At Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers (DEJB), we are dedicated to each and every client, freely sharing our knowledge with you and helping you make the best possible decision when selling important timepieces, such as limited-edition Swiss watches and antique gold pocket watches.
While we are widely recognized as one of the best places in the country to sell expensive timepieces valued into the six figures, there are times when selling a valuable watch through an auction house like Antiquorum is an option worth considering.
In this DEJB knowledge article, our watch buyers outline the steps that need to be taken, should you decide that selling your important timepiece via Antiquorum is the right option for you.
How to Sell a Watch at Antiquorum
Whether you’ve decided to part with a Rolex watch from your collection, or you have recently inherited a vintage Breitling Navitimer that you want to convert to cash, there are different options available for selling your timepiece. One solidly trusted venue is Antiquorum, the premier auctioneers of modern and vintage watches.
Established in Geneva in 1974, Antiquorum has focused on reaching the wide and growing watch collector’s market. They also were the first auction house to offer full online service. Antiquorum has set many world records, including the all time record for a wristwatch at auction: In 2002, Antiquorum sold a unique 1939 Patek Phlippe World Time watch for $4,026,524—more than double the previous world record.
Getting Your Watch Evaluated by Antiquorum
The first step in selling a watch at Antiquorum is to contact the nearest office and arrange for an expert evaluation. The only office location in the United States is in New York, but you can have your watch evaluated without a visit. To do so, you’ll need to provide a detailed description of any watches you want to sell, as well as any accessories you may have, such as a warranty certificate, an original box, or any extra parts.
You also will need to provide photographs of the watch, including images of the dial, case, and movement if possible. The more detailed information and photographs you can include, the better the initial estimates can be made. The expert evaluators will then review the information and contact you with an auction estimate for your watch or watches. An auction estimate is simply an estimate of what Antiquorum believes will be the final, or “hammer,” price of your watch.
Delivering Your Watch to Antiquorum
As the seller, it is then your responsibility to deliver your property to Antiquorum, either in person, or by shipping your watch. The watch or watches will need to be delivered to Antiquorum at least 45 days before an auction date. The staff at Antiquorum can assist with shipping options and insurance details.
The Antiquorum Grading of Your Timepiece
After your watch is delivered to Antiquorum, it will be even more carefully evaluated by their expert appraisers and given a series of ratings based on its particular condition. The case, dial, and movement are all given ratings numbers, allowing potential buyers to get a detailed assessment of the condition of each item offered for sale.
This highly detailed metric includes the consideration of esthetic, historical, and technical interest; age and rarity; and the technology available at the time of production of the timepiece. Listed in the catalogue at the end of each lot description is the condition report box, which displays an “Expert Opinion,” indicating an overall assessment rating of Exceptional, Excellent, Very Good, Good, or Fair. Though inherently subjective, these “Expert Opinion” ratings are structured to assure the most objective evaluation possible.
The Antiquorum Auction Contract
Once your watch is delivered to Antiquorum and is made ready for sale, a contract will be drawn up. This contract will include a detailed description of the auction lot (i.e. the watch), as well as the terms and fees for the services provided by Antiquorum. Also included in the contract is a mutually agreed upon reserve price, or minimum price the seller will realize after the sale, less Antiquorum’s commission and fees.
Antiquorum’s commissions are collected on sold lots only, at a rate of 15% on the first US $10,000 and 10% above that on the total sale price. Antiquorum also charges an insurance premium of 1% of the total price for each piece sold, or the reserve price for unsold watches–if a seller wants to provide his or her own insurance, a simple disclaimer letter will be included in the contract. The seller will also be charged a fee for photography, and is liable for all additional costs and fees incurred by Antiquorum while preparing your watch for auction.
Notification of Sale By Antiquorum
Two weeks before the auction, the seller will receive a copy of the auction catalog, and a statement with the lot number and reserve price. After the auction is complete, Antiquorum will provide a “list of sale” that includes lot numbers and final selling (hammer) prices. In other words, the list of sale informs the seller whether or not their watch was sold. A separate statement is issued 2-3 weeks later, indicating the total cash amount that the seller will receive after Antiquorum subtracts its commission and fees.
Cash Payment by Antiquorum
Final payment is made to the seller approximately 45 days after the auction, providing the lots have been paid for by the buyers.
The length of time it takes to sell a watch at Antiquorum and the final cash amount received is not what sellers often initially expect. It is not uncommon for the entire process (from initial contact to having cash in hand) to take upwards of 8 months, while incurring commission + fees in excess of 30% of the final hammer price. And if your watch doesn’t sell at Antiquorum, you will end up losing money, as you still are responsible for paying the related shipping, handling, and processing fees related to the auction.
That is why so many watch sellers prefer selling their important timepieces to Diamond Estate Jewelry Buyers. When selling your valuable watch to DEJB, you get paid immediately in cash, with no wait or fees attached.
If you would like to sell your watch for a generous cash amount today, please contact Diamond Estate’s watch buyers for a free verbal watch appraisal and cash offer.
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