Matthew Green, AARE, CES, of Matthew Green Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., is a graduate gemologist. He also is a second-generation jeweler who worked in his parents’ jewelry store before opening his own shop in 1987.
“When you’re buying or selling a Rolex watch, it’s very important to know the basics,” he says. That includes knowing how to identify after-market diamond accessories on an original Rolex.
Counterfeit watches abound, he says.
“If you sell a fake watch or a real watch with fake aftermarket parts, your whole reputation in the business could be ruined forever,” he says.
Green invites National Auctioneers Association members to send him an image of watches via phone or e-mail, and he will help them understand what they have and what the value might be.
Tom Jordan, CAI, AARE, ATS, CES, MPPA, of United Country — Carolina Auction & Realty, Raleigh, N.C., determines values through books, websites and the Horological Times, through which he was able to do “a ton of research” on discussion boards.
Clockmakers typically stamp their clocks with their initials, which enables a buyer to trace it back to a specific place and time, he says.
The timepieces Cary Aasness, of Aasness Auctioneers, Dalton, Minn., has auctioned have mostly been in estate sales.
High-quality watches with Swiss, German and French movements probably are the most desirable timepieces he has sold, but he also sells clocks and pocket watches.
“Value we try to determine through a timepiece appraiser or expert as well as past sales and auctions,” he says.
“The one buying because of looks may spend more for a lesser quality (item) just because they like how it looks,” he says. “The collector may be buying because of the quality of the movement.”
When Jordan sold a 50-piece collection, he made a video of the owner describing every clock to be auctioned and advertised the auction with a banner ad on the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute website and on the website of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors.