Wristwatch Valuation and How Experts Determine their Price

09 February 2022

One of the major criteria for appraising the value of a wristwatch is, as you would expect, the brand. There are many leading names among the top brands, including Patek Philippe of Geneva, Switzerland, Breguet, Bvlgari, Cartier, Tiffany, France Muller, Omega, Piaget and Rolex. Each watch is also evaluated for pricing according to its major components and the current market trends.

How Experts Determine the Value of a Wristwatch for Pricing

Expert jewellers determine the market value of a wristwatch for pricing by examining the following qualities and components:

• Wristwatch Style. Popular watch styles generally follow the current fashion trends. If antique or retro jewellery happens to be in style one season, wristwatches of similar types will also be in vogue. Classic styles in Rolex, Bvlgari and Cartier watches tend to stay in the higher levels of popularity.

• Watch Utility. Wristwatches lead the list of today’s popular vintage collectibles since they are considered valuable investments and attractive, fashionable wearables. Expensive watches always retain good value as collectible items.


The value of the watch case metal is often the major evaluating and pricing factor for some vintage and antique wristwatches. Many grades of gold have been used over the years for making these cases, including platinum and from 9 to 22-karat gold. The Patek Philippe platinum wristwatch has been a highly rated collectible for many years. Some gold-filled and gold-plated cases are also rated highly as well as silver.


Many vintage watches were cased, timed and boxed before they left the factory. These watches have marked cases, which makes them more valuable than others as collectibles. Many watchmakers, at times, produced and sold only movements. The dials of these watches were marked with the buyer’s particular specifications. They were then placed in either standardised or custom cases, which were often referred to as Contract Cases.


The case style of both contemporary and older watches is very influential to the pricing of the watch. In vintage watches, Art Deco designs, hinged lugs and curved or enamelled cases are all considered valuable among collectors.

Watch Condition. The dial is an important factor in pricing a watch. If the metal dial is scratched or has suffered visible damage, this can affect the pricing. Is there any surface discolouration, and are the watch hands damaged? These aspects can all have some influence on how a wristwatch is evaluated and priced.

The extent to which the case is worn, dented or otherwise damaged can affect the watch valuation and pricing. If the spring-bar holes are damaged or the lugs have been bent, these are also factors that can lower current watch prices. Also, if a watch is initialled or has an inscription, this can lower the pricing as well.

The watch crown and movement condition have strong effects on the evaluation of a wristwatch. For example, if the original crown of a Patek or Rolex watch is marked, this will increase the new price. If the movement of a vintage watch is the original movement and still in good operating condition, this will also increase the new pricing level. The watch finish should not be corroded or rusted to rate a high price today.

By consulting our experts at Ken Ross Jewellers located in Ashburton, Victoria, you can gain important information about wristwatch valuation and the resulting pricing. Our experienced professionals will guide you in understanding how watches of all brands, styles, materials and ages are assessed for current pricing as valued collectibles and stunning wearables.

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