Lots of people have asked us about whether it’s worth selling their watch winder and how much value watch winders lose over time.
So, we set out to carry out some research to find out if watch winders lose value over time and, if so, how much. We haven’t found anywhere else that have looked into the depreciation of watch winders, so we wanted to carry out our own study to find out what happens to watch winders over time as people try to sell them second-hand.
There are many different reasons why someone might want to sell their watch winder. For some, it might be time to upgrade their winder to a better or more luxury brand. As such, they may want to try and recoup some of the money they spent on the new winder by selling it on a second-hand marketplace.
Others might want to get a bigger, multiple watch winder that can house more watches and/or have storage and no longer need the smaller winder they had.
And there will always be people willing to buy these used watch winders. They might be a much more cost-effective choice than buying a winder new.
So, with this piece of research and the resulting data, we hope to be able to inform people about how much money they can expect to get when they sell their watch winder, as well as give people an idea of what to expect to pay for a used or pre-owned watch winder.
Methods of collecting data
Second-hand used price
We searched a well-known second hand auction site for the keyterm ‘watch winder’. We then used the advanced search to filter the results sold items. This ensured we were looking at the actual price that someone has paid for the pre-owned winder, and not just the starting price or the listing price. We also ensured we checked the box that confirmed the products were designated as ‘used’. This should have removed any sellers that were selling new items on the platform.
We also decided to restrict our search to the last 6 months. This made sure the values were fairly up to date.
In addition, to the above criteria, we also restricted our search to winders from fairly reputable brands.
Since we would later need to find the new price of these watch winders from the manufacturer or brand websites, we wanted to make sure we were looking at the correct make, brand and model of winders. So we only looked at sold winders from actual brands, so we could more clearly identify the new version of the product.
We therefore excluded all unbranded products, or listings where the brand was not mentioned or included in the product title or description.
We then data moned the results and collated this data into a spreadsheet. This would allow us to easily manipulate the data in a number of different ways to more easily identify patterns and compare data points.
We then searched for the new price for the watch winders. We did this by looking first at the individual brand websites. This would give us a far more reflective and consistent price for the correct make and model of watch winder.
However, if we couldn’t find the price on the manufacturer/brand website, we then searched other third-party sellers or marketplaces for an up-to-date price for the new version of the product. As before, we ensured these products were marked as new (and not pre-owned or used).
Where there was a currency discrepancy between the second-hand winder price and the new price, we used XE.com to calculate both values in a single currency. This would allow us to more easily compare and contrast data and draw accurate conclusions.
Using the single currency values, we then calculated the percentage decrease in value that each watch winder had from new to used.
We categorized the percentage decrease into four bands based on the amount of value the watch winder lost. This would help us to better find patterns of value and more easily interrogate the data:
- Band 1: Less than a 30% decrease in value
- Band 2: 30-50% decrease in value
- Band 3: 50-70% decrease in value
- Band 4: +70% decrease in value
Based on time taken, we stopped our product search when we got to 100 watch winders that fit our selling criteria (as above). We considered this to be a large enough sample size that would provide statistically significant results.
Of these 100, we managed to find the new price of 90 of them. The remaining 10 were makes or models that were no longer made and so unavailable, or we simply could not find a new price for them. These 10 were then removed from the results.
There was a large range of second-hand winder prices, from those sold for £22 up to one that sold for £980. This is probably reflective of the different types of winders we found (from single winders up to winders that hold 9 watches) as well as the different brands, from entry-level brands up to more luxury ones.
We found watch winders from brands including:
- Barrington (8)
- Chiyoda (8)
- Orbita (7)
- Rapport (19)
- Versa (7)
- Wolf (17)
After the percentage decrease in value calculations, the following number of winders fell into each value band:
- Less than a 30% decrease in value (14 watch winders)
- 30-50% decrease in value (21 winders)
- 50-70% decrease in value (34 winders)
- +70% decrease in value (21 winders)
What do the results mean?
Lots of people are in the market for second-hand watch winders
The first thing to note is that we easily found 90 used watch winders within just the last couple of months. Therefore, this is a clear sign that there is a thriving second-hand marketplace for watch winders. This is great news in general for those who want to sell their winder, as the chance of it being bought is very high.
Most watch winders decrease in value by over 50%
Based on the results that we collected and calculated, the majority of watch winders lost between 50 and 70% of their value on second-hand resale. This shows that watch winders depreciate quite heavily in value in the second-hand market. This is likely because watch winders are, generally, seen as a luxury high-end product. Thus, a used winder may be seen as relatively less valuable, even more so than the usual loss in value for a second-hand sale.
Barrington winders might just hold their value the best
Of the 14 winders that lost a mere 30% or less of their value, 4 of these were Barrington watch winders and 3 were Chiyoda. This suggests that Barrington winders might hold their value better than other brands. However, it is worth noting that of the winders that lost under 30% of their value, most were very low value winders. So these results could just reflect that there were more low-value Barrington winders in our group of 90 winders.
However, we looked a bit deeper at the Barrington winders and, out of the 8 we looked at, 6 of them lost less than 50% of their value. This is a strong performance and further reinforces our initial conclusions that the Barrington brand performs well on the second-had market when it comes to holding value.
Very expensive watch winders lose the most value
Of the watch winders that were over 1000 pound or 1000 dollars (18), most of them (89%) lost over 50% of their value. This suggests that very expensive winders lose their value the quickest.
This is not good news for those who buy the very expensive watch winders and consider selling them second-hand.
However, on the flip side, collectors could use this to their advantage as it also means that buying a second-hand watch winder might be a great choice for those who cant afford to buy a very expensive winder new.
Future studies & research
We’d love to see more data for the depreciation of watch winder value. We’d like to see a wider range of brands, and also unbranded winders, which we assume would lose even more value on the second-hand market than the branded ones we looked at.
It would also be good to consider whether other factors influence the depreciation of watch winders, such as the number of watches wound, the size, the age etc.
If you’re buying a watch winder specifically to sell it at a later date, you might be best keeping to the lower-priced winders, who seem to hold their value a little better than the very high-priced winders.
You might also want to consider a brand like Barrington, who seem to hold their value when compared with other brands in the watch winder second hand marketplace.
Although watch winders might not be the best investment, collectors who can’t afford a new winder could easily use the thriving pre-owned market to get into the watch winder world, where it seems like there are a huge number of bargains to be had!