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“Forgotten” luxury watches account for $56 billion worth of value

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A new report estimates that over $56bn in value has been lost in what is described as “forgotten” luxury watches.

The 2021 report explains how there are hundreds of thousands of discarded and neglected watches around the world, some of which could become hidden goldmines.

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With this in mind, Luxe Watches, one of Britain’s leading independent pre-owned watch retailers, has put together a list of eight things to look out for in identifying one of these hidden gems.

Here’s what the retailer had to say:

Is my watch antique or vintage?

Vintage are typically around 30 years old or more, have a collectible or novelty value and some sort of cultural significance.

Antique points to things over 100 years old, and for watches will generally indicate the pocket variety.

Can it tell the time?

Collectors want old watches for the prestige opposed to the functionality, but the working condition can alter the value massively.

Check to see if you can hear the ticking. If it has a smooth metallic ring it means it is still in working order. If you hear a grinding noise, it could, unfortunately, mean it’s close to its end.

Can you find the serial number?

The serial number says a lot about a watch, and can be found on the caseback, inside mechanism or between the lugs if it is a Rolex.

Who’s the maker?

Even if your watch looks ancient, it can still be made by a huge brand name. Whether you recognize it or not isn’t important but you still might – Omega have been making watches for almost 200 years.

Here are a few names to look for: Audemars Piguet, Breguet, Blancpain, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Breitling, Vacheron Constantin.

What type is it?

The type of watch can say a lot about it’s value, whether it’s an antique pocket watch to stem-wind or jeweled.

If it is stainless steel or solid gold then you could be onto a winner. Typically an elaborate design on vintage pocket watches is a big pointer to value.

What is it made of?

If it is stainless steel or solid gold then you could be onto a winner. Typically an elaborate design on vintage pocket watches is a big pointer to value.

Does it have extra weight?

Heavier watches could mean there’s gold or other features of value.

Do you have the paperwork to hand?

Also known as provenance, an ownership record of the origin, history of owners and authenticity can put extra 0’s to the value.

Having the basic proof of manufacturer alone is massive, but if your timepiece happened to be owned by someone famous it could lead to a huge windfall.

A huge part is to not go down the route of selling alone. A lot of people attach astronomical prices to things not worth a fraction of it, while others misvalue family heirlooms and lose a huge amount of money.

To sell your watch via Luxe Watches then click HERE.

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