Watch auctions and dedicated timepiece auction houses are more popular now than ever before, and we’d like to try to explain what you need to know before becoming a potential auction bidder. Without a doubt, it is an exciting time to be a watch lover, because the world is talking about timepieces more than ever. On the one hand, you have the gradual emergence of the smartwatch industry that, despite concerns from some low-end brands, will likely have the outcome of making people notice wrist watches more than the general public has in the last 20 years. On the other hand, you have a new form of financial investment mentality surrounding the exciting world of high-end luxury watch auctions and the rising ceiling of potential values, as well as the apparent expanding pool of potential watch buyers. The result isn’t just an increasing frequency of watch-themed auctions, but also entire new businesses dedicated to bringing more watches to auction for more people.
I would go so far as to say that the watch auction market is in a bubble. Existing auction houses are increasingly focused on timepieces, and many new auction houses are popping up hoping to attract horological collectors around the world. I talked about some of the major watch auction houses here on Forbes. There are so many timepiece-related auction houses and so many timepiece-themed auction events, it is, in my opinion, mostly unsustainable for the long run. Many of these events focus on just a few featured auction lots or highlight pieces that the organizers hope will attract major collectors; the rest of the auction lots are far less interesting pieces. Don’t forget that rare and valuable timepieces are actually rare. It isn’t common for there to be timepieces such as the Patek Philippe Supercomplication that go for $24,000,000.
The competition for “blockbuster lots” is getting fierce, and in some circumstances, auction houses are accused of unethical conduct in disclosing the provenance of a watch as related to its total authenticity or actual ownership. To that latter point, it should be stated that in many instances, celebrity ownership of a watch can vastly increase its value. There are other factors that I will discuss below, which I feel people interested in participating in watch auctions should know before fully committing to a major purchase or bidding at one of the major watch auction events around the world.
Read the entire article at: http://www.ablogtowatch.com/10-things-know-wrist-watch-auctions/