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Lesson 2 -- Value
12 Nov 2006
There are different categories of value of a watch:
Every watch has its history. Some watches represent the technology of a period of time; some watches recorded an historical event (e.g. Omega moonwatch); some watches remind you the past (e.g. your birthday gift). Of course, if more people know its history, more effects of the technology, more the value !
It is obvious that a watch which is made of gold, platinum and other expensive materials will cost you more.
Besides of the watch, the box, the invoice, the tags (e.g. Rolex) and other stuffs came with the watch affect the total value.
Rarer = $
Number of jewels used:
Watch Jewels

Jewels can reduce the friction between the movement parts; therefore, more jewels are used, the watch can run smoother and longer.


Image: Seiko 7S26A - 21 Jewels - pink

C.O.S.C. certificed:
If a watch is C.O.S.C. certified, it has higher accuracy because of using better parts.

Material of case:
Besides of the value of gold or platinum itself, these two material can last for decades without damage by the nature; therefore, most valuable old watches used gold or platinum as material of the case and some parts of the movement.


More functions = more value !

Repeater, Chronography, Split second,Tourbillion, Perpetual calendar, Moon phase, Scuba diving, G.M.T., Power reserve indicator, Fly back, Retrograde, Multi-days, etc


Cracks, chips, and discolouration or fading of the dial reduce the value; however, "re-write" or repair the dial also reduce the historical value.

The covers should be screwed on properly to a tight fit, the crystal should be clear.
Be careful of the gold or silver plating, there should not have cracks or chips.

Make sure all functions work properly !
Moreover, the movement should be all original pieces without modifications by others. Any modifications from the original should be documented. It should have no serious wear on the parts.

Brand name

Brands with high auction price:

Patek Philippe
Vachron Constantin
Audemars Piguet
Jaeger Lecoultre
Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe

Tachometer Scale Ref. 2499

Auction Price: US$ 880,000 (Sep 05)



Oyster Perpetual Ref.16520

Auction Price: US$ 13,000 (April 04)


There are many replicas or fakes in the market, especailly in the Internet. Therefore, do not buy a watch from a stranger without examination. Be careful of some old watches with very good conditions.


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