Many people are into collecting wristwatches, whether we are talking about vintage or new models. No matter if you like to wear them or not, one thing is sure: they are so beautiful. In fact, some models can be rightfully called a piece of art, especially vintage ones.
One of the most sought-after brands of wristwatches among collectors is the Geneva Watch. This is a Swiss luxury brand and I will introduce you to the history of this brand in the next chapter of this article.
Since this topic is very popular I decided to take a good look at it and investigate as much as I can so I can share some valuable information about the Geneva Watch value. Read on to learn how to invest in these watches and avoid getting scammed.
Throwback To The History Of Geneva Watch
Back in the day, Geneva was famous as a city where people mainly were manufacturing all kinds of jewelry, from golden rings, necklaces, diamonds, and sapphires, to earrings. However, in the 15th century, everything changed with the arrival of a new city that banned jewelry making, selling, and even wearing.
A lot of people were left unemployed, yet they found a way to once again start production by convincing the city council that watches are an item we all need because it is useful and practical.
Soon enough Geneva was once again known for its craftsmanship, but this time as great watchmakers. They began crafting some of the finest watches. A lot of brands that are popular nowadays originate from here.
Small teams of craftsmen were taught and led by a master to produce all parts needed from engraving and assembling to registering. By 1817, the annual production increased significantly, however, the competition also grew.
Since industrialization already began, to protect their quality handwork, watchmakers began to engrave the city name on the watch. This wasn’t enough so the “Société des Horlogers de Genève” was formed and in 1886 as well as the certification label “Poinçon de Geneve” was created.
The certificate could only get those craftsmen whose watches passed all requirements of a good and long-lasting watch. A watch that has the certificate must have the following:
- Name of the applicant
- Reference number of the watch and movement
- Serial number of the case
- Reproduction of the Hallmark of Geneva
What Are The Different Types Of Geneva Watch?
All watches that are manufactured in Switzerland belong to one of these two main types – quartz and mechanic.
Quartz watches are battery powered and what I like about them is that they use so little electricity that the battery can last you for several years. Also, there is one more big plus, they are much more accurate than regular and pendulum clocks.
This is mainly because quartz watches work in a very different way. They also have gears inside them that count the seconds, minutes, and hours, but it is regulated by a tiny quartz crystal. How do they work so precisely?
Well, the quartz vibrates back and forth 32768 times per second, so the circuit of the movement measures the vibrations and converts this to one pulse every second. Quartz watches can be both digital and analog.
These watches are beloved among collectors since their mechanical parts are crafted with so much precision and perfection. All parts are carefully crafted with every detail in mind that when you put them together they create a real piece of art.
The mechanical watches are divided into two groups. The ones with automatic winding and watches with manual winding.
Automatic winding watches are thicker and heavier than regular watches because they have much more complicated mechanisms. These watches are equipped with a rotor so every time you move your wrist, the mainspring is tightened again. As long as you are wearing this watch you don’t need to worry about adjusting the time.
Manual winding watches are thin and elegant to say so. They are equipped with a mainspring that gradually loses all the tension that you’ve set manually. A lot of people who are into watching tiny mechanical parts moving, prefer this type of watch. A lot of models are available with transparent cases so you can watch your clock work.
- Most Valuable Wittnauer Watch (Worth From $50 to $6,480)
- Vintage Elgin Pocket Watch Values: Why Elgin Pocket Watches Are the Perfect Piece for Any Vintage Enthusiast
- Antique Pocket Watch: Identifying, Valuing, and Buying (2023 Updated)
- Antique Mantel Clock Value (How Do I Know If My Clock Is Valuable?)
Most Valuable Geneve Watches
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 5175R-001
- Year: 2014
- Price: $50,000,000
This rare model was produced to honor the brand’s 175th anniversary. What makes this watch so valuable is its rarity, only seven pieces were made, which makes this model one of the most sought-after Patek Philippe watches.
This chunky and very beautiful timepiece watch features two dials and four different chiming mechanisms and swiveling case that flips around. The case is massive – 47.4 millimeters wide and 16.1 mm thick. It has altogether 20 complications displayed over two dials.
Its real value is way lower, however, considering how rare this model is and the purpose of its manufacturing the price increased significantly, and it will only go higher with time.
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300A-010
- Year: 2019
- Price: $31,200,000
This watch was specifically made for the purpose of a charity auction held by Only Watch. What makes it so rare and valuable is the fact that this is the only piece that is made with reversible stainless steel casing. The case is massive – 47.7 millimeters wide and 16.07 mm thick
The manual winding mechanism is equipped with four spring barrels. It has 20 complications, including a grande and petite sonnerie, and a minute repeater. But this is not all, it also has a calendar with a four-digit year display, day and night indicator, date, month, leap-year cycle, four-digit year display, and 24-hour and minute subdial.
This watch is protected from humidity and dirt, but it is not water-resistant!
Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication pocket watch
- Year: 1933
- Price: $24,000,000
This particular model was sold in 2014, as part of the 175th-anniversary collection. This is an 18-karat gold watch manufactured in 1933, and this is the only piece ever made. The watch features 24 complications, and it is known as the most complex pocket watch ever.
What makes it so interesting are his features such as a double face, perpetual calendar, and even phases of the moon. It also has a chronograph that can time two simultaneous events, indications of the time of sunset and sunrise. This device has 920 individual parts, including 430 screws, 110 wheels, and 70 jewels.
Paul Newman Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 6239
- Year: 1963
- Price: $17,752,500
The Rolex Daytona was produced in 1963 and its purpose was to create a watch that will combine a stylish design and a reliable chronograph and tachymeter metric scale. This combination was inspired by the needs of drivers who are required to accurately measure average speed.
The Cosmograph Daytona model became very popular in the early 1980s thanks to the actor Paul Newman, who wore this vintage watch and make it a trademark. The watch sports a simple style, with the off-white dial and contrasting red-colored seconds scale, paired with a black leather strap.
Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300G
- Year: 2014
- Price: $9,000,000
This model was as well specifically produced for the 175th brand’s anniversary. However, this particular edition of this model is valuable because of its exclusive variant – white gold with two blue opaline dials, one that focuses on the time and the sonnerie, and the other that focuses on the perpetual calendar.
The massive 47.7 mm wide and 16.07 mm thick case is patented with reversing mechanism enabling the watch to be worn with either dial on view. The white gold casing is paired with a shiny navy blue alligator leather strap with square scales. This leather strap is secured with two claps that fold over.
Patek Philippe Grand Complications 5016A-010
- Year: 2015
- Price: $7,259,000
The 5016A-010 was specifically made in 2015 for the Only Watch auction. What makes it distinctive is the Arabic numerals and blue enamel dials which were never seen on a regular 5016 model.
This model also features a stainless steel case combined with a deep navy blue leather wristband. Like with all other 5016s, this one as well is powered by caliber R TO 27 PS QR. Keep in mind that this model is unique and there is only one piece ever made which is why it is so valuable and pricey.
Philippe Dufour Grande & Petite Sonnerie
- Year: 1992
- Price: $5,216,600
Philippe Dufour is one of the most sought-after watchmakers. This particular model was first produced in 1992, and it was at that time the first grande & petite sonnerie ever manufactured. Also, this model is the first watch produced under the name Philippe Dufour this is why it’s bearing the bearing n°1.
The case is made out of 18k gold and paired with a brown leather strap with golden clips and buckets, overall this is a very elegant watch.
F.P. Journe X Francis Ford Coppola FFC Blue
- Year: 2012
- Price: $4,942,700
The collaboration between F. P. Journe and FF Coppola resulted in one of the most interesting and intriguing watch designs ever made. What makes it so unique is the time-telling via pointing blue hands with five mechanical fingers.
How does this work? The five fingers retract and extend to display the hours and beneath the bright metallic blue hand, the dial reveals the automaton between 6 and 9 o’clock. The minutes are placed on a peripheral disc that rotates to align with the metallic blue triangle-shaped indicator.
How Can You Determine If The Watch Is Real Or Fake?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of fake watches in the market so you have to be very careful when choosing which one and where you will buy it. In fact, it takes quite an effort to learn how to recognize a fake from a truly original watch. Keep in mind that there is a big difference between value and worth.
The worth of your watch is related to the monetary cost while the value is a personal thing. That means that a family watch that runs through your family for generations will be of great value to you, but it does not mean it will be worth much no matter how old it is.
When we talk about the Geneva watches, the most crucial thing is to watch if they have the Hallmark certification. Remember all Geneva watches must have a personal Hallmark of Geneva certification and a serial number.
You can check if your watch is real by visiting the official website of Poinçon de Geneve and entering the unique code that is written on the certificate. You can also do this by scanning the QR code with your smartphone.
To carry a Hallmark certification all four major steps in the manufacturing process must take place in Geneva. Those are assembly, casing up, adjustment, and testing. Also, the watch must be submitted by a company that is registered in Geneva.
Where Can I Look To Buy Valuable Geneva Watches?
For watch collectors or anyone else who is interested in buying a valuable and vintage watch, it is very important to know where it can do it safely. Vintage and valuable watches are very frequently plagiarized so finding a reliable seller is a must.
As you all know, you can find all sorts of watches on many different websites like Etsy,1stDIBS, eBay, chrono24, and so on. However, no one can guarantee you that you won’t be scammed there. If you tend to buy there make sure you check your seller thoroughly.
The most reliable places for buying vintage Geneve watches are auction houses such as The Geneva Watch Auctions. These auction houses are trustworthy and the grate thing is that you can personally inspect the watches. All the watches on their list are already inspected by experts. In case you are lucky enough to end up in Geneva, another trustworthy option is to visit their official shops.
What is a quartz movement?
A quartz movement term refers to how the quartz and battery cause the second hand to move and mark one second at a time. Quartz movement is when second-hand tick one second, stop and then thick the next second.
This is in contrast to automatic and mechanical movement. The automatic movement uses kinetic energy from your wrist movements to power up the watch’s mechanism. While mechanical movement uses a complex mechanism full of small springs that need to be winded up manually.
What famous brands are certified with Hallmark of Geneva?
Almost every brand has its own seal, however, a lot of them also carry a certificate such as Hallmark of Geneva. Some of the most notable brands how to carry this certificate are:
- Patek Philippe
- Vacheron Constantin
- Louis Vuitton
- Roger Dubuis
Dive Into The World Of Luxury Watches
Geneva is the capital of the world when we talk about crafting luxury watches. From artisanal to industrial watchmaking, one thing is guaranteed quality. In fact, they are so serious about it that we can freely say that luxury watchmaking is an art in itself.
However, these watches are pretty pricey considering that most of them are produced in limited series. Some are even made in just one example which is particularly attractive to watch collectors who strive to own as many unique models as they can.
If you or someone close to you have some rare and valuable watch that originates from Geneva we would like to hear more about it. Remember, your watch has a certain monetary worth but it is depending on the quality of its components, the material used for crafting, its complexity, and its history.