The condition of a luxury watch can greatly affect its market value. But how do you know what kind of condition your watch is in? There are three things you should look at.
The easiest condition to evaluate is your watch’s cosmetic condition, which is how it looks. To determine your watch’s cosmetic condition, inspect your watch’s metal on its case, bracelet, bezel, crown, and clasp. Over time, metal can get scratched or dented with wear. Scratches are relatively easy to fix, as a watch’s metal can usually be corrected with a professional refinishing. Dents, on the other hand, are a more serious kind of damage that is much more challenging (and expensive) to repair. Both scratches and dents will hurt the value of your watch, not only because of the visual issue but also because of lost metal.
Next, inspect your watch’s crystal and dial. While a watch’s crystal is harder to scratch than its metal, it can still sometimes happen. And damage to a crystal cannot be repaired; if you have a damaged crystal, you’ll either have to let it be or replace the entire crystal, which is costly. When it comes to the dial’s cosmetic condition, a watch’s dial should be unmarked and look exactly as it did the day you bought it. However, dials can sometimes be scratched or damaged when a watch is serviced by an unskilled person.
In general, having your watch serviced or repaired by someone who is not highly skilled can seriously impact your watch’s cosmetic condition. It’s always best to only have your watch worked on by someone experienced and trustworthy, as a non-expert can easily damage your watch.
Another thing that affects your watch’s overall condition is its functional condition, which is how well it is working. If your watch is very seriously damaged, you’ll notice poor function on your own. However, most functional damage is minor and requires an expert eye to spot. If you’re unsure about the functional condition of your watch, you can take your watch in for an evaluation by an expert, like a watchmaker or a jeweler who specializes in luxury watches.
Lastly, the integrity of your watch’s water resistance affects your watch’s condition. This is not something you would want to test on your own because, if your watch does have a problem with its water resistance, it could easily be ruined by an at-home test. Instead, to determine your watch’s water resistance you should take your watch to a jeweler or watchmaker who can run a water test which, contrary to its name, doesn’t involve any actual water. During a water test, air pressure technology is used to determine a watch’s exact water resistance.