Swiss Watchmaker: Patek Philippe

August 31, 2009 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 


The old company saying at watchmaker Patek Philippe is that “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” And most “owners” of a Patek Philippe wristwatch would agree. The family-run watch company based in Geneva is truly in a class of its own. Established in 1839, the company has fashioned such highly sought after watch collections as Calatrava, Ellipse, Nautilus, Gondolo, Aquanaut, and Twenty~4.

Known worldwide for its complicated watches and its timeless elegant designs, Patek Philippe has been producing timepieces cherished by monarchs, popes, political leaders, and rulers since the reign of Queen Victoria. It all started in 1851, when Victoria acquired a key-wound Patek Philippe watch created in a pendant style during the Great Exhibition of London. Soon Patek Philippe was regularly supplying its watches to her Majesty and her consort, including one exclusive timepiece that was suspended from a diamond and enamel brooch to be worn pinned to the Queen’s clothing.

Victoria’s fascination with Patek Philippe quickly attracted the attention of all the royal courts of Europe. The Swiss company began creating timepieces for such notables as Pope Pius IX, Christian IX and Louise (the king and queen of Denmark), Victor-Emanuel III (king of Italy and Duke of Savoy), and Hussein Kamal (prince of Egypt in the period of 1914-1917).

For its 150th anniversary in 1989, Patek Philippe created one of the most complicated mechanical watches ever made, the Calibre 89. This amazing timepiece holds 33 complications, including the date of Easter, a thermometer, time of sunrise, equation of time, sidereal time, and many other indicators. 1,728 unique parts allow for sidereal time, a 2,800 star chart, and much more.

Today, vintage Patek Philippe wristwatches regularly command the highest prices at watch auctions around the globe, some selling for well over US $1 million. If you are lucky enough to be in the possession of a Patek Philippe watch take care of it very well for the next generation of your family. And should you ever decide to sell one be sure to go to an experieced watch buyer who understand the full worth of these mechanical works of art.

San Diego Tips: Selling Your Used Watch

November 14, 2008 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 


If you are looking to sell your watch in San Diego, there are a few important things to keep in mind. First, is the watch you are selling vintage or like new? For the watch to be sold as “vintage” it should be more than 40 years old. If the watch is under ten years old, then you should do whatever maintenance is necessary to make it appear as new as possible. For example, if the band is full of scratches you might consider replacing it. And if the watch is battery powered, replace the battery.

You should learn as much as you can about your watch, including the brand, model, design, functions, year of manufacture, and the current market demand for watches of its type. There are plenty of websites that can help you in this learning process. Try also looking up similar watches on e-bay to help gauge the demand for your watch. The greater the demand for your watch, coupled with a short supply, translates to higher prices and more money for you.

Visit or call several San Diego jewelry buyers to get a free quote on your watch. Some places will even provide a quote via email, as long as you provide them with all of the necessary details about your watch. If you go to visit a buyer in their office, do not leave your watch with them, but ask for a quote right away. A reputable buyer will have no problem giving you a quote on your watch during your visit.

Once you have received a range of buying offers for your watch, you can then choose the best one, or try to sell it via an online or offline auction. San Diego has several bricks and mortar auction houses that sell watches, including AAA Auction and Anstead’s auction.


Interested in reading more about jewelry and watch auctions in San Diego? Try this article: California Auction Stretched Holiday Dollars.

Collectible Watch Market is Red Hot

October 27, 2008 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 


Looking further proof that the collectible watch market is going like gangbusters? Here it is: One day after Antiquorum brought in nearly $10 million at its fall clock and watch auction, Sotheby’s hauled in nearly $4.1 million in New York at its Oct. 17th auction of “Important Watches.” Like Antiquorum, Sotheby’s saw strong interest from buyers not only in the United States, but also Europe and Asia. Read more

Antiquorum Watch Auction Sees Record Sales

October 27, 2008 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 


It is not only jewelry auctions that have been exceeding expectations lately as investors continue to move money into hard assets. Antiquorum reports that its first auction of the fall season brought in $9,892,812 from its sale of collectible clocks, pocket watches, and wristwatches.

In total, 404 pieces were sold. 34 percent of the items were bought via Antiquorum’s online bidding system. Buyers logged in bids from countries around the globe, including China, Germany, and Russia.

The highest sales price went to a Patek Philippe “First Series,” which scored a final bid of $1,514,400. But it was a wristwatch formerly owned by Albert Einstein that sparked the auction’s most intense bidding war. When the gavel dropped the Longines watch from the famed physicist was sold for $596,000, more than 2,000 percent its original estimated value (the highest price ever paid for a Longines wristwatch). Rolex also earned a record amount for its “Platinum Day Date” wristwatch which went for $78,000.

You certainly aren’t going to find those kinds of watches at a San Diego pawn shop, but the these auction results should show you that if you are in need of a good sized cash loan from a pawnbroker, a collectable watch is one of your best items to use as collateral.


Have you been wondering just what estate jewelry is? Then wonder no longer. We’ve detailed it in this article: What is Estate Jewelry?

Beware of Jewelry Appraising Values

October 8, 2008 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 


San Diego buyers and sellers of fine gemstone jewelry should take note of a recent report by ABC’s 7 On Your Side in San Francisco. The California consumer watch dog has shined a light on what could be construed as misleading practices being conducted by auction houses and jewelry appraisers. In particular the report singles out alleged inflated appraisals by American International Gemologists of Woodland Hills, who have received an F rating from the Better Business Bureau. The report retells the following consumer story:

“The auctioneer stopped me on the way out saying gee I’ve got something here for you, and he had the bracelet in his hand,” said Sjostrom.

He showed her an appraisal certificate saying the bracelet is worth a lot of money — $34,000 retail. But the auctioneer said Mary could have it for a mere $3,500.

“$3,000 to pay for something that had a $34,000 value would be incredible,” said Sjostrom.

So Mary bought it. With fees and taxes, she paid $4,200. Then she went outside and got a closer look.

“The rubies were very, very cloudy a lot of cracks and inclusions in the diamonds,” said Sjostrom.

Mary went right back in and asked for a refund. But all sales were final.

“He said, well, try and sell it on eBay,” said Sjostrom.

Needless to say that was not the kind of answer that Mary was looking for. If you are shopping at a San Diego pawn shop for jewelry and the owner shows you an appraisal certificate, look at with a discerning eye. Remeber that the appraisal value is the RETAIL value, and that could be hugely inflated. Don’t rush into anything. Check out the appraiser with the Better Business Bureau, as well as the pawn shop.


Now that you have learned a bit more about jewelry appraisers, it would be a good idea to follow up that knowledge with our article: 7 Tips for Selling Diamonds and Diamond Rings.