Here’s a question that we are asked almost daily in our interactions with potential customers, and an excellent question it is too — if you definitely want papers with your pre-owned watch then nothing else will do… But do you?
The crucial thing about watch papers is to decide why they are important to you because while they’re often a nice thing to have, they’re certainly not essential.
You will always pay considerably more for a watch with papers than one without and for all the time that you own the watch they will sit in a drawer giving you pleasure from the knowledge that they are there. I’ve owned dozens of Full Set watches over the years and I can honestly say that I’ve never taken any of the papers out of the safe just to look at them…. Of course some people like papers because it makes the package ‘complete’ and they enjoy that element of ownership, which is absolutely reasonable.
When it comes to your investment, you’ll find that when you sell the watch in the future it will be worth more than one without papers, but then it cost you more in the first place so there’s an element of swings and roundabouts here.
If you are interested in papers and accessories as a form of authenticity for a watch that you’re considering then these days I’m afraid that they don’t offer that certainty. There are plenty of fake watches out there with fake papers — and also several with real papers too because the watch can be faked to match them.
Our advice would be that the best way to get peace of mind over the authenticity of your watch is to trust the person that you buy from — If you’re buying a watch and you’re really anxious about whether you may be buying a pup then walk away — this is all about you and you should feel comfortable at every stage of the process…
So, Papers. Nice to have but not essential. It’s up to you.