Watch Articles

Selling Watches vs. Auctioning Watches

March 6, 2017 - Watch Articles

In any watch-selling journey, there are a number of different paths that a seller may choose to take. You may choose selling your watch for a fixed offered price, or you may consider auctioning watches. If you are seeking to sell a watch for the first time or are relatively new to watch selling, it is more challenging to determine the best selling option for you to take. To sell, or to auction?


Get answers to the following questions:


auctioning watcheswatches

How does auctioning watches work?

The process of selling watches at auction is similar to any other form of auctioning valuable goods. The auction house will establish a minimum price for your watch and prospective buyers will bid incrementally on the watch until a buyer reaches an amount that no other buyer wishes to surmount. The auction house will then either retain a set fee, or a percentage of the bought watch. Therefore the winning bid is not the total sum of what the buyer will receive.

There are specialty action houses that deal with various goods, including watches and valuable jewelry. This allows for industry specialists, who have a real understanding of watch values to take part in the buying process. However, there is also the possibility at auction that the item will not sell, depending on which watch buyers are present at the auction on the day.

Selling watches

What types of watches go to auction?

Watches that will perform well at auction are by-and-large collectors’ timepieces and valuable watches that are popular at the time. This is dependent on the watch’s current market value, which is contingent on the luxury watch landscape at the time of its selling. This may be influenced by a brand’s current popularity, the style, the materials it is made from, its rarity (whether it is limited edition or not) as well as consumer demand.

More common watches may not reach their full selling value potential at watch auctions based on a disinterest from the buyers, especially if it is an item that is easily attained and neither unique nor rare.


pros and cons auctioning watches


Pros and cons of auctioning watches



  • Auctioning watches can be great for rare and particularly high-end watches. However, this is only the case if they are well suited for that particular auction house.
  • If the right audience is in attendance, you can expect to receive higher selling prices. Although it is key to remember that the auction house will take a percentage of the final value.
  • The process of selling at auction will help establish a price, typically advised by a member of staff at the auction house at some point during the procedure.



  • The process can be time intensive, sometimes taking up to several months, as auctions are not held on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Finding a reputable auction house that specializes in luxury watches can be a challenging task.
  • There are fees involved.
  • There is no guarantee that your item will sell.


specialist watch buyer


Advantages of selling to a specialist watch buyer

One of the advantages of selling directly to a watch buyer is that the process is quick and is a simple transaction. It can take as little as 24 hours and payments are made within a short timeframe.


About WP Diamonds

At WP Diamonds, our luxury watch experts have in depth, specialist knowledge of the secondhand watch market and can accurately price your item. We purchase a wide range of luxury watches, not only high value or unique timepieces. We can offer you a price value for your watch, with no hidden fees or commissions deducted. The price we give you is the amount you get.

Established in New York City in 2012, we believe that selling luxury items should be an enjoyable and transparent experience. We believe in providing honest price ranges and quick payment. Our free service has earned us an A+ BBB rating and over one thousand customer reviews.


How to sell watches

For a quick and secure process with a guaranteed sale, fill out our online form today and we will be in touch shortly with an initial price quote.

We provide the option of selling online with our free, fully insured shipping. Appointments are available in NYC, the UK, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Once our experts have examined your timepiece, we will provide a final offer for you to consider. Should you accept, we will have you paid. If you decline our offer, we return your pieces free of charge.

Bio: Written by one of our diamond, designer jewelry or luxury watch experts. With over 150 years of combined experience, our experts are able to comment on trends, share industry knowledge and provide diamond, designer jewelry and luxury watch education.

What To Do Next

Related Articles

When looking to raise funds, one of the most obvious choices is to sell your valuable possessions, such as your luxury timepiece. There are numerous options when it comes to obtaining money for your watches. T...


Perhaps you inherited a watch, perhaps you bought it a long time ago. If you are curious about the secondhand value of a vintage watch or are looking to sell, our experts are able to help. Get answers to the f...


Selling Luxury Watches on Consignment For those considering selling a pre-owned luxury watch, whether it is the Rolex you simply never wear or your Breitling given to you as a gift, you will most likely be doi...


Unsure about how to sell your watch or what the process will be like? We caught up with Jon Nelson, who sold his luxury watch to WP Diamonds, and asked him about his selling experience.   Interview with J...

We guarantee the safety, security, and privacy of your valuables

We're Proudly Accredited By

Better Business Bureau Logo
  • NPA Logo
  • JVC Logo
  • Better Business Bureau Logo
  • Jewelers Board of Trade Logo