Excellent Advice for Preserving the Value of Your Rolex

12:15 PM

When it comes to assessing the value of a vintage timepiece, some of the contributing factors to current market price can seem counterintuitive at first. Is a banged up vintage Rolex more valuable than one of the same reference that has been polished? Is a cracked original bezel better than one that has been replaced? Christie's provides wonderful insights into how to preserve the value of your timepiece in a Q & A with their watch specialist on their official website

Stainless Steel Rolex Submariner Date
The first piece of advice they offer is not to polish the case of your watch. Though most watches that are actually worn will develop scratches and dings over time, the polishing usually dulls the angles of the case. In terms of value retention, the most important factor for any watch is the preservation of its original parts. So, even though it may be the original case, the polish will lower its value over time as compared to one that hasn't been polished. Even though it may look unsightly and even develop stains or oxidation, an unpolished case is always favored.

When it comes to the bezel and the dial, the same logic is applied. The bezel of a vintage watch may fade over time, creating a 'ghost' effect, which is actually sought after by collectors. The same goes for watches with faded dials, known as 'tropical' dials, like the one on the Paul Newman that sold in Hong Kong last year. If any dial or bezel is replaced, the Christie's watch expert recommends replacing it with one from the same period.

When it comes to the movement, it is recommended to have the watch in working condition. However, replacing original parts to get the watch to work may not be favorable in some cases, depending on the function you are trying to fix. If it tells time, it may not be worth replacing parts to get secondary functions to work, as some collectors will analyze every element of the movement before purchasing.

What this article shows is that care and maintenance of the original timepiece is paramount to any aesthetic or function upgrades or repairs. While you may own a watch that is not yet considered vintage, it is good to know what best practices to follow to maintain the value of your watch. While scratches and dings may bother you when you look at your watch now, it may be worth ignoring them if you plan on keeping the watch for fifty years. It may be worth a lot more in the long run than having a perfectly polished timepiece now.

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