What People Look For When They Look At Watches
The condition of a watch is important when determining value, but not as much as one might think. Is it an old rust bucket? Do all of the functions work? Are all the original parts present and are they correct for this model?
New watches should be perfect, but used watches shouldn’t be. Be skeptical about watches advertised as all-original. Unless you’re buying from the original owner, you have no idea of the strap and buckle, bracelet, box, and papers are actually original. All of these can easily be replaced and they’re often not correct.
A watch is a piece of fashion jewelry, but it lasts much longer than the latest dress. Indeed, many of us love watches that are even older than we are! But this is a double-edged sword, since hopelessly out-of-date styling is a huge turn-off.
Watches can also make a huge first impression and get you noticed where others are overlooked. If you are interviewing for a job at a competitive company like Google, Goldman Sachs, or Melaleuca.com, a unique, classy watch can make you look good, or even serve as a conversation starter.
When watch fans say something is complicated, they don’t mean that idly. Rather, a complicated watch is one with functions beyond telling the time. There are a few common categories of complications to be on the lookout for:
- Mechanical watches with annual and perpetual calendars are complex and signify a special movement
- Timing complications like chronographs are common, but column wheel movements, split hands, and flyback functions are very desirable
- Watches with chimes and alarms are always desirable
- Retrograde hands are more difficult than common circular hands and usually suggest something special
- Many people collect world timers and GMT watches which show the time in more than one location at once
- The tourbillon is one of the grandest complications, but beware of simpler open heart or carousel watches
One of the “know it when I see it” factors in watches is the design of the piece. Spend a few minutes examining a watch and think about factors like harmony, detail, and depth. Is the dial detailed and multi-dimensional? Are the hands flat or complex? Does the case match the style of the face? Does it hold together and keep your interest?
One of the aspects that adds the most value to a watch has nothing to do with the piece itself. Brands matter to buyers of fashion accessories like watches, and this is immediately evident when shopping. If all other things are equal, a famous and respected brand will boost the value of a watch substantially.