When it comes to buying watches, purchasing at auction guarantees success. And now it’s quicker and easier to do than ever before.
There’s no question that buying watches on the secondhand market is more affordable and offers more variety than purchasing first-hand or directly from a dealer. Now, thanks to Barnebys, purchasing at auction is also made much easier. Barnebys is a global search engine for arts, antiques and collectibles, including watches. The site gathers over 2,000 auction houses and dealers and displays the various pieces available at auction at any one time. By separating the items into categories, it enables one to filter, thereby cutting out all the clutter for those searching at home.
Most watch collectors will know that buying at auction is where it’s at: it’s cheaper, there is bigger variety and greater selection, including the best brands alongside vintage pieces, it’s sustainable, and there’s the excitement that comes with bidding in real time.
Did we mention that some of the most luxurious timepieces are only available to buy at auction?
If you take a look at the most expensive watches, the best ones have all sold under an auction gavel.
In 2016, a Patek Philippe wristwatch, ref. 1518, sold at auction for US$11 million. The famous actor Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona achieved US$17.8 million in 2017, and, in 2014, the Henry Graves Patek Philippe Supercomplication pocket watch sold for a whopping US$24 million!
Operating as one autonomous platform, at Barnebys you’ll find hundreds of online auctions – from the aforementioned Patek Philippe and Rolex watches, to the more affordable timepieces, with auctions starting from just US$1 (and going all the way up to the many millions). You can actively bid on from these auctions from the ease of your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Barnebys also makes it easy to keep track of what you’re after: you can create specific search alerts tailored to your preferences. If, for example, you want to know when the latest Rolex is up at auction, Barnebys will send a message to your inbox either daily or when the item is made immediately available.
Additionally, Barnebys also offers an appraisal and valuation service with the Barnebys-owned group, Value My Stuff. Have you always wondered what your inherited or personal wrist or pocket watches are truly worth? All you need to do is upload images and a description of your object(s) onto the Value My Stuff website. Then, within 48 hours, you’ll receive an estimated value of your item(s). You can also use this service for selling your good(s) – one of the well-connected experts will help you get in touch with the right auction house for your item(s).
In addition to this, if you want to keep up with auction trends, news and observations, Barnebys also offers editorial, publishing weekly articles which report on the auction and art worlds alike. Examples of articles include the most expensive watches to sell at auction, in depth articles on brands such as Rolex, and the latest timepieces up for sale. If you want to brush up on some auction facts and figures, or learn about a particular artist, watch designer, brand or collectible treasure, this aspect of the website is incredible useful and informative.
If you haven’t already, we recommend checking Barnebys.com (or Barnebys.co.uk, if you’re based in the United Kingdom) to find what you’re looking for.