Getting a watch appraised can be a difficult process if you do not know where to take the watch. Choosing the right place to get an accurate appraisal can also complicate the process. However, there are places that specialize in watch appraisals. Most watch appraisals take some digging and research to determine the exact maker, when it was made and market value.
A number of watch appraisal sites can be found online. Some online appraisal sites will not be as thorough and accurate as quality appraisal sites. Most reputable appraisal sites will only ask you to fill out a form and send them photographs of the watch. Fine Timed Collectibles is an example of one of these sites that only requires a form and photos. You need to include a photograph of the inside and outside of the watch. In return, the appraisal organization will send you back a document with all the information it can find concerning the watch, including the manufacturer, time period of the watch, average market value and the cost of repair or maintenance of the timepiece.
Many jewelers are qualified to appraise watches. Being a jeweler does not automatically qualify a person to give watch appraisals, so you will have to ask a lot of questions to determine the jeweler's education, training and experience as it pertains to watch appraisals. There is no governing body that licenses watch or jewelry appraisals, but qualified watch appraisers will have been educated and tested in the standards, ethics, valuation, business practices and reporting procedures for watch appraisals. You can request an appraiser's qualification before choosing him to appraise your watch.
Auction houses often appraise watches. Some auction houses will perform an appraisal of your watch for no fee if you choose them to sell the watch. Some auction houses, such as Antiquorum, specialize in selling watches and outline the procedures you need to follow when selling a watch through their organization. These auction houses appraise watches to maintain their reputation in the industry. The organization wants to ensure their customers that the item being sold is researched thoroughly and has verifiable authenticity.
You can contact different associations to get a list of qualified watch appraisers. The National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors lists different appraisal services in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Most associations give you advice on what to look for in an appraiser, as well as a list of member appraisers. Reputable associations require a prospective member to provide verifiable information about their appraisal qualifications, education, training and experience.