Owning a luxury timepiece can be a fun and exciting experience. Many of us work for years in order to save for that “grail” watch, and others like to celebrate life’s milestones with a commemorative timepiece. However, all that fun and excitement does come with a little bit of added stress. After all, some of these watches can range from a few thousand dollars all the way into the millions of dollars. Life can be complicated, and things can happen. It's not uncommon for a watch collector to fall victim to robbery or burglary, accidentally damage a watch, and in some cases, lose or misplace their favorite timepiece. For these reasons, we recommend that you consider insuring your most prized possessions.
As we mentioned above, life is complicated, and things can happen. The biggest reason why you may want to insure your watches is to have the peace of mind of knowing that your investment into that watch is protected. Whether it's insured for its value in cash or an equal value replacement, having that peace of mind will put a lot of worries at ease when you’re out wearing the watch in public or leaving it at home.
Photo credit Ssong Watches
Many watch enthusiasts have their timepieces under their personal home insurance. Some people may find this option attractive as it's an easy add-on, and it keeps everything under one policy. However, there are a few issues with this option. For example, most insurance companies will cover the value of the watch at the time of the incident (stolen, damaged, etc) and not its replacement value. If your Omega Seamaster is 30% cheaper than MSRP on the used market, then you can expect to be paid at that evaluation. Another issue is that watches are worn as jewelry, so the possibility of an incident happening increases once you step out your front door. Some owners may not be comfortable with the fact that their premiums may increase should something happen to a small and wearable piece of jewelry when outside of the home.
Another option would be an independent insurance provider like Jewelers Mutual and more recently, Hodinkee. Companies like these offer full coverage on your watches and jewelry for their appraised value. According to Jewelers Mutual, you are covered against loss, theft, damage, and mysterious disappearance. I’m not entirely sure what “mysterious disappearance" means, but I’m glad they cover it! What's great about companies like Jewelers Mutual is that you are covered anywhere around the world. They know that jewelry and watches are meant to be worn and enjoyed, so they give you that peace of mind, so you can wear your watches without worry wherever you go.
Photo credit A Collected Man
To get started, you’ll want to have your watch appraised at a local jeweler. The appraisal should have the make, model, serial number, and its appraised value. For discontinued watches, you’ll want to make sure it's appraised for its current market price. Production models can be appraised for their current MSRP and in rare cases (Rolex, Patek, and AP) above their current MSRP. Once you have that information, it's as simple as choosing the insurance company and submitting!
Photo credit Audemars Piguet
The annual cost to insure a watch is about 1-2% of its appraised value. For example, if a watch is $20,000, you can expect to pay $200-400 annually. It might sound like a lot, but you can’t put a price on peace of mind.
Get out there, and create your own history with your favorite timepiece!
Written by Patrick Bernardez