Watch Articles

Will opening a watch yourself depreciate its value?

January 8, 2019 - Watch Articles
As experts in the luxury watch industry, sometimes clients ask us, “Will opening a watch yourself depreciate its value?”. The short answer is a resounding yes. Unless you are a certified watchmaker with the necessary timepiece skills, knowledge and experience, you should never open a watch yourself. We’ll be tackling this popular question, so you can learn exactly why you should never open your watch, the risks of opening your watch, who you can safely entrust your timepiece to when it needs to be opened and how you can maintain yourwatch’s value.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the following:


Why people open watches

There are multiple reasons that lead people to want to open their watches and save themselves a trip to the watchmaker. While we do not endorse opening a watch case yourself, these are some common reasons as to why someone might:

  • Change the quartz battery before it bleeds out and damages the movement
  • Assess water damage
  • Admire the movement
  • See the watch’s serial or model number, if printed inside the case

opening watch yourself

Regardless of what reason you may have for opening the watch, once you open the case you can expose your timepiece to unnecessary and costly repairs. We’ll cover the damages that can occur when an unauthorized person opens a watch.


The purpose of watch cases

Luxury watches are designed to last a lifetime through their sturdy construction and dependable performance. With the proper care and regular servicing, you can pass your timepiece onto future generations to enjoy without ever needing to open the watch case yourself. Luxury timepieces achieve their outstanding reliability through their exquisite craftsmanship by master watchmakers who devote years to designing and constructing timepieces. The use of high-quality materials such as 18K gold, titanium and carbon fiber also contribute to their durability.

One significant example of a timepiece’s durable construction can be seen with its case. Watch cases are designed to seal off the movement from the intrusion of moisture, dust and other unwelcome particles. For example, Rolex’s invention of the Oyster case in 1926 was monumental as it featured a screw-down crown which created an airtight seal so water could not enter the movement. In addition, diving watches are designed with minimal openings for water to get through because of its sturdy case, heavy gaskets, and screw-down crown. Opening the watch yourself compromises all of these safety measures.


Damages from opening a watch

Most watch manufacturers make it difficult for the average person to open a watch’s case. To prevent unauthorized openings, timepieces are purposefully crafted so that only trained watchmakers with specialized tools can access the inside of the watch. Once a watch is opened, it can only be properly sealed by someone with the necessary training and tools, otherwise you will be leaving your timepiece exposed to dust, moisture and other damaging particles. Even just a single drop of water in the movement can cause substantial damage.

opening watch yourself

Furthermore, when you open your watch you will likely be breaking its warranty. Many watch cases have moisture sealing gaskets that are unique to each watch model and require replacement every time a watch is opened. As you attempt to open and later close the case, you might scratch or dent the case, bezel, crown or crystal, further incurring unnecessary damages. Also, when you do close the case, you likely do not have access to a pressure testing machine that can then determine if the watch is up to water resistant standards.


Why only a watch professional should open a watch

A watch should only be operated on by a professional watchmaker as they possess the needed knowledge, experience and equipment to assess, disassemble, repair and reassemble your timepiece. Depending on your watch’s model, watches need to be serviced every 5 to 10 years to ensure optimal performance for many years to come

When you bring a timepiece to be serviced by a professional watchmaker or manufacture, such as Rolex, they will meticulously analyze all aspects of your watch such as its movement, crystal and bracelet. The watchmaker will dissemble the movement, check each component for damage and wear, while replacing the old components with factory original parts from your watch’s respective brand. Every component is ultrasonically cleaned and the movement is lubricated to minimize friction and prevent wear. Then the watchmaker will carefully reassemble the movement, without allowing any foreign substance to get in the watch such as dust which would affect its performance. The case and bracelet will also be cleaned and polished to restore luster. Once the watchmaker is complete you can enjoy your watch functioning at its highest quality.


How to maintain your watch’s value

Now that you know that opening a watch yourself will depreciate its value, you can save yourself great time, money and stress from unnecessarily opening the case yourself.

Our tips to maximize the value of your watch:

  • Have your timepiece serviced by a professional watchmaker every 5 to 10 years, as per its model, and keep the service receipts.
  • When not being worn, securely store your timepiece.
  • Keep your watch’s box and papers in good condition to demonstrate your timepiece’s authenticity.

To find out just how much your watch is worth, your best option is to speak with the experts. At WP Diamonds we staff a team of watch experts who possess years of experience in the watch industry as well as a rich understanding of the second-hand luxury watch market. In as little as 48 hours, you can discover the value of your timepiece for free through our professional and secure service.

To get started, all you need to do is complete our simple online form to get a tight price quote for your timepiece. Then you can either schedule an appointment at one of our UK offices or send in your watch through our free, safe, fully insured and trackable Royal Mail Special Delivery Pack. When your timepiece arrives at our office it will be evaluated by our watch team who will calculate a competitive price. If you like the final price you hear, you can receive payment by transfer. Best of all, there are never any commissions or hidden fees that will deduct from your offer.

Click the button below to discover the value of your timepiece today.

Bio: Written by one of our diamond, designer jewelry or luxury watch experts. With over 150 years of combined experience, our experts are able to comment on trends, share industry knowledge and provide diamond, designer jewelry and luxury watch education.

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