Watchfinder and many other pre-owned specialists have always been keen to compare the markets for second hand watches to that of cars.
What they mean is that, ideally, everybody will trade-in a second hand watch when they buy a new one, just as they do with cars.
This would dramatically increase the number of people trading watches, and therefore increase the volume of watches bought and sold, with the likes of Watchfinder making a margin every time.
Watchfinder’s owner, Richemont, can be likened to a major motor car manufacturer like Fiat, which owns Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Lancia and Maserati. All of these marques have showrooms that accept any brand of car as a trade-in for a new motor.
There is also a sophisticated ecosystem of businesses that service, repair and refurbish trade-ins so that they can be resold at a profit from the same forecourts as new cars.
Richemont, its network of branded watch boutiques, and Watchfinder are creating a closed ecosystem that does the same thing, with Vacheron Constantin the latest maison to accept trade-ins at its boutiques in the UK, United States, France, Hong Kong and Switzerland.
People can also part-exchange watches through the Watchfinder scheme at A. Lange & Sohne, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, Piaget, Roger Dubuis and Mont Blanc stores.
Clients will be given an instant estimate on any watch they want to part-exchange for a new watch and, if happy with the price, it will be sent with to Watchfinder’s manufacturer-certified service centre for a full appraisal and a final valuation.
Once the final trade-in price has been agreed, it can be put towards the purchase of a new timepiece.
Watches from the likes of Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre can be traded-in, although not every watch is guaranteed to be accepted, particularly anything over 25 years of age, Watchfinder has clarified.