Analysis, rating, transparency
The right keys to appreciating the value of your watch
A complex issue
Buying or selling a collectors’ watch requires solid knowledge not only of the watch in question, but also of the practices of the watch market in general, in order to be able to avoid the traps and assess the different criteria capable of impacting the value of the object, either positively or negatively.
A rigorous methodology
In response to this issue, we apply a rigorous methodology that involves analysing each one of the watch’s constituent parts. The appraisal takes place at two levels, focusing on each part’s condition and conformity relative to the period of production, all with the greatest possible transparency.
A detailed report
We present an exclusive appraisal book: FOR YOUR WATCH ONLY. This document presents each watch in the most objective and detailed manner possible, thanks to a substantiated analysis, high-resolution photos designed to highlight all elements of the watch and an innovative rating system.
An exclusive document
FOR YOUR WATCH ONLY is available in the form of a printed book that first and foremost constitutes an object of pleasure and exclusivity in its owner’s library. It is also provided in electronic format and serves firstly as an indispensable document designed to accompany a collectors’ watch and showcase its value on an enduring basis within a collection.
The objective is to give the reader the keys to appreciating the value of the watch as best as possible, with maximum transparency.
The report includes:
- a summary sheet, presenting the watch’s main characteristics and rating,
- a description sheet for the model in question,
- an individual analysis of the watch’s constituent parts,
- high-resolution photos,
- explanatory notes.
The book will be provided also in electronic format (secured .pdf file sent to the watch owner).
We have created a unique valuation tool for collectors’ watches: the WATCHFID Grade.
As an integral part of the appraisal book, the WATCHFID Grade is designed to analyse and take into account as best as possible a wide diversity of information such as the conformity and condition of the watch and its components, the rarity of certain configurations or any other specific information, such as a prestigious history.
The WATCHFID Grade is divided into 2 components, the Watch Score and the Extra Features:
- The Watch Score consists on a detailed analysis of the watch’s main constituent parts: caliber, dial, bezel, hands, case, caseback, crown, pushers, and glass. Any constituent part is analysed and scored according to three criteria (condition, conformity, and relative importance compared to the other parts and to the model being analysed); a proprietary algorithm factoring in these 3 criteria is used to calculate the Score on a scale of 10;
- The Watch Score is not sufficient to fully classify a collectors’ watch in the eyes of its owner or future buyer. We have identified a number of other factors capable of significantly impacting the overall evaluation of the object, such as positive factors (a rare and special version of a part for instance), or negative factors (important accessories missing or significant parts damaged for example); these Extra Features do not receive a score, but they represent an important way to differentiate two identical watches in the same condition but with specificities that may impact their respective values.
FOR YOUR WATCH ONLY is integrated with Blockchain.
The appraisal books are prepared at a given date and consequently refer to an analysis performed at a precise moment, bearing in mind that the condition and sometimes certain characteristics of the watch and its parts may evolve over time. They therefore constitute detailed snapshots at a given point in time and are essential for any future examinations.
However, the traceability of the information is guaranteed, since each report is integrated into our digital passports – the WATCHFID-IDs – using Blockchain technology.
- We perform a first analysis based on the photos and information transmitted by the collector, in order to identify any anomalies.
- We transmit our conclusions to the collector so as to decide how then to proceed.
2. Watch shipping
- Following these first checks, the owner may order the appraisal book.
- The owner must then send us the watch so that we can start our detailed analytical work.
3. Photo session
- Once we have received the watch, we transmit it to our photographer for a detailed photo shoot, according to the protocol we apply to all watches.
- These photographs will be included in the appraisal book, and also transmitted to the watch owner.
- We perform our in-depth appraisal of the watch, in order to check the conformity and condition of each component.
- We establish the WATCHFID Grade using our proprietary algorithms.
- FOR YOUR WATCH ONLY is prepared in the form of a customisable and printed book.
- It is also provided in electronic format.
Understanding vintage watches
Original watches vs. conform watches
For vintage watches, the term “original” is unfortunately used abusively. It is more appropriate to speak of watches or parts that are “in conformity or consistent with the original”.
It is extremely difficult – if not impossible in the majority of cases – to guarantee that a constituent part is “original” or, in other words, was fitted on the watch in question when it was produced and has not been changed since. This is because it is both frequent and normal for parts to be replaced, during a service for example. The only means of certifying this kind of assertion would be for the first owner to be formally identified and for this owner to be certain that the watch had never been serviced.
In-depth knowledge can nevertheless be used to certify that the constituent part in question is consistent with the watch’s period of production, thus signifying that all of the part’s characteristics match those of the part originally fitted on the watch.
This is an important nuance and one that we consider to be the sole transparent and honest assertion that can be formulated on the subject of a vintage watch.
The question of the interest of restored watches arises frequently.
Techniques for restoring collectors’ watches have evolved and made considerable progress in recent years. Professionals are now capable of perfectly restoring dials (even by sometimes using radioactive luminous materials from the period), cases (by metal injection and laser correction), or external bezels. Other minor parts are also very often overhauled.
Particular care therefore needs to be taken in this respect.
There is one overriding rule in this case: transparency.
The primary issue is not whether a watch has been restored or not. The preference for a fully-reconditioned watch or one left in its unrestored condition depends on the personal taste of each individual.
The real question concerns the quality and transparency of the information provided by the seller: this information must be comprehensive, accurate and free of omissions, subject to the knowledge available. This is WATCHFID’s philosophy.