The 125 point inspection program will be conducted by no less than two experienced certified watchmakers, said Avi Soffer, chairman of TheWDN. Among the parts being authenticated are case, bracelet, movement, and crystal.
“A globally accepted price guide provides the industry a reference tool in determining the value of a particular watch. Everyone benefits here,” Soffer said. “Both certifications and price guides have been used very effectively by the likes of the diamond and automobile industries. Now it is the watch industry’s time to benefit. As a result, watches will be traded more efficiently and transparently among dealers, while adding to consumer confidence when purchasing an officially certified item. This is an undertaking we take very seriously. We are including the foremost watch experts, and incorporating decades of expertise and experience from within the industry.”
Details as to how the certs will be laid out are being kept confidential for the moment, Soffer said. Costs are based on the complication and the value of the watch being certified and are expected to start at $95. In addition to receiving a hard copy, certifications and images will be viewable directly online. Several locations for grading laboratories are currently being considered, including an overseas presence. The price sheet will list suggested watch valuations based on criteria such as supply, demand, current sales prices, and overall global market conditions. Price sheets require a subscription and will be circulated monthly.
“As the demand for watches grow, so do the needs of the industry,” IWJG said. “The two components directly address the efforts being made to unite the international markets and in bringing about an even more robust trading environment.”
In recent years, counterfeits have a become an increasingly growing problem for the watch industry, reaching an estimated $220 million in 2007. Certifying a watch’s authenticity, offers a much need boost to decreasing dealer and consumer confidence.
There are currently pre-registration programs being offered that include discounts for frequent use and to members of TheWDN and the IWJG. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.