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Facts About Wristwatch Auctions

Facts About Wristwatch Auctions Blog

There is no better exciting time to become a wristwatch enthusiast than now because the world is discussing the advancement of timepieces more than ever. Wristwatch auctions no doubt provide an excellent opportunity for financial investment, especially for high-end luxury watches. This fantastic opportunity will result in a rising frequency of watch-themed auctions and new business opportunities. Success stories of wristwatch auctions have resulted in more emerging auction houses hoping to draw the attention of horological collectors. The competition in this niche is fierce. Some auction houses have been accused of unethical non-disclosure of the provenance of a timepiece as it affects the actual ownership or authority of the watch. Besides the factors revolving around the auction house practices, other factors affect the value of a timepiece, and one such factor is celebrity ownership. In this article, you will discover some critical facts about wristwatch auctions that will provide you with much-needed insights.

1. There Is No Guarantee Of Provenance

They expect timepieces owned by a celebrity will often command a higher value. It is not entirely true. A star or an icon holding the watch has nothing to do with higher auction values. For instance, The Longines wristwatch, formerly owned by Albert Einstein, went for a couple of thousand, but even the same watch without the celebrity provenance is at a lesser price. It implies that the story of who owned a piece is worth more than the timepiece itself. It calls for verification of provenance documentation such as letters, pictures, receipts, et cetera.

2. Super Glamorised Watch Auctions

Most successful auction houses are masters of presentation. They put out great catalogs with excellent descriptions and pictures of the timepieces they wish to sell. These auction companies with their media allies dedicate so much to advertising sales. This level of promotion legitimately informs people of upcoming events and stirs the interests of those who might bid in the auction. The glamour is only a sales strategy designed to excite people to take part in the auction.

3. Success Of Pre-owned Watches Drives Auctions

Every auction has hundreds of timepieces set for sale. When you read about an auction, only a few of the auction highlights, especially the superstars, the high-end vintage watches, with the likelihood of achieving high auction values, are promoted. The irony of auctions is that bidders often believe that the timepieces represent watches at auction; if they only take away from this piece, they sustain the most contemporary events by selling unsold retail stock or newer pre-owned watches.

4. Be Cautious With Premiums Or Auction Fees

The concept behind real watch auctions houses is that they collect a fee from both the seller and the buyer, ranging from 10 to 20 percent of the last bid. Most auction houses charge a higher buyer’s premium than the seller feels. While these houses charge 10 – 20% of the total buyer during a winning sale, they could charge between 10 to 30% as a buyer’s premium over the ultimate price.

5. Watch Brands Purchase Their Timepieces At Auctions

A key observation is the overt or covert bidding of watch brands, depending on the situation. In an ethical problem, a watch brand openly bids and wins its timepieces. Breguet, for instance, often purchases historical watches, most of which are over 200 years, manufactured by its namesake and family. In some other situations, watch brands can bid covertly using a proxy to manipulate the auction.

6. Valuable Watches At Auction Are Rarer Than You Can Imagine

For brands that shine at auctions, Rolex and Patek Philippe stand to put in a high-value performance. Patek Philippe, based on the history of manufacturing exclusive complicated luxury watches. Rolex has prototypes and limited production models at auctions. Most healthy timepieces that have proven auction-winning bids at one million dollars or more are rare and have circulated from auction to auction, exchanged among many elite collectors.

There are so many facts you need to know beyond the above top 5 pieces of information. If you go to bid, remember that while watch auctioneers are skilled storytellers, they inflate most watch auction values. Be careful with anonymous bidding via proxy. It could become a double-edged sword.

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