What’s It Worth? Driving It Off The Lot

Many people use the phrase, “It will lose 30 percent when you drive it off the lot” in reference to buying not just cars, but jewelry, watches, pianos, and fine art from galleries as well. And indeed, because of retail markups, many of these, when sold at auction within one year of purchase, can’t possibly achieve the purchase price.

When good taste and research meet up with luck, collectors often are able to sell their 1980 to 1990s purchases for way more than they paid — especially fine art, larger diamonds and, of course, Rolex and Patek Philippe. This week’s case in point outlines a Patek Philippe that has held its value well. We were able to purchase it for under $17,000. It needed cleaning, oiling and adjusting, as well as a new strap due to the disintegration of its original strap. We will clean, oil and adjust plus add a new strap, all of which will cost us approximately $900. We will be able to sell the 18-karat rose-gold watch for around $20,000, netting us a modest 20 percent profit. There is no retail value because they no longer make this watch; but Patek makes similar larger versions that retail at over $55,000.

Our customer paid $22,000 in 2004, which, according to Forbes Magazine, translates to $30,675 in today’s money. In short, our customer bought the watch for $22,000, wore it for 16 years and sold it today (adjusted for inflation) for the equivalent of $30,000.

And it gets better: a Patek from the 1950s or ’60s with sub-dials like this one can be worth $100,000 or more. We are currently writing a book about Patek Philippe valuation theory, and would love to see or hear about your Patek. We will buy it, or for a small fee, appraise it for you. We have bought tens of millions of dollars’ worth of Patek Philippe over the years — with our record being a watch we paid $400,000 for in 1991. We are top international buyers of fine vintage Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Longines and Omega, especially pre-1990 versions.

We can meet you at our office, your house, your bank or attorney’s office. HOUSE CALLS AVAILABLE
You have seen us in Forbes Magazine, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 7 GIA graduates, 3 watchmakers, 2 jewelers, diamond experts & accredited jewelry professionals on staff.

St. Petersburg: 1131 4th St. N. 727.896.6656.
Tampa: Hyde Park Village. 1607 W. Swann. 813.875.3935.
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