The Importance of Keeping the Box and Papers for a Watch

Patek Philippe

When valuing a watch, I always make it a point to ask the client if they have the box and paperwork for it, which begs the question, “Does having the box and paperwork increase the value of the watch?” The general answer is yes.

Proof of Authenticity and Ownership

When a watch is purchased directly from an authorized dealer it will usually come in a presentation box with the original supporting paperwork, which could include a warranty card, a Certificate of Authenticity showing the reference and unique serial number attributed to it, and an instruction booklet. Although these items are not necessary for valuation, they do add value to the watch and help to prove authenticity and ownership.

As with any asset, the more documentation that comes with a watch, the better. At Borro, the main focal point for watch provenance is documentation that helps support the validity of the asset.  For us, asking for documentation is part of the required due diligence that not only establishes authenticity and ownership, but also ensures the best possible resale price, as watches with full documentation and certification command the highest value. Even without this documentation, however, watches are still fully liquid and can be sold through all available channels, just at a price that is reflective of that.

The Impact of Online Trading

In this day in age, with online watch trading being a booming business, the importance of including box and paperwork with watches has grown.  Having the box and paperwork for a watch not only helps distinguish between buying a real watch and a replica, but it also shows that the watch was well-cared for, which provides the buyer with a greater sense of comfort before purchasing.

Further to this, many international watch collectors today are looking to purchase watches that are not only in excellent condition, but that come with all of the ‘bells and whistles’ that accompanied the watch at the initial time of purchase.  A pre-owned watch that is part of a full set can be rare, and so it is more likely to achieve a premium at the time of sale.

Here is a list of accessories that will help increase a watch’s value, for loan purposes or otherwise:

  • Complete box
  • Certificate of Authenticity
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Original purchase receipt
  • Warranty Card
  • Tags
  • Extra links
  • Service Records
  • Instruction Booklet

In short, though a watch retains value even without the box and paperwork, and while these items are not necessary to sell pre-owned watch, they do actually add value, especially in the minds of collectors and watch enthusiasts who are not just looking to purchase a watch to wear on their wrist, but as an investment for the future.

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About the Author:

Karina is the Director of the Jewelry Department at Borro Private Finance.