Buying Fine Watches at Auction
Purchasing vintage and fine watches at auction is an exciting experience; and with FORTUNA®, starting or growing your watch collection has never been easier! Trusted by a global audience of collectors in 50+ countries, FORTUNA® frequently offers a wide-ranging collection of vintage watches and iconic timepieces from the most respected watch brands of the world, such as Rolex, Patek Phillipe, OMEGA and many more. Compared to larger auction houses with dozens of departments or categories for sale, our specialization in jewelry and watches allows us to focus on curating highly desirable collections of watches for sale all year-round.
We generally offer fine watches in all of our monthly auctions, and host larger watch-only auctions twice a year. If you would like to be notified by email once the next watches auction is available online for bidding, subscribe to our Watch Newsletter here. For any inquiries related to our upcoming watch auctions, please refer to the contact information above and our staff would be more than happy to assist you.
Ways to Bid on Watches at Auction
At FORTUNA®, there are numerous ways to bid on watches. If it is your first time registering to bid with us, you may be asked to submit photo identification and credit card information to verify your identity and confirm your seriousness as a bidder. We are committed to creating a fair and trustworthy bidding experience for all participants, and recommend that all new bidders register at least 24 hours ahead of the auction. Once you have been approved to bid, you will be added to our book of trusted bidders and immediately pre-approved for all future sales.
Bid in Person at the NYC Showroom
Upon registering to bid, you will be assigned a number and given a paddle. During the auction, raise your paddle to place a bid on the item currently being offered. The auctioneer will make a note of your bid, and our staff will send you an invoice after the event, listing all the items you won.
You can bid directly on FORTUNA’s online auction platform a few ways, including:
- Registering online on FORTUNA’s website
- Downloading the FORTUNA iOS or Android mobile app
- Using LiveAuctioneers, Bidsquare or Invaluable (Please Note: Using these third-party platforms will incur additional online fees.)
Bid Over the Phone
If you can’t attend the auction in person, but would like eyes on the auction floor, you can bid by phone through a FORTUNA proxy who is present at the auction. Just list the different lots you would like to be called for on our phone bidding form or notify us in advance by email.
Several minutes before your lot comes up for bidding, your proxy will call you, keep you abreast of competing bids and raise your paddle on your behalf if you wish to place a bid.
Bid as an Absentee
If neither the time nor location of the auction is convenient for you, you are welcome to leave an absentee bid, which is the highest hammer price you are willing to pay for the lots you are interested in.
You communicate this by filling out an absentee bidder form with us. Return the form through the mail, call 212-389-9040 or email us. If your noted price is higher than the hammer price, you will win the bid for the amount of the hammer price, even if it is less than what your maximum absentee bid was.
Contact us for more information on ways to bid and our upcoming watch auctions.
Terms and Conditions for Buying
The day after an auction, successful bidders will have their invoice sent to the email listed upon registration. The final purchase price on the invoice will include the hammer price, the buyer’s premium, any local taxes that apply (FORTUNA is required to collect sales tax for lots shipped to Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia), and an insured shipping quote. Bidders on LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, and Bidsquare will be subject to an additional 5% over the buyer’s premium because of the additional fees charged by these bidding platforms. Our buyer’s premium structure is as follows:
25% on the first $300,000
20% from $300,001 to $3,000,000
12.5% on the excess of $3,000,000
Please note, however you choose to bid, it is your responsibility to inquire about the lots you intend to bid on, should you have any questions. We’re happy to send you additional photos and videos of the items. We strongly advise all to read and understand the full Terms & Conditions of Sale before bidding with FORTUNA.
Preview the Watch Catalog from Home
FORTUNA has recently introduced major additions to our online auction catalog; every lot listing will also include a high-resolution video of the watch shown at all angles, to give bidders a clear view of the condition and quality of the piece before placing their bids. We are also pleased to offer a new service, “Virtual Preview,” in which you can video chat directly with one of our specialists for a closer look on your favorite lots. To get started, just send us an email to schedule a date and time.
To speak to one of our watch specialists, please call or email us today. We are pleased to assist with any inquiries you may have.
608 5th Avenue, Suite 507
New York, NY 10020
Sell Your Watch at Auction
Whether you are interested in selling a single watch or an entire watch collection, getting an unbiased valuation first is the best way to protect yourself and earn a fair price for your pieces.
To get started with the valuation process, click below to submit images and details of your watch on our easy-to-use web form.