When it comes to selling pre-owned luxury watches, it goes without saying that the more complete the set is, the higher the value of the watch. Some additional items that can come along with a fine timepiece include the original receipt, the original paperwork and authenticity card, original manuals and marketing materials, service history records, and the original box the watch was sold in. Is it important to save the watch box? How much is the watch box really worth when reselling a second fine timepiece? Let’s investigate.
Keep the Watch Box
While it may be tempting to get rid of the box after you purchase your watch to save space and keep out the clutter, we would strongly advise otherwise. Even if you store your luxury watches in a watch winder, a specialized watch storage case, or in your side table drawer in no box at all- keep the original presentation box in a safe place. This is because when it comes time to selling your used watch, the original watch box (and accompanying paperwork) can add a hefty premium to your timepiece. It’s estimated that a watch box can increase the selling price by anywhere from 15% to 50% depending on the model. Boxes that accompany older, vintage, and rarer timepieces add much more value than boxes for newer and more common models.
Even if you don’t think you’ll ever sell your watch, keep it for the person who’ll eventually inherit your watch. In fact, the famous Swiss watch company, Blancpain, wanted to buy back the original watch box of my late grandmother’s vintage Blancpain gold cocktail watch—they said that the box itself was more valuable than the timepiece! This was because not only did my grandmother keep it in fantastic condition but also because the company did not have any existing examples of that special box made for her particular model. I’m happy to report that my father refused their offer and I have both her watch and ultra-valuable watch box securely tucked away in my safe. Ever since I heard that story from my father, I have meticulously kept every watch box that has come into my possession—and you should too.
Selling a Watch with the Watch Box
You’ll find that it’s much easier to sell your second luxury watch when it comes along with its original box. This is because some buyers will not consider purchasing a pre-owned timepiece without one. In addition to indicating authenticity, having a watch box in tow also signals to the buyer that the watch was carefully taken care of. Someone who keeps the original packaging, paperwork, and any other accouterments is more likely to be a watch owner that was detailed enough to keep up a good service, maintenance, and cleaning routine.
One quick look at eBay and you’ll find countless sellers just selling watch boxes from several famous watch brands like Rolex, OMEGA, Cartier, Patek Philippe, and so on. Again, no watches, just the boxes. This is a clear indication that the box itself is worth a significant amount.
Selling a Watch Without the Watch Box
Although selling a used watch with its original box can add hundreds, if not thousands, dollars to your resale value, it is of course still possible to sell it without one. And while you may lose out on some money, if other factors such as brand, model, condition, paperwork, and service history are intact, then the price drop may not be too much.