Watches have become incredibly popular amongst collectors and investors in the past decade, so much so that auction houses are choosing to dedicate time and space to specialist watch auctions to meet the demand.
Whether you’re thinking about heading to a specialist watch auction house or a large auction house with a smaller watch collection, there are things you can do to boost your chances of winning a watch that’s right for you. From some research and planning to how to tackle the auction itself, read on to discover how to make the most of your time at a specialist watch auction.
Use online watch auctions for research
You’ll find a wide variety of online watch auctions with a simple search on Google, each of which will display a vast range of watches available for bidding on. Even if you would rather visit a physical watch auction to be able to see a watch before bidding on it, you can still make use of the online sites as part of your research:
- Peruse the selection of watches on offer across these auction sites
- Note which watches are popping up the most
- Record the prices certain watches go for
- Note what condition the watches are in when being put up for auction
- Discover how much demand there is for certain watches and how many bids are being made on them
- Record what the average starting price is for certain watches and the average sale price tends to be
Spend as much time as you would like on these online watch auctions, until you’re sure that you’re equipped with the knowledge to make the most of a specialist watch auction.
Think about why you want to buy a watch
There are three main reasons why people tend to visit specialist watch auctions:
- To find a cheaper, second-hand version of a watch they’ve had their eye on
- To invest in a timepiece that will only increase in value
- To find something they like and to buy it on the day
It makes sense to think about and determine why you want to visit a specialist watch auction, before heading there and splashing the cash. By understanding what it is that you want to gain from the auction, you’ll spend more time considering a purchase rather than diving in and regretting it later on.
Set up alerts
The growing popularity in watch investments can be seen by the number of search alerts being set up on auction sites.
Thousands of visitors are apparently choosing to subscribe to alerts that will let them know when a particular watch is coming up for auction. This is certainly something worth doing if you’re hoping to beat the competition and win the auction for a specific watch.
Speak to the specialists
If you’re thinking about buying a watch from an auction for investment purposes, you’ll benefit greatly from speaking to the specialists at the auction, before making a bid.
Investing in a watch for the future requires an understanding of growing trends before they reach their peak. Buying a watch that people are already interested in, may become a risky investment further down the line, especially if the trend begins to decline. However, by speaking face to face with specialists at an auction, you’ll be able to develop a greater understanding of which watches are looking promising for the future.
Call in advance
There’s no harm in calling up the auctioneers or watch specialists ahead of when a particular watch is being auctioned, to find out more about the condition of the watch and the price the bidding is expected to start at. These professionals will be happy to offer some further information so that you can ready yourself ahead of the auction starting.
Stick with standard brands for your first purchase
Anyone thinking about kickstarting a hobby investing in watches will naturally lean towards an interest in the bigger premium brands. However, the likes of Patek Philippe and Rolex will inevitably have greater competition when it comes to bidding in watch auctions. You might quickly find yourself outside of your comfort zone and not knowing how to tackle these types of bidding situations.
When starting out investing in watches at auctions, it’s best to have a go at bidding on watches from the more standard brands. This will help you to get used to the process before you eventually begin battling with the seasoned enthusiasts on some of the more premium brands.
Look for watches with a story
A valuable watch isn’t always one manufactured by the premium brands or one that has the most precious materials set in it. Sometimes, the story of a watch can increase its value exponentially, making it much more of a solid investment than a premium watch without any history.
You might find a watch made by an everyday brand, that has been through some epic experiences. Over time, these watches will certainly increase in value, so long as their story can be proved. Look out for watches with war stories, watches that were part of breaking a record, or watches that have been owned by iconic figures, to name a few. They’ll be well worth considering on the day of the auction.
Read the condition report
Many auction visitors make the mistake of simply reading through the auction catalogue, but the condition report will offer so much more information ahead of bidding. These reports will detail exactly what condition the watch is in, as well as other reasons as to why bidding has been set at a certain price. Make sure to read through a condition report before deciding on whether or not to bid on a certain watch at the auction.
With these useful tips for buying at auctions, you should have the knowledge and understanding of how to tackle these specialist watch events. Take everything on board and, with a little patience, you’ll soon invest in a watch that’s exactly what you were looking for.
Don’t forget to take a look at our protective watch collection cases before heading to your first specialist watch auction. You’ll need somewhere to store your watch when you arrive home, and what better way to do so than with a waterproof and dustproof watch case.