Many factors must be considered when valuing an antique or vintage watch. The quality, condition, demand and beauty of the watch must all be taken into consideration. To make the experience even more difficult, the market value of an antique watch can fluctuate from year to year depending on economical and interest factors. An article published by Elgin, a famous watch company, states that, in general, the value of a watch increases over time but it may not always keep up with the rate of inflation. When valuing your antique watch it's a good idea to consult more than one source and clarify whether you are looking for an insurance or retail value.
Examine your watch for any information that can help you establish a value. Manufacturer's marks, gold or silver stamps, serial numbers, logos and model numbers will all help you assess a more accurate value.
Take your watch to an accredited appraiser. Watchmakers and watch dealers are good places to find appraisers. An appraiser will charge a fee for their services so take the time to be sure you are contracting with an experienced professional.
Consult a price-guide book. A good price guide, such as the "Complete Price Guide to Watches" by Shugart, Engle and Gilbert will give you complete information on how to grade the condition of your watch as well as estimating a monetary value.
Comparison shop to find what watches similar to yours are being bought and sold for. Online auctions, penny-ads, collectors fairs and antique stores are good places to find other antique and vintage watches.
Remember when valuing your watch that there is a big difference in an offer--what someone is willing to pay, and an appraisal--what an expert says it is worth.
Beware of an appraiser who offers to purchase your watch. This is considered unethical in the field of antiques.