Patek Philippe watches are some of the most expensive and exclusive in the secondary market and therefore, attract a whole different type of watch buyer. Someone who buys a Patek will generally be a serious watch collector with high expectations. If you’re wondering what you need to know to sell your Patek Philippe, below is a helpful guide.
For general tips applicable to selling any watch, see our in-depth guide on how to sell a luxury watch. Although there are some general best practices when selling a watch, there are a few brand-specific tips to keep in mind that could lead to more successful transactions.
Locate the Patek Philippe Reference Numbers and Serial Numbers
One of the first things you need to do is determine the watch’s reference number. Knowing the exact Patek reference number is key to selling the watch as it specifies the model, material, style, and approximate era of production. In fact, many Patek Philippe watches are simply known by their reference numbers rather than model names.
If you have all the original paperwork of the watch, locating the reference number is simple as it is always included in the set. However, if that’s not possible, you can check the watch. If the watch has a solid caseback, the Patek Philippe reference number and case number will be on the inside of the caseback. Alternatively, if the watch has an exhibition caseback, the Patek Philippe reference number and case number will be located on the inside of the metal ring that surrounds the sapphire crystal caseback.
The Patek movement serial number (which is unique to each watch) is engraved into the movement. It will be visible if the watch has an exhibition caseback. If, on the other hand, the watch has a solid back, the caseback will have to be removed to see the movement serial number.
Collect Documentation and Packaging
Complete sets will always command a premium over watches without papers or boxes (which are known as “naked watches” in the industry). So if you have any of the official paperwork or packaging of the Patek watch you want to sell, it’s worth taking the time to locate and collect them. These items can add anywhere from 10% to 20% to the price you can sell your Patek Philippe watch for. Furthermore, any official papers, warranty cards, boxes, packaging, receipts, service records, insurance papers, and the like can help affirm your watch’s authenticity in the eyes of potential buyers.
Every Patek Philippe watch has a Certificate of Origin, which is given upon purchasing the watch from an authorized dealer. The Certificate of Origin serves as a warranty certificate and only one copy is ever made — no copies will be re-issued by the brand.
However, Patek Philippe has kept an archive of all its watches since 1839, so you can order an Extract from the Archives directly from the company. These extracts provide some essential information about your watch including timepiece type, date manufactured, date sold, caliber, style number, case number, movement serial number, materials used, dial type, and bracelet type. It will also include information about any additional work (such as an engraving) done to the watch by the company.
Patek Philippe recently updated its Extract from the Archives program with stricter parameters. The cost is CHF 500, it is only applicable for watches that are at least 10 years old, and only one can be ordered per year, per watch.
Determine the Value of Your Patek
Using the reference number, do some pricing research on your Patek. Finding out how much a Patek Philippe watch is not too difficult given how popular the brand is in the secondary market. Patek does publish its manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) on its website for current models. However, remember this is only part of the picture. It’s important to research secondary market values of the watch too as they can be quite different from sticker prices.
We have a number of Patek Philippe price guides you can reference:
- Patek Philippe Aquanaut Price Guide: How Much Does an Aquanaut Cost?
- How Much Does a Patek Philippe Nautilus cost?
- Patek Philippe Watches Prices: Historical and Current From Actual Sales Numbers
For more Patek Philippe market prices, you can ALSO check:
- Sold auction house listings (such as Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Phillips)
- Pre-owned Watch Dealer, Vintage Dealer, and Grey Market Dealer Websites
Keep in mind that secondary market Patek prices can be quite volatile for hype models like the Nautilus and Aquanaut. Therefore, what you see today may not be relevant tomorrow. Also, published prices will always be higher than what you’ll net for selling your watch.
Should I Service My Patek Philippe Before Selling It?
Generally speaking, we do not recommend servicing your Patek Philippe watch before selling it. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, collectors always prefer original parts, especially on vintage models. Servicing your Patek and having old parts replaced with new ones can actually decrease the value of the piece.
Furthermore, a Patek Philippe watch service is expensive and you’ll unlikely recoup this cost when you sell the watch. Finally, if you decide to sell your Patek watch to a professional grey market dealer, they will take care of any repairs, servicing, or maintenance needed before reselling it. There’s no need to incur that cost yourself before selling your Patek.
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