We’d like to try to explain what you need to know before becoming a possible auction bidder. Watch auctions and dedicated timepiece auction houses are more popular than ever before, and we’d like to try to explain what you need to know before being a possible auction buyer. It is undeniably an exciting time to be a watch enthusiast, since the world is talking about timepieces more than ever before. On the one hand, there’s the slow growth of the smartwatch sector, which, despite reservations from certain low-end manufacturers, will almost certainly result in consumers paying more attention to wrist watches than they have in the last 20 years. On the other hand, the thrilling world of high-end luxury watch auctions and the rising ceiling of prospective prices, as well as the apparent expanding pool of possible watch purchasers, has spawned a new type of financial investing attitude. As a result, not only are there more watch-themed auctions being held, but there are also new enterprises dedicated to bringing more watches to auction for more people.
I’d even say the watch auction market is bursting at the seams. Existing auction houses are increasingly focusing on timepieces, and numerous new auction houses are springing up around the world in the hopes of attracting horological aficionados. On Forbes, I discussed several of the main watch auction firms. There are so many timepiece-related auction houses and auction events that it is generally unsustainable in the long run, in my opinion. Many of these events concentrate on a few prominent auction lots or highlight pieces that the organisers believe will attract significant collectors; the remaining auction lots are significantly less attractive. Remember that valuable and rare timepieces are genuinely rare. It’s not everyday that clocks like the Patek Philippe Supercomplication sell for $24,000,000. Message in Advertising Message At The End Of Advertising
The race for “blockbuster lots” is heating up, and auction houses have been accused of breaking the law by disclosing a watch’s provenance in relation to its absolute legitimacy or actual ownership in some cases. In relation to the latter aspect, it should be noted that celebrity possession of a watch can often greatly raise its worth. Other aspects that I will cover below are things that I believe people interested in participating in watch auctions should be aware of before making a large purchase or bidding at one of the world’s largest watch auction events.
On aBlogtoWatch, we don’t cover watch auctions very often for a variety of reasons. For starters, there are so many that we could talk about future auctions a couple times a week and then debate the results the rest of the time. Most of them are just people trying to sell you something, so I’m not interested in covering them because it doesn’t provide me with information about new products, innovative approaches, or how to appreciate timepieces on a more personal level. Furthermore, the yielded prices promoted by auction houses do not reflect the true value of most timepieces. In reality, timepieces sold at auction are frequently very inexpensive. They showcase a few select watches that are fairly rare to begin with, but that tend to circulate frequently at auction. I don’t always trust watch auction outcomes when it comes to predicting trends or the intrinsic value of objects. For example, the identical model watch can sell for $1,000 in one auction and $5,000 in another sale based solely on emotions and the number of people present at the event.
Emotions are crucial, and they are at the heart of all art “collecting” and admiration. Having stated that, I believe that auction pricing should be based on intrinsic value rather than competition among a small set of privileged buyers. I’d like to summarise my personal opinions regarding watch auctions by stating that they are quite beneficial to anyone looking for good deals on secondhand or older watch models. If, on the other hand, you’re considering watch auctions as an investment vehicle or believe they’re a decent way to value a brand or its products, continue with caution. The principle of caveat emptor should be taken into account in the auction market. So here are ten key points to remember about watch auctions: Message in Advertising Message At The End Of Advertising
1. Watches are a bad financial investment.
Buying timepieces and then selling them at auction for a profit is unlikely to make you wealthy. The majority of reputable auctioneers will undoubtedly agree. Timepieces are “emotional investments” whose valuations can change dramatically and on the spur of the moment. You might have what it takes to be one of the few people in the world who make money by buying and selling watches at auction if you are the type of person who is really adept at understanding the logic behind purchase decisions and feel like you want to try your hand at manipulating a market.
Everyone else should be aware that while timepieces make terrific collectors and are fascinating to learn about and own, they should be viewed as a luxury item rather than an investment tool. This is crucial to consider because some watch companies, merchants, and auction houses prefer to promote the idea that goods will appreciate in value over time and that buying particular timepieces is a “good investment.” Watches are just as wonderful an investment as automobiles. Most lose a significant amount of value after being purchased new, and depreciation is expected each year. If you’re lucky enough to own a car (or a watch) that appreciates in value over time and wasn’t too pricey to begin with, it’ll only last so long after you’ve passed away.
2. Provenance Isn’t Always a Sure Thing
The fact that a timepiece once belonged to a celebrity or notable figure is, predictably, associated with greater auction prices. In my book, The World’s Most Expensive Watches, I cover a Longines wrist watch owned by Albert Einstein that sold for several hundred thousand dollars at auction, despite the fact that the same timepiece without the celebrity pedigree would have been significantly less valuable. As a result, in many cases, the tale of who possessed a timepiece is worth far more than the watch itself. Knowing this, watch auction houses frequently attempt to elevate the value of a watch or other object by associating it with a significant person, location, or event. The issue is that they are sometimes just incorrect. Receipts, letters, photographs, and other sorts of documentation are used to back up claims concerning a watch’s ownership or origin. In order to understand the whole picture, a comprehensive review of the facts about a timepiece’s asserted ownership is critical, because in the worst-case scenarios, the auction house is outright lying.
3. Auctions of watches are highly glamorised
Christie’s and Sotheby’s, two of the world’s most prominent auction houses, publish stunning catalogues with opulent photographs and descriptions of the things they want to sell. These and other similar businesses are masters of presentation. Watch auctions are frequently semi-formalized occasions with a mix of VIPs and the media. Auction houses utilise a lot of media to promote and advertise their sales, so keep an eye on them. This is all sound business, and it legitimately assists interested parties in learning about upcoming auction events. This glitz, on the other hand, is part of the sales pitch, and it’s meant to get people enthusiastic about both participating in the auction and the outcome. Watch auction houses frequently collaborate with a variety of charities and other groups to host benefit events and generate funds for charitable causes. Watch auction houses, in this respect, are as much about entertaining a specific wealthy audience with sales events as they are about providing collectors with a platform to purchase rare and valuable products.
4. The Success of Pre-Owned Watches, Not Vintage Watches, Drives Auctions
The bulk of watch auctions include dozens, if not hundreds, of items available for purchase. When a large number of people read about a watch auction, however, just a few “auction highlights” are highlighted. These are the “superstar” lots, which usually feature intriguing or attractive vintage watches that are expected to sell for a high price at auction. Occasionally, would-be bidders believe that the highlighted timepieces constitute the majority of the auction’s pieces. That isn’t the case. In fact, if there is one takeaway message from this article, it is that the sale of much newer pre-owned or unsold retail stock timepieces is what keeps current watch auctions going. Consumers love these items the most, and they’re what keep many auction houses afloat – not a regular stream of exotic rare timepieces or vintage favourites.
5. Pay Attention To Auction Fees & Premiums
The popularity of eBay.com can be attributed to a number of factors. The fact that eBay makes hosting an auction so inexpensive (and easy) and that customers can bid on their own time utilising an automated system are two of them. The traditional world of auction house fees and premiums – which vary from company to company – exists outside of eBay and its competitors. The basic concept is that when an auction house puts something up for sale and it sells, both the buyer and the seller pay a fee. These charges are not insignificant.
The auction house may take 10-20% of the final bid amount as a charge, which sellers are aware of going into the process. There are many valid reasons for this, and most people decide to sell something through an auction house because they believe that, despite the costs, the auction house helped them receive more money than if they did it themselves. Most auction houses, however, charge a buyer’s fee (sometimes known as a “buyer’s premium”).