What's The Right Time To Sell Your Watch?

Let’s first address the most common reason cited for selling a watch and by all means the most irrelevant. The most commonly cited reason on the internet is that people need money. It may be common but it isn’t the best reason to sell.

In truth, rarely, the sort of people who wear Omega, Cartier, and Rolex watch brands are in a position where they need to sell their watch. There are other reasons.

You Want to Change Your Watch

If you are looking for the “right” time to sell so that you can get a good price for your watch, then it is less about the “Right” time and more about the time frame. If you are willing to wait for a good price, then you are better off than if you need a quick sale. The previous example about “needing the money” often sets you on a short time limit. Whereas, if you simply want to change your watch, perhaps because your tastes have changed or you want to trade up to gold from stainless steel, then you can wait a good long time to make the sale and get a better price.

Sell When Inflation is Rising

Wait a minute? Aren’t people less likely to spend their money on luxury items if there are recessions and depressions ahead? Aren’t people supposed to watch what they spend when inflation is rising? Why would people buy luxury watches when inflation is rising?

Since you are probably pretty affluent yourself, take note of all the times that inflation has hit and some of the more luxury goods have suddenly become scarce. Cars, luxury watches, and even high-end electronic goods seem to become difficult to find.

This is because people buy them up. In many cases, it is better to spend slightly too much money now rather than an exorbitant amount of money next year when inflation is flying up. Money can sometimes be the worst investment during times of high inflation, perhaps not during certain bear market times, but certainly when inflation is running riot. In those cases, it is cheaper to buy your luxury goods sooner rather than later.

It is better to invest in assets than in a savings account. As a result, during times of high inflation, you can often get a good price on certain luxury watch brands.

Is There a Right Time to Sell on eBay?

No, there is never a right time to sell your luxury watch on eBay or even Amazon. The fees you will pay, especially on eBay, are massive. When you consider the fees and include the cost of shipping your valuable item with all care and diligence, then you would be better off taking your watch to a local pawn shop. The fees are that bad. You would be better off selling at the “wrong” time to a jeweler than you would sell your luxury watch on eBay (or to a lesser extent, Amazon).

When You Find The Right Place

If you are not having any luck selling your watch privately, then look for jewelers who pay good prices. Your potential buyers will offer varying prices depending on their customer base. You may have a nice Jaeger-Lecoultre, and you have tried nearly ten places and they all offer you a weak price. Then, you hop on over to something like a Patek Philippe retailer and one of the clerks offers you a high price because they already have a buyer in mind.

Sure, in this case, you are relying on luck, but that is often the case when you are trying to get a good price for your timepiece. That is why you should try to find a buyer with a fairly big network. And that point...brings us to an important time to sell.

What About During Economically Healthy Times?

What if we are in a bull market, inflation is under control, and the economy is running well? Is this a bad time to sell? Yes, it is a bad time to sell, but there are ways to reduce your loss. Hop onto Google and search for a new or second-hand watch. Take a look at the watch market, and look at what the watchmakers are up to.

Your goal is to experience what your potential buyers are experiencing when they search for a watch. You know all about the selling process, but you should also learn about the buying process. If you hunt for the same sort of watch you are trying to sell, you should find useful comparative information. Search out the cheapest version of your watch, and then take a look at a few that are selling for more than the cheapest.


Factors That Affect the Resale Value of Your Watch

We have addressed the reasons for selling and also ways to sell, but what about the price you might achieve? What affects the market value of your timepiece?

Most luxury watches have found their level in the secondhand marketplace but the price a particular watch can achieve will depend on several factors. If you want to get top dollar for your watch, you need to check its price factors.

How to Determine the Value of Your Watch


Rarity can substantially increase the value of a watch. A limited edition or small production run by a renowned brand is attractive to watch collectors. The watch should, however, still meet other criteria.

Make and model

Certain brands, such as Rolex and Patek Philippe hold their value regardless of their age. Other specific models from other makers such as the Breitling Bentley Flying B, Omega Speedmaster, or the Royal Oak Complication Audemars Piguet are also at the top of the tree. The good thing about luxury watches is that they are such a major area of interest that you can find out huge amounts of information about your watch online.


The condition will majorly dictate the resale value of a watch. A buyer will assess both the condition and function. Damaged bracelets, scratched or cracked dials or missing lugs are all negative features and the brand will not mean much. There are watch collectors who are also hobbyists who will repair watches but this will be factored into their valuation.

There are some exceptions, such as military watches where wear and tear are expected. Some vintage watches retain their value, regardless, such as the Rolex 1675 GMT Master 1275.


Like a piece of fine furniture, a patina is a desirable feature on a luxury watch. Patina refers to the natural aging process and it alters the appearance of the dials or hands. Watch collectors like patina when it adds character but not so if it has affected function in any way.

Paperwork and original box

Having the original package can add extra value to a watch. If you have the original box, it is even better if it is in good condition. Original paperwork such as the invoice, receipt, or warranty is good because it is a sign of authenticity and it might include important information such as the watch’s serial number.


It’s the law of economics: the higher the demand, the more a watch is worth. You can research watch forums and trading sites to see which watches are in demand at any time. Authentic watches

Celebrity factor

You might think of this as the “James Bond factor”. A watch featured heavily in movies or worn by a character or well-known celebrity has a little more kudos. If you have a Rolex Submariner as worn by Sean Connery in three bond movies or an Omega Seamaster as preferred by both Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig’s Bond, you may be able to command a higher price.

Market value

Market forces (as well as all the aforementioned factors) will always determine how much people are willing to pay for a watch.

Closing the Deal

Now that you have a better idea of the factors that determine the value of your watch, you can decide whether now is the right time to sell. You can spend a lot of time researching the market and trying to find a private buyer - this will certainly mean you won’t have to pay commission fees or you can choose a professional dealer.

Stein Diamonds offers a well-respected marketplace to sell or trade in your watch. It’s easy and fast and the best rates are guaranteed. Contact them for an evaluation.