The name that graces the front of the watch has a lot to do with its valuation. Names that resonate with luxury watch buyers, such as Rolex, hold their value well because the manufacturer has a reputation for prestige and extremely high standards of workmanship. Other names at the top end of watch manufacturing include Breitling, Omega, Patek Philippe and Cartier. These will command higher prices than those at the lower end of the luxury watch market such as Oris or Fortis.
Certain watches are in fashion at any give time and as in most things fashion helps to dictate prices. For instance, Omega watches get a boost every time a James Bond film is released.
While quality of manufacture is important, along with the reputation of the brand name, another dictator of value is the materials contained in the watch. Those with a high quantity of gold or precious jewels have a value that’s greater than those with fewer precious metals.
Collectors love rarity, and as time passes the rarer a vintage or antique watch becomes. But rarity isn’t exclusive to age. Limited editions or commemorative editions are often not made in huge quantities, so those can hold a higher value as time passes than something of a similar standard that’s more readily available to buyers.
Originality also plays a part in determining the value of a watch. Distinctive brands should be as close to original quality as possible in order to get the best price. Replacement parts of any kind tend to reduce the value, although replacement straps don’t have the same impact as replacement internal workings.