The business of pre-owned watches is booming, and many in the watch industry are looking for ways to enter the sector themselves. Genevan luxurious goods group Richemont has long been on board. IWC Schaffhausen has come up with a special service for its customers and all those who would like to become one. From now onwards, anyone can take a used watch that they are wanting to part with to a (German) IWC boutique and sell it. However, there are a few rules to this game that sellers have to watch out for.
Firstly, it’s not all about getting cash fast, as it were. Rather, it’s more about exchanging your watch for a new IWC watch. Those who are heartlessly leaving a vintage watch at home to gather dust, who would undoubtedly rather be wearing a Pilot, Ingenieur or Portugieser, should definitely take it to their nearest IWC Boutique as soon as possible.
Upon doing so, a salesperson at the boutique can give the seller a non-binding offer for the watch, before it goes for a more thorough check-up at the servicing centre. What is important to remember is that the watch should be no more than 25 years old – and from a well-known brand. When being valued, the watch is categorised by age, into 0-2, 2-5, 6-10 or 11-24 year-old category. In special cases, vintage watches can also be exchanged despite being over 25 years old, depending on the brand, the model and demand.
The creation of the trade-in service has been possible thanks to the second-hand watch specialist Watchfinder & Co., which has belonged to the Richemont Group since 2018, and recently revealed that it is planning to open its own boutique in Geneva. For an initial appraisal, the sales advisors don’t need the watch to be brought along. Rather, basic information such as brand, model, and condition are enough, thanks to an automatic databank that is able to give a rough estimate. Even watches without a box or papers can potentially be exchanged, regardless of whether the timepiece is first or second-hand. If the quote matches the seller’s expectations, the watch is then sent for a complete evaluation at the Watchfinder Service Centre in London, which has been certified by the manufacturers.
Finally, if everything is in order with the watch and its valuation, the seller can accept the offer directly as a down payment for the purchase of a new IWC watch – or else accept it as a voucher to be used at a future purchase or as a gift voucher. From the first estimate to the contractual trade-in, the process takes between one to two weeks.
The new trade-in service from IWC x Watchfinder & Co. is not about pushing for the best possible price, but rather about quickly, easily, and safely selling one’s watch. That way, it need not spend its life in drawers or boxes, but rather on the wrist where it belongs. After all, let’s be honest – how often do we hoard watches, jewellery and clothes at home simply because we just can’t tear ourselves away from them?
On a side note – the same service is already available at Panerai and Lange & Söhne in Dresden.