Watch Appraisals

Thread: Watch Appraisals

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  1. #1
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    Watch Appraisals

    Has anyone noticed an issue with watch appraisals done by jewellers?
    I live in Canada (New Brunswick to be exact) and am always on the lookout for watches that are on sale on local buy/sell boards. There isn’t a huge market, but I have noticed that quite often, when a watch’s price brand new was over the $1500 Cdn mark, that many people will get an appraisal done prior to selling. I even saw this on a government website that sells surplus items and loss/found items from government departments.

    One thing that seems to hold true is that jewellers never open the case back to confirm authenticity and often quote the replacement value to buy a brand new watch as the current value of the watch as a collectible. Meaning that I have seen 4 year old watches for private sale for more than what you can currently buy a brand new watch for, because jewellers will use the suggested retail price. I’ve even gotten into heated ‘discussions’ with jewellery store employees who are trying to sell their own personal watches using an appraisal from the store they work at..

    I’ve also seen relatively unknown and inexpensive watches appraised for much more than what you can buy them for new. The government website I spoke of above had a watch for sale in an auction format. They had an appraisal for the watch saying the value was around $5000 and the highest bid when I looked at it was about $3500. That exact model watch, available for purchase for just over $1100 US from the us distributer`s website.

    Inconsistencies like this really bother me and lead me to think that whatever standards are used to appraise watches here in Canada are drastically flawed…

    Or it could just be that the watch collecting community in my part of Canada is just so small that there isn’t much knowledge…

    Anyone have similar experiences?
    Ray C.

    Anyone around here know the time?

  2. #2
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    Re: Watch Appraisals

    A jeweller is not the person to ask and when it comes to worth, most
    people have a distorted view on the value of their watches; like cars.

  3. #3
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    Re: Watch Appraisals

    Like Watchbreath said, most people have a distorted view of what their items are worth. Could be watches, cars, homes etc. The market determines what an item is worth, not the owner and certainly not an appraiser.

    If some store wants to sell an item for what they had it appraised at they can try. For some people that may work - perhaps the same people who see a huge MSRP and then are happy when can pay half that amount. If I really wanted something but the appraisal seemed out of line, I'd bring in some print outs of other places that sell the item (especailly good would be the factory web site that sells the new item) and ask them why they feel their item should cost so much more.

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  5. #4
    Member hpark21's Avatar
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    Re: Watch Appraisals

    Many of the "Appraisals" are done for insurance purposes and as such are appraised for "Replacement" value.
    ie. if it is stolen, how much it would cost to replace it.

    When replacing the watch, they can not replace it with a used watch as the condition can not be guaranteed.

    Of course, there are some vintages that are irreplaceable, then they may have to go by "Declared" value? (Does insurance companies accept that?)

    Now, MANY jewellers will tout the fact that even though they will SELL the watch to you for $1450, they will give you appraisal sheet which says the watch is worth $4800 (Movado/ebel dealer near my place does that) It makes you feel like you are getting a bargain, but I do not know how it holds up when it comes to insurance settlement IF I do loose the piece. (Probably adjuster will never take that appraisal at face value anyways).
    Chronic flipper...


  6. #5
    Member Leixlip's Avatar
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    Re: Watch Appraisals

    Interesting topic, one I hadn't thought about before.

    Most appraisals here in Ireland are for insurances purposes only.
    Even then it mainly relates to vintage watches that need to be
    insured separately not just put on the normal contents of home insurance.

    Having said that the only other cases where a "nominal" appraisal is
    done in Dublin is when watches are auctioned off by Government or
    Pawn brokers. The stated value is usually a lot lower, they simply
    need to sell the items off - so its a good place to find a bargain.
    But when you ask how the appraisal is done, the answer I find is more
    related to "potential value" and not anywhere near what sale value will be.

  7. #6
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    Re: Watch Appraisals

    That is how I understand appraisals as well.

    I would just love to see what criteria they use and how they do it. I believe here in Canada there is a professional organization that regulates the jewellery appraisal business. But they definitly can be hit or miss and obviously from what I have experienced, some people try to utilize the 'replacement value' to thier benifit when selling. Some people just don't understand it either - such as one local seller I spoke to about a Tag Heuer. Although I found at least 5 websites all offering the same watch new, with a store warranty (as they were all non ADs - though respectable stores) the seller absolutely refused to drop thier price. And they were asking a good $300 usd above what it could be bought for new..
    Ray C.

    Anyone around here know the time?

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