of Watch
To estimate the value of your watch, you first need to find the exact watch model number. If this is the situation in which you find yourself, do not fret. There are ways you can make a determination.
Check The Packaging
First of all, did you keep the packaging for your watch? If so, you might just need to pull it out and examine it. The manual or the receipt may list the exact model. Other papers to check include your warranty or certificate of origin.
If you do not have any of the packaging or documents for the watch, then it is time to examine the watch itself for context clues.
Look At The Case Back
To start, check the case back. There is a good chance the model number will be engraved right there. The movement number might also be listed on the back of the case. You should find a serial number for your individual watch as well.
Check The Dial
Look at the dial. You will probably at least be able to see the brand, and you might see the model listed as well. Check below 12 o’clock and above 6 o’clock, which might have information about the movement. Note down any and all information you find.
Evaluate the Complications and Features
Examine the complications and features on the watch as well as its materials. Does it have three small circles on the dial, or only two? These minor details can mean the difference between finding the right model, or not.
Once you have all of this information, you can start running searches online. We’ll help you quickly narrow it down.
Ask On Forums
If you are still having a hard time identifying your watch, it may be time to turn to the watch community for help.
Here are some places you can try posting:
- Major watch forums such as WatchUSeek.
- Subreddits such as r/Watches, r/JapaneseWatches, r/Rolex, r/Seiko, r/Casio, etc.
- FB groups such as Affordable Mechanical Watches, Affordable Watches / Divers and Others (AWDO), Vintage Watches for Sale, and Watches and Collectors.
- Forums specific to certain brands such as Omega Forums, Rolex Forums, etc.
When you post on these groups, you should include the following:
- Clear photos of your watch, from multiple angles if possible.
- Any information you found written on the watch or in documentation you have.
- A list of features you have noted.
- Any information that anyone told you about the watch (i.e. if the watch was inherited from a family member, what did that person tell you about it?)
- Your best guesses as to what watch model it is.
- Anything unusual about it that is making it challenging to identify (i.e. weird divergences from the model you think it is).
If your photos did not show up with the colors true to life, be sure to note what they really look like (i.e. if the dial is navy, but appears black in your photos).
You should also let people know what your goal is. Are you just trying to get a model number, or are you also looking to identify a specific variation or year?
The more detailed your post is, the more likely it is you will get help identifying the watch.
2. Evaluate the Condition
Once you know what type of watch you have, you can press onto the next step, which is to determine what condition it is in. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Does the watch have all of its original parts, or have some of them been replaced?
- Do you still have the original box and papers?
- Is the watch bracelet original, or has it been replaced? What condition is it in?
- How accurate is the watch right now?
- How recently has the watch been serviced, and how many times has it been serviced throughout its lifetime? Where was it serviced?
- Are all the complications in working order?
- Does the watch show visible wear and tear?
- If the watch is water-resistant, is the water resistance still performing as specified?
- Has any metal been reduced through improper polishing?
- Do the crown and bezel rotate smoothly?
- What condition are the lugs in?
- If there is lume, is it original? What condition is it in?
Needless to say, watches that have mostly or all original parts in beautiful working order are usually going to be worth the most.
You do not need to take a passive approach to watch value! Depending on what you are estimating the value of your watch might be (see below), you might want to consider taking it in for servicing.
Of course, this will only be worth it if doing so ends up allowing you to increase the sale price enough to offset the cost for the servicing itself.
If your watch is just worth a couple hundred dollars, this probably is not worth your time and money. But if it is a watch worth thousands of dollars, in some cases, it might make a lot of sense.
3. Check Retailer Sites
Now you have a good idea what you are dealing with in terms of your specific watch. Next, you can start investigating pricing for that same model of watch online.
If your watch is still in production, you can visit the manufacturer’s website as well as various retailer sites to check the pricing.
Keep in mind that the watches they are selling will be brand new. Your watch, second-hand, likely won’t be worth as much. So we need to determine the value of your watch, in similar conditions, by following the next step.
4. Search Completed and SOLD Listings
What if your watch is no longer in production, or what if you just want to get a better idea what used watches like yours are selling for?
You can check current and completed [SOLD] listings on sites and communities such as:
You should specifically look for the same model of watch in the approximate same condition as the timepiece you want to price.
How to Find Sold Watch Listings on eBay
If you do not know how to search sold listings in eBay, here are the steps:
1. Type the model of the watch into the search bar.
2. Click on “All Listings”
3. Scroll down and look in the left sidebar for “Show only.” Click on “Completed Items” and “Sold Items.”
You will now find yourself looking at search results that include completed listings. This should give you a lot more to look at than you would see if you were only browsing listings that are currently open for offers.
How to Find Sold Watch Listings on Reddit Watch Exchange
If you want to search for sold listings on the Watch Exchange subreddit, you will need to use the “sold” flair in your search.
So, enter your watch model, and add “flair:sold.” This should bring up sold listings for that watch.
5. Use Online Watch Pricing Tools
There are some simple online tools designed to make it easier to determine the value of a watch.
A great example is the valuation app offered by Chrono24. This app is free to use.
1. Download the Chrono24 Watch Scanner app for your Android or iOS device.
2. Install the app after it finishes downloading.
3. Use the app to take a photo of your watch.
The app will then identify the watch and give you an estimate of its current market value. According to Chrono24, the app has a huge database with 15,000 watches. So, chances are good it will be able to successfully identify yours.
6. Price Your Watch
Once you have taken all of the steps above, you should be able to come up with a good price estimate for your watch.
You can then set that as the “buy now” price in your sales listings, or use it as a guideline to set a minimum bid.
Best Places to Sell A Watch
Once you find out how much your watch is worth, you’ll If you are going to put your watch up for sale, there are a ton of options out there. Here are a few recommendations.
- Watch forums and FaceBook groups such as Reddit Watch Exchange and Vintage Watches for Sale
- Marketplaces such as eBay or Chrono24
- Reputable watch dealers
Note: avoid pawn shops, as they will likely give you bottom dollar for your watch. By just putting in a bit of legwork, finding the model, taking decent pictures, and listing it online for a reasonable price, you can get much better value for your watch.
Selling one of your watches may feel like a daunting prospect, especially if you have no idea what type of watch you have or what it is worth.
But by exploring context clues and conducting some online research, you can make an accurate assessment. You may then price your watch accordingly.
If you decide to sell, options abound in the form of forums, subreddits, Facebook communities, marketplaces and dealers. With the work you have put into assessing your watch value, you can receive a fair deal for your piece.