TRAP WATCHES! Which Timepieces Seem Like Good Flips but Suck!

We call certain watches traps because they can seem like tempting watches to trade.  No matter your skill level whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, we all fall victim to buying a watch that is just a total flop.  

When you’re ramping up your watch trading skills it’s probable you’ll make some mistakes…

But buying the wrong watch models doesn’t have to be one of them.  To further clarify, technically this is not a black or white topic.  There will always be exceptions to the rules, and you can make any timepiece a solid trade if you have an audience for that watch, and are skilled at selling.  That said, there are just some consistently tougher pieces to make money on frequently.  

That’s why for this article I’m going to give you a list of watches that you should NOT trade and for the most part avoid.  


  •  Crazy Novelty watches –    Novelty watches are watches that sometimes fall under the bucket of “limited edition” or are made for a very specific target audience.  These can be either pieces that are so over the top crazy, or have some extremely wild design aesthetics. Some examples of what I mean (Leopard pattern Hublot, Zebra Hublot, Clown faced watches, overly diamond decorated pieces, Corum Bubble watch, Franck Muller colored Vanguards, Franck Muller tourbillon, Franck Muller Diamonds).


  • Sports Based Watches –   When you come across very specific team based watches or watches designed under the names of specific sports athletes it’s usually best to not bother.  There are some exceptions to this rule like race car driver specific Audemars Piguet models like the AP Trulli. But as a general rule of thumb the sports team and athlete models are just so odd and specific you’ll struggle to find a buyer to pay much at all if you can even find someone who wants it.  Some examples are Hublot soccer team watches (Manchester United, Poland, Chelsea etc.). Audemars Piguet Shaquille O’Neal, Hublot Dwayne Wade, etc.). The exception here is most sports based on Tennis, F1, Golf, and Polo do well. For example Rolex Wimbledon Dial, Richard Mille for Raphael Nadal, Richard Mille for Bubba Watson, etc.)


  • Hublot Large Pieces – Avoid most King Power pieces and pieces over 44mm.  When it comes to Hublot it’s usually best to stick with the Big Bang, Aero Bang, Unico and Fusion lines (Classic & Aero)


  • Car Homage Timepieces.  – Although there are some car based tribute models that are fine to trade.  However, most of the models that were originally built in partnership with the luxury and exotic Marquees don’t hold value well at all.  Examples of models to avoid – (Panerai Ferrari, Hublot Ferrari, Breitling for Bentley unless it’s a cheap rectangle Breitling for Bentley.  The larger sized circle case models are just tough to find quality buyers for unless you get them at a STEAL!


  • Lower End Marquee Watches Over $10K –  By this, more specifically we’re referring to watch brands like Bell & Ross, Corum, Cvstos, Breitling, Franck Muller, Linde Werdelin


  • Under $1,000 watches.  So this may seem controversial, as there are definitely ways to make money on certain pieces under this threshold, but from our experiences, the under $1,000 threshold doesn’t yield anything worthwhile that comes from the process.  Whether that’s the return on investment, or the types of buyers you’re engaging with, you’re not going to get any type of results that will really move the meter for you. 


These are just some of the overarching types of timepieces to be weary of when leveraging them as profitable flips.  The watch Trading game has many shades of grey. And you should always think through what types of audience and buyers you can find if you aren’t sure whether a certain watch model makes sense.

Beyond this guide, you can always tap into the power of the robust Watch Trading Academy community in the Facebook group if you’re an insider member. 

Also, always remember you can broker watch deals if you don’t think holding them in inventory is a wise move.  Brokering is a fantastic way to not only test if there’s interest in a watch that you may think be tough to sell, but also a way you can still make money on the watch deal without risking your own capital being tied up.  When you learn to master brokering in WTA Part 2 and Knight Watch Trading Course, it’s much easier to navigate the landscape of when you should broker vs. when you should hold inventory on certain timepieces.

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