Frequently Asked Questions

I want to sell my watch online. Where do I start?

It all starts with a free watch appraisal!

We always say the same thing: Stick with the professionals who care about you. Since 2001, we and our partners at 300watches have bought and sold more than 6,000 luxury watches online through 300watches.com, and the 300watches eBay store. eBay has deemed the company worthy of the title "Top-Ranked Power Seller." That’s something all of us have been proud of since 2007, because this title was earned thanks to a 100%-positive feedback score!
 

I'm not even sure if my watch is authentic. What should I do?

This is yet one more reason why getting a watch appraisal from King Watch Buyers is the obvious first step when you’re looking to sell watches. While determining the value of your timepiece, our watchmakers will take a look inside to see if the piece is truly genuine. If we determine that it isn’t, then you will be the first to know! But we hope to confirm that it is indeed authentic, so that we can work together on finding your watch a deserving new owner.
 

Why should I sell my watch to King Watch Buyers, rather than selling it on eBay or Amazon?

The answer to this is simple: At King Watch Buyers, watches are what we know and love. We have been in the business for a while, so we have the knowledge and resources to give you the most accurate watch appraisal possible, and we’ll give it to you free of charge.

eBay and Amazon are phenomenal tools for any seller, no doubt. But the fact is that luxury watches are in a category all their own. Aficionados will tell you that true horology is an art form practiced only in Switzerland, but we’re lucky enough to know some of those in New York that would leave even Geneva’s best impressed.
 

Is it in my best interest to sell watches online, instead of in person?

The beauty of the Internet is that the moment you post your watch online, it’s visible to millions of potential buyers. You just don’t get that kind of exposure when you sell your watch in a store front, and certainly not when you walk from shop to shop, making offers.

You can also read what other watch buyers have to say about just about any vendor on the Internet. Why not take advantage of this information and decide who you trust?
 

When selling my watch, how important is it that I have the original box and paperwork?

This depends on the buyer. To most luxury-watch buyers who just want a piece to wear around on a daily basis, the box and papers are relatively unimportant. They get up in the morning, they put their watch on, perhaps they wind it, and then they go about their business.

Sometimes, the watch serves an important function in the wearer’s work (like a pilot’s Breitling chronograph). Other times, the person just wants to make a fashion statement. In either case, what matters is wearing the watch, not having a nice box to store it in.

The box and papers become more important when you’re selling to collectors, who like to keep their timepieces on display for their guests, or maybe just for themselves. And, on occasion, some like to show off the certificates of authenticity, further validating the investment.

Lucky for you, we sell to all kinds of watch buyers! So, whether you have these materials or not, we are confident that your watch will get sold. It may just take some time to find the right client.

It is worth noting that the more information we have on a watch, the faster it will sell. So, although a buyer may not care to have the paperwork, it may prove helpful in the end.


How much of a payout can I expect when selling a tourbillon?

Tourbillon watches account for many of the most expensive out there — and some of the strangest, to the eye of a casual customer, or even a budding enthusiast. These are for the serious watch fans.

Invented in the late 1700s by Abraham-Louis Breguet, the tourbillon movement was designed to negate gravity’s gradual effect on the accuracy of pocket watches.

However, pocket watches are largely a thing of the past, as wristwatches continue to grow in popularity. Given the often-stationary position of a pocket watch, and the variable positioning of a wristwatch due to the wearer’s constant motion, not to mention leaps in watchmaking techniques in the past couple of centuries, tourbillon watches feature a kind of masterful engineering that’s now as trivial as it is awe-inspiring.

Together with our partners, we’ve bought and sold tourbillon watches ranging from $20,000 to $200,000. If you were to sell a tourbillon with our help, you would most likely see a payout of about 25 to 30 percent of its retail price.
 

Do watch buyers care about the history of a timepiece?

The history of your watch may very well be the key to your fortune.

Every year brings tell of a watch whose path through time has garnered it significant value, sometimes of astronomical proportions. At Sotheby’s Important Watches auction in November 2013, Sir Richard Wallace’s Breguet pocket watch sold for the equivalent of $1,167,024.

Of course, such artifacts are not so easy to come by, but the fact remains: Some of the most valuable items out there are inherited — quite literally diamonds in the rough of your grandfather’s antique collection. We’ve heard stories. These are the cases in which an informed watch appraisal truly comes in handy.

But it falls on you to know what we cannot: When possible, know where your watch came from!
 

Do I need to know when my watch was produced?

Watch buyers do often want to know in what year a watch was made, either out of genuine curiosity, to get an idea of what specific movement lies within, or to get a sense of whether they’re keeping up with the latest styles.

When second-hand dealers (like our friends at 300watches) say a watch is “unworn,” it often means that it was produced within the last few years, and remained in an authorized dealer’s stockroom, completely untouched. Eventually, these perfectly preserved and packaged watches are liquidated from these dealers’ inventories to make way for newer models.

But even if you know when a dealer got his or her hands on a specific batch of watches, it is quite possible that the individual components to a watch were manufactured at different times, and were assembled into a complete watch long after each little piece was produced. So, like with most things, it’s all relative.

However, there are some manufacturers that provide information on the timing of a watch’s manufacturing, Rolex and Patek Philippe being among them. In fact, the letter at the beginning of a Rolex’s serial number relates to a specific year of production. This began in 1988 with “R” serial numbers.

So, while this information does help — just as having the box and papers can help — it is not a prerequisite.


Should a vintage watch be polished before it is sold?

Some watch buyers and collectors see a certain charm in a vintage watch that shows wear. You might say it gives it character. You probably don’t want that character to extend onto the crystal in the form of a scratch, or the like. But to each his own.

On the other hand, the unfortunate reality is that the average buyer will most likely have his eye on the newly polished pieces in the display case. It largely comes down to how confident you are that your vintage watch has enough appeal to collectors that the wear on the case won’t phase them — and it may actually play into that vintage appeal.

So, if you want the piece to blend in with the newer watches in the seller’s inventory, and give it that universally cherished sparkle, get it polished. But if it’s the kind of watch that might benefit from coming off as an antique, leave it be, unless it’s an absolute eyesore.


Is there any reason that King Watch Buyers might decide not to sell my watch?

Unfortunately, there are a handful of brands — or certain models in otherwise popular brands — that simply don’t hold value the way that some of the big names do. In those rare cases where our experience tells us that a particular timepiece will not bring a solid return to us and yourself, we may tell you to hang on to your timepiece. But the King Watch Buyers are open to discussing the sale of any watch!

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CLIENT FEEDBACK

An Honest Watch Appraisal

I brought four watches with me when I visited King Watch Buyers today. I no longer wear them, and I was curious to see what they might be worth. I had four Frederique Constant watches, and a David Yurman watch.

Ilya, the owner of King Watch Buyers, was very honest with me. He said that, while he wanted to help me, he thought that we would see very little return on any of these pieces. He said that these brands don’t hold value the way some of the more famous brands do, and suggested I hold on to the watches. Since I’ve dealt with King Watch Buyers in the past, I took his word for it.

I may put them on eBay and see what happens, or just hold on to them. I was hoping to make a sale, but in the end, I appreciated getting an honest watch appraisal.
Stewart Presser, January 29, 2014