What to do with old watches? Are they worth money?

What to do with old watches? Are they worth any money?

Have you ever found yourself rifling through forgotten drawers, stumbling upon a collection of old watches that once held sentimental value but now seem to have lost their purpose? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us have inherited timepieces from previous generations or accumulated a variety of watches over the years, only to wonder, “What to do with old watches? Are they worth any money?”

In this blog, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of vintage old watches and explore the  options available for those looking to breathe new life into their old watches and why not, make some extra money.

Whether you’re a sentimental collector, a curious vintage watch enthusiast, or someone simply looking to declutter, we’ll guide you through the possibilities, and perhaps help you uncover hidden gems in your possession.

So, let’s embark on a journey to discover the untapped potential of those ticking treasures – because who knows, your old watches might just be more valuable than you think.

What to do with old watches? Stick around, and let’s find out together.



vintage watch

Old watches – are they worth any money? 

Before we dive into the financial aspects, let’s acknowledge the sentimental value that old watches often carry. These timepieces might be more than mere accessories; they could be nostalgic remnants of bygone eras, each tick representing a moment frozen in time. As we explore what to do with old watches, it’s crucial to consider whether these time-worn companions hold emotional significance. If they do, repurposing or preserving them in a meaningful way might be a compelling option.

Now, let’s address the burning question: Are old watches worth any money? The answer is a resounding yes, but the value can vary widely based on several factors. Rarity, brand, condition, and historical significance all play crucial roles in determining the monetary worth of a timepiece. Vintage watches from renowned brands or those with unique features can often fetch a handsome sum in the market.

Exploring Your Options: What to do with old watches

Appraisals and Authentication of old watches

Start by having your old watches appraised by a professional. An expert can provide insights into the authenticity, condition, and potential value of your timepieces. This step is especially important for vintage watches, as authentication can significantly impact their market value.

Restoration and Repairs:

If your watches have seen better days, consider investing in restoration and repairs. A skilled watchmaker can breathe new life into your timepieces, enhancing their aesthetic appeal and possibly increasing their value.

Selling old watches

For those looking to part ways with their old watches, selling them can be a lucrative option. Online marketplaces, auction houses, and specialized watch dealers are avenues worth exploring. Research the current market trends, and be prepared to negotiate for a fair price.

What to do with old watches – Upcycling and Repurposing:

Get creative with what to do with old watches. Consider upcycling them into unique pieces of jewelry, incorporating them into art projects, or transforming them into stylish home décor. This way, you can retain the essence of the timepiece while giving it a modern twist.


Keep in mind that prices for vintage watches can vary significantly based on factors such as condition, rarity, and market demand.

Here are a few examples of old watches that are well-known brands including the models that have shown historical value:

Rolex Submariner:

  • Model: Rolex Submariner
  • Era: 1950s-1970s
  • Features: Stainless steel case, rotating bezel, iconic design.
  • Price Range: Depending on the model and condition, vintage Rolex Submariners can range from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.

Omega Speedmaster:

  • Model: Omega Speedmaster Professional
  • Era: 1960s-1970s
  • Features: Manual-wind chronograph, tachymeter scale, moonwatch designation.
  • Price Range: Vintage Omega Speedmasters, especially those with historical significance (like moon landing models), can range from a few thousand to over $20,000.

Patek Philippe Calatrava:

  • Model: Patek Philippe Calatrava
  • Era: 1930s-1960s
  • Features: Time-only, minimalist design, high-quality craftsmanship.
  • Price Range: Vintage Patek Philippe Calatravas are often considered highly collectible, with prices ranging from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Heuer Monaco:

  • Model: Heuer Monaco
  • Era: 1960s-1970s
  • Features: Square case, automatic movement, distinctive design.
  • Price Range: Vintage Heuer Monaco models, especially those associated with Steve McQueen, can range from several thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.

Seiko 6139 “Pogue”:

  • Model: Seiko 6139 “Pogue”
  • Era: 1970s
  • Features: Automatic chronograph, colorful dial, historical significance as the first automatic chronograph in space (worn by an astronaut).
  • Price Range: Vintage Seiko 6139 “Pogue” watches can range from a few hundred to a couple of thousand dollars.

What to do with old watches?

If you have old watches that still work, you have several exciting options beyond their basic timekeeping function.

Here are some creative and practical ideas for what to do with old watches that are still functional.

Embrace the vintage charm and wear your old watches as a fashion statement. They can add a touch of nostalgia to your style and serve as unique conversation starters.

If you’re a watch enthusiast or collector, rotate your old watches into your regular wear cycle. This way, each timepiece gets its moment on your wrist, and you can enjoy the variety in your collection.

Consider gifting your old watches to family members, friends, or loved ones. A functional watch with sentimental value can make for a meaningful and cherished gift.

If you’re not attached to the watches but they’re still in good working condition, consider donating them to charitable organizations, especially those that provide resources to individuals in need. A functioning watch can be a practical and appreciated donation.

Explore DIY watch customization projects. You can change the straps, add unique dials, or personalize the watches in other ways to give them a fresh and modern look.

Whatever you choose to do with your old watches, remember that their functionality opens up a world of possibilities. Whether you decide to keep them in use, share them with others, or repurpose them creatively, the choice is yours!

What to do with old watches that don’t work?

If you have a sentimental attachment to your non-working watches or if they hold historical value, consider investing in their repair and restoration. Consult with a professional watchmaker who specializes in vintage timepieces. They can assess the condition, identify the necessary repairs, and bring your watches back to life. While this option involves a financial investment, it allows you to preserve the functionality and sentimental value of the watches.

Even if your old watches are no longer in working condition, there are still numerous creative and meaningful ways to repurpose or display them. Here are some ideas for what to do with old watches that don’t work:

Transform non-functional watches into a unique piece of wall art. Arrange them in a shadow box or frame, creating a visually appealing display. Consider combining them with other elements like vintage keys, gears, or decorative backgrounds to enhance the artistic appeal.

Disassemble non-working watches and repurpose their parts into unique jewelry pieces. Create earrings, pendants, or bracelets using watch faces, hands, or gears. This gives the watches a second life as wearable art.

Turn old watches into unique accessories, such as belt buckles, keychains, or even decorative handles for bags. This allows you to carry a piece of history with you wherever you go.

Donate non-functional watches to schools, art studios, or community centers. Artists and crafters may find value in using the components for their projects.


What to do with old watches? Here is how to make extra money

Before listing your vintage watch for sale, research recent sales of similar models to understand the current market trends. This will help you set a competitive and realistic asking price.

If you have any original paperwork box, (not many people do, so don’t worry) or other documentation for your vintage watch, it can significantly enhance its value. Buyers often appreciate the authenticity and completeness of a timepiece.

Be transparent about the condition of the watch. High-quality, well-preserved examples often command higher prices. If the watch has undergone professional restoration or servicing, highlight these aspects in your listing.

If your vintage watch has an interesting history or provenance, share it with potential buyers. Historical significance or previous ownership by a notable figure can add substantial value.


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