Watch auctions have reached a new level of popularity and many new enthusiasts are joining fellow bidders. If you are thinking about doing the same in 2021, there are a few things you should know.

Even though the smartwatch industry is thriving, a new mentality surrounding the high-end luxury and vintage watch market is emerging.

Not only is this increasing the frequency of watch auctions, but more businesses are focusing on bringing watches to auctions. This means that enthusiasts looking to purchase their next timepiece at an auction can look forward to having a larger variety of unique watches to choose from.

Traditional vs. Online Watch Auctions

Online auctions are very similar to traditional auctions, however, you won’t be able to physically view and touch a timepiece before purchasing it.

Besides the existing pandemic, it seems that online auctions are becoming the preferred option for a number of reasons.

Online auctions take place more frequently, giving bidders more opportunities to find a timepiece they love. The fact that you can also attend an auction taking place almost anywhere in the world means bidders are more likely to stumble upon rare and unique watches.

Naturally, if you do choose to attend an online auction, make sure it’s connected to a trusted auction house.

The Best Time to Attend a Watch Auction

There are different opinions about the best time to attend a watch auction.

If it’s vintage watches you are after, experts recommend attending the major auctions that occur in autumn and spring. These auction seasons are standard across the globe and since most of the auction houses are now hosting virtual events, it’s possible for bidders to attend auctions in different cities.

In terms of the weekly auctions that take place, it’s difficult to predict which events you should attend. Researching auction houses that are renowned for their watch auctions is your best bet at finding unique timepieces to invest in.

Sotheby’s and Christies are two of the most popular sites to keep an eye on if you are looking to attend more watch auctions this year.

The Art of Investing in a Watch

Before attending any kind of watch auction, it’s important to set a budget. It’s also essential that you outline what you are looking for, at least some basic requirements anyway, particularly if you want to sell the watch in the future.

Don’t purchase a watch for the sake of doing so, rather wait for a timepiece that speaks to you.

In terms of what to look for when looking at watches to bid on, don’t focus too much on the brand name. The size, shape and style of a watch should also play a significant role in your decision.

Once you have a watch in mind, pay attention to the condition report as well as any images that are available. Why is it being auctioned? What does the watch currently look like in comparison to a new version?

If you are purchasing the watch for your own personal use, the finer details aren’t too significant. However, if you plan to resell it later on, the small details make all the difference.

In doubt about any of the details? Don’t hesitate to ask the auction house staff who have been briefed on each of the items.

It should also be noted that all auction houses charge the successful bidder a percentage of the final winning bid. This can be as low as 15% but may be as high as 35%? Plus, there are also VAT and mailing/courier costs.

Once you attend your first auction, whether it’s in person or online, you will soon get a feel for the process and what you can expect going forward.

For any watch servicing and repairs post-auction, don’t hesitate to contact Martins of Glasgow.