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5 Important Factors When Considering Selling Watches for Cash

5 Important Factors When Considering Selling Watches for Cash

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5 Important Factors When Considering Selling Watches for Cash All Entries

5 Important Factors When Considering Selling Watches for Cash

Your old jewelry and watches may be something of interest to a jewelry buyer and earn you some good cash in the process. A recent New York Times article about vintage watches explained how certain brand names have contributed to their doubling in value in recent years. Here are five factors about watches that are important to consider when selling them. 

Brand Value

Unlike most items people wear, watches can retain or even gain value over time, depending on certain factors, such as brand. Some brands command attention in the antiques market due to high quality and durability, while others are viewed as valuable for capturing the fashion of an era. Leading brands for vintage watches continue to be TAG Heuer, Rolex, and Omega. 

Even second hand watches can maintain value as a result of a well-established brand. Certain high-end luxury brands offer the most potential for money-making investments or trading for maximum cash value. 


The closer a watch is to pristine condition, the more value it commands, especially if it retains complete functionality and has no visible abrasions. Any scratches or other damages threaten to devalue the watch. Collectors of antiques accept that old items are not likely to be in top condition, but missing peices usually automatically reduce value. The best scenario is to hang onto the entire set, including the box the watch originally came in. 

Age and Appearance

The more a watch ages, the more it goes through long-term oxidation, which produces a green or brown film known as patina on metal surfaces. This thin color layering gives the watch its own unique classic look, which is favorable to collectors. 


One of the top concerns of watch dealers for purchasing used items is the rarity of the series. The value is also affected by how many other versions were on the market. The more rare the version, the more it usually means higher value. Special edition watches can be very valuable over time if they they are well-preserved. 

Sometimes a rare design adds value to a watch, such as the red triangle on the 1957 Rolex Submariner. This particular version is sought by collectors willing to pay over $30,000. 

Historic Association

A watch may gain additional value if it's associated with a celebrity who has worn or endorsed it. Steve McQueen, for example, wore a Rolex Submariner in the 1971 film Le Mans, leading to a mad rush in the market to buy the version. Today the same watch is worth thousands more than when it was new. The singer John Mayer collects watches and owns sapphire-encrusted gold Rolex watches from World War II that he claims are worth "tens of millions."


It's possible to earn money over time from investing in watches that become classics. Not all antique watches grow in enormous value, but the ones that do are often attributed to brand, condition, patina, rarity, and association. Contact us at Ralph Mueller & Associates for more information about buying or selling watches in the Phoenix area.