Watch Auctions: How to Make a Deal and What You Should Know

by luxwatch

More and more often, we hear about luxury watch auctions , which allow anyone to purchase excellent models at significantly lower prices than those listed.
Precisely for this reason, we will try to help you understand the main parameters that govern watch auctions, the different types of auctions, and which brands are, in principle, among the most sold and purchased through this type of operation.

What needs to be understood right away, however, is that watch auctions represent important opportunities for those who know how to fully exploit potential buyers.
In that regard, it is very important to understand how these events are carried out, and how to take advantage of all the opportunities they make available.

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Characteristics of watch auctions

Watch auctions are, essentially, sales processes which take place through free offers and which end with the sale of the item to the highest bidder.
It is therefore clear that anyone who places the right offer – and does so at the most opportune time – can safely win the watch that they prefer.
Precisely for this reason, luxury watch auctions provide a very interesting opportunity to view numerous different models and to be able to win the one you want most.

The organization of wristwatch auctions is very simple, and is characterized by an opening period during which one can safely place an offer.
Once this deadline has expired, no further offer may be made, and the product is then awarded to the highest bidder .
Each model, of course, is accompanied by an accurate technical sheet – freely viewable by the interested parties – which indicates the specific characteristics, quality, and all other parameters that may be useful for a more accurate evaluation.
The modus operandi is thus very simple and intuitive, granting most any type of enthusiast the opportunity to make their own considerations, and to advance the offer that they consider the most just and appropriate.
These types of events are of course organized in all major cities, with watch auctions in New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Geneva and numerous other locations.

Types of watch auctions

luxury watch auction houses


As already mentioned, there are different types of watch auctions , which differ from each other based on their particular characteristics, the products on offer, and the various parameters that concern them.
Indeed, there are auctions for wristwatches, pendulums, antiques, luxury watches, etc.
In any case, by knowing the specifics of each type of auction in detail, you can understand which will benefit you the most, and how to take advantage of all the opportunities made available.

Many of the more expensive watches have been sold right through watch auctions; we discussed this in an article about the most expensive watches ever.

Auctions can effectively be divided into two main categories: online auctions conducted on specialized websites, and physical auctions which instead take place in special auction houses.

Online watch auctions

Online watch auctions are the most popular and best known by far, as they allow thousands of virtual fans to come together in one place.
They are regulated, for the most part, by specialized sites that present the various models and provide information about purchase methods, offers, and performance throughout the entire auction.
These sites go hand in hand with efficient shipping services that send the product – after the due checks are made and the auction signs off on everything – to the person who advanced the best offer in the shortest time.
For this reason, online watch auctions are easily among the most popular, allowing you to evaluate a large number of interesting products while sitting comfortably at a desk with your own computer.
Lastly, in regard to valuations, we’re talking about really affordable prices that allow us to browse a wide range of products even with budgets on the lower end.

Judicial watch auctions

Judicial watch auctions can create some very interesting opportunities for buyers.
Indeed, the models offered for sale are generally products confiscated by law enforcement officers from private individuals or companies that did not respect the terms of payment or shirked their duties towards the State.
This naturally devalues ​​the products which are sold, usually resulting in a price that is considerably lower than the one listed.
To be more specific, there are two different types of judicial watch auctions: those without enchantment and those with enchantment.
In the first case (without enchantment), we’re talking about auctions in which participants place their offer in a closed envelope, indicating – in addition to the proposed amount – payment methods and other useful details to help evaluate the offer. In the end, of course, the one considered the highest bidder is the one who wins the product.
On the other side, the enchanted version of this auction is more traditional, in that the various contenders expose their offers and a judge ultimately decrees the best one.

Bankruptcy watch auctions

In some respects, Bankruptcy watch auctions are those the ones that can guarantee the best opportunities, assuming you are able to make the right assessments about the various products offered.
To be more specific, we’re talking about auctions in which products that were stolen from private individuals, failed companies, or a bankrupt bank are offered for sale.
The most interesting feature of these events is that the proposed watches begin at a starting price which, when compared to the original one, is at least 10 times lower.
The reason for such a convenient valuation lies in the fact that these objects, having been seized, all the advantages and guarantees of products purchased in the store no longer apply.
However, especially when it comes to auctions involving famous brands such as Rolex, Omega, Panerai, Breitling, and others, you are sure to have products of absolute quality in your hands – products that are guaranteed to last a long, long time.

Foreclosed watch auctions

Foreclosed watch auctions , as can easily be guessed from the name, are a type of auction in which the products presented are mostly foreclosed.
We are also talking about a very high chance for numerous interesting opportunities, as the products sold have a relatively low and accessible price bases.
In this respect, the buyer can potentially evaluate a large number of different models of famous brands, and choose the one that best meets the parameters they are seeking.
A judge clarifies just what the rules are, the auction parameters, and the price from which every single product starts.
Also important in this type of auction is the fact that offers have to be made within a certain time limit, at the end of which the winner is decreed and subsequently awarded, by rights, the clock in question.

Online auction sites

After a careful analysis of the different types of auctions, it is clear that online watch auctions, more than the others, offer the ideal conditions to find good models at reasonable prices.
Among the advantages that this type of auction also presents, there is undoubtedly: the fact of being able to evaluate a much greater number of models than other auctions; the potential to buy a product from the comforts of home, eliminating the necessity of having to go to a physical place; and, finally, the opportunity to participate in auctions managed in a serious, professional, and orderly manner by specialized sites.

Indeed, it is thanks to online auction sites that this type of service is made available; they are managed very attentively, and even the smallest detail is always attended to.
Among the most important of these sites, it is essential to remember two in particular:


Catawiki provides a very interesting solution when it comes to brand watch auctions.
To be more specific, unlike other online platforms, this site provides users with accurate and precise evaluations of the goods by industry experts.
By that token, the quality and safety of the products are absolutely ensured and certified.
Using Catawiki is very simple. Indeed, right after registering as a seller, you have the opportunity to auction your products.
Each auction starts from a minimum price of € 1 , even when there is the possibility of setting a reserved price on high-value goods.
Auctions on this site, of course, take place in a conventional manner and grant any user the opportunity to place their offer within the time limit set by the seller.
When this limit expires, the person who offered the most is, by rights, awarded the product.
As far as security is concerned, Catawiki is one of the most reliable online auction sites, as it is subject to continuous checks by the staff in charge.
In fact, payments don’t go through until the product has been correctly shipped, and can be blocked – or even interrupted – in the event of specific complaints regarding the quality of the goods or failure to deliver them.

Ebay watch auctions

Ebay is one of the most popular online auction sites in the world, and one of the first to have introduced this type of sales method.
Indeed, millions of users come together on this platform every day, buying, selling, and contracting all kinds of goods.
Watch auctions in particular are widespread and allow anyone to find excellent models at affordable prices.
With regard to the auctions themselves, sellers set an Initial Price when they put a watch up for sale, from which the bidding will start.
In this way, the various users interested in that object have the ability to place their offer in anticipation of the potential acquisition of the product.
Naturally, in the event that the offers were low, then it is possible on the part of the seller to set a minimum amount to be reached, so that they don’t have to sell the item at too low a price.
Ebay also offers the seller the possibility to insert a Buy It Now button, set based on a minimum price that they deem sufficient to sell the item. In this way, a user interested in the product but who has no intention of participating in the auction can easily buy the item at the price indicated and get it.
Among the various auction sites for online watches, Ebay is – without a ray of doubt – a candidate, easily one of the safest and most reliable of all.

Christie’s watch auctions

Christie’s is the largest auction house in the world; you will only find the most expensive and precious watches at their auctions. With a variety of different participation methods such as Christie’s Live, telephone calls, and attending their events in person, this is definitely the right place to go if you are looking for an expensive watch.

Watches Brands at Auctions

It’s easy enough to understand why online and physical auctions feature a significant number of watch brands , with watches both new and used.
Indeed, many models are evaluated and sold every day, among which may be the one that best suits your needs.
The most well-handled watch auctions, of course, are those of the luxury brands (and Rolex watch auctions in particular), which present the most sought-after models and offer the best features and qualities.
Specifically, the most highly regarded auctions are:

  • Rolex watch auctions
  • Omega watch auctions
  • Panerai watch auctions
  • Breitling watch auctions

You can find the complete list of the best watch brands using the following link

Countries where watch auctions take place

Both physical and online watch auctions are widespread, practically taking place all over the world, though they are much more popular in some countries than in others.
Regardless of place, auctions are always structured in the same way, executed with the same methods, though in some cases, the products offered to the user can be different according to the country of origin.
Here are the main cities and countries where it is possible to participate in this type of auction in 2020:

  • New York watch auctions
  • Hong Kong watch auctions
  • Tokyo watch auctions
  • London watch auctions
  • Geneva watch auctions

Types of watches at auction

Watch auctions present a very interesting opportunity to evaluate many different models.
What also makes these events so popular and avant-garde is the number of types of watches that can be evaluated.
To be more specific, the most discussed are:

Pendulum clock auctions

Pendulum clock auctions are widespread throughout all over the world and beyond. These models feature typical and, very often, incredibly particular characteristics.
Indeed, pendulum clocks – especially vintage ones – are highly sought-after and requested ornaments.
Furthermore, the products are very different from each other, varying from traditional models to more modern ones, which have more advanced features.
In any case, the indisputable quality and reliability of these products makes it possible to find the right model. Considerations include features such as colors, shapes, and which design best fits with the style of your home or apartment.

Cuckoo watch auctions

Cuckoo clocks are among the oldest types of clocks, and were the first to be presented as ornaments for houses and homes.
In terms of specifics, this type of clock is characterized by a very particular structure and by a mechanism that is totally detached from more modernized models.
Precisely for this reason, such products handled at auctions are often unique pieces. Between their fine carving and decorated details and motifs, these objects can reach very high valuations.
In any case, it must be said that cuckoo clocks are undoubtedly one of enthusiasts’ most preferred solutions.

Pocket watch auctions

In regards to pocket watch auctions, we’re talking about very popular and well-treated products.
Indeed, they present a very functional solution thanks to their small size and timeless, classic style.
We must not forget that, before the advent of the wristwatch – now used by practically everyone – the pocket watch was, in fact, the only way to be able to view the time whenever you so pleased, even when you were away from home.
Precisely for this reason, these models are still very popular today, providing a variety of really interesting solutions.
Furthermore, the products vary based on the materials with which they were made, whether they were intended for men or women, the composition, and the realization. Between all those factors, pocket watches are easily able to cater to everyone’s preferences.

Wristwatch auctions

These watches are undoubtedly the most common type, used everywhere in the world.
They come in all types, shapes, sizes, and models. The details of each and every wristwatch are all finely curated and designed to meet the needs of enthusiasts.
All the major luxury brands are constantly at work, searching for and identifying the best solutions in their quest to propose ever-better performing and aesthetically pleasing models.
As a result, wristwatch auctions are also the most popular, and offer a range of really interesting solutions.
In all these regards, it can be said that the auctions that deal with this type of product are undoubtedly the most appreciated, as they offer highly sought-after and precious watches at prices that are decidedly cheaper than those listed.

Vintage watch auctions

Among the different types of auctions and well-regarded products, we must not forget about vintage watch auctions.
This type of event is centered on the sale of ancient products that, in an easy enough way to understand, present a certain charm that is decidedly unattainable by more modern products.
What turns out to be most interesting is the variety of models and the different possibilities that this type of auction can offer.
Indeed, every day, numerous models are regarded for their dating, origins, and characteristics, which really brings up the interest of enthusiasts.
Among the various solutions, it is possible to find just about everything, and to win really unique and inimitable pieces to keep as relics.

Final considerations

In the course of this in-depth analysis, we have come to understand how incredibly wide and varied the world of watch auctions is and, in that sense, how it offers such a wide range of very interesting solutions to enthusiasts. These very special events allow people to evaluate and select numerous different models at costs significantly lower than the list price, thus allowing anyone to win an excellent luxury watch without having to shell out an excessive amount of money.
Lastly, we learned how physical and online auctions can both act as an opportunity for numerous enthusiasts to meet and obtain opinions from experts in the sector. Therefore, we can safely say that these events represent the best way to get in touch in a serious, professional, and thoughtful way with others in the world of watches.

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