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Valuables insurance: expensive watches

A glance at your wristwatch tells you what the time is. But that is often the less important function. For the wearer, a watch is a decorative piece that combines emotions and a passion for collecting. Losing a watch is not only a financial loss. However, the right insurance guarantees a replacement.

10 January 2020, text: Isabella Awad, photo: unsplash / Serge Camain

Geneva-based entrepreneur André Fischbacher loves unusual watches. He has various one-of-a-kind examples of Rolex and one IWC. His current favourite: a Rolex Daytona, in white gold with a rubber strap. “I’m fascinated by the manufacturing, design and history of a watch”, he says. He currently owns six watches, but suddenly one went missing.

Key tips for insuring expensive watches:

  • Include expensive watches in your household contents
  • It’s worth taking out valuables insurance for sums of CHF 10,000 and more
  • Report any increase in value to your insurer

Gone from the wrist

Recently, during a stay in Kiev, he went for an evening stroll through a street festival with his family. He took a look at his watch and half an hour later noticed in dismay that his IWC was no longer on his wrist. Gone. Incredible, how skilful some thieves are!

Insured with Helvetia – luckily

André Fischbacher insured his luxury watches with Helvetia. All it took was a phone call to his advisor at the general agency in Geneva, Serge Camain, who immediately dealt with the loss. He’s familiar with the scenario. The same thing happened to him last summer with his Rolex GMT Master Pepsi in Biarritz at the Fête de Bayonne. A watch he wore 25 years on his wrist. A friendly man engaged him in a conversation for just a few seconds. “If it hasn’t happened to you, you wouldn’t believe that someone could steal a watch from your wrist without you noticing”, he says.

Household contents or a valuable item?

Valuable items can be included in your household contents policy. If items – in this case luxury watches – are worth over CHF 10,000, it’s worth taking out valuables insurance. Each watch is insured individually, without a deductible upon request. The premium is 12.5 permille of the insured value. For CHF 10,000 this is CHF 125 per year, except 5 percent stamp duty.

Valuables insurance

A watch, jewellery or a valuable musical instrument: Precious favourite possessions are often expensive valuables. With a valuables insurance policy you can safeguard the financial value of your treasures.

Check the value of luxury watches regularly

The price paid – or the catalogue price – is usually insured. A person who inherits a watch and doesn't know the value should have a certificate issued by an official dealer of the brand that states the ‘market value’ of the watch. But be careful: as collector’s pieces or special editions increase in value very quickly, it’s a good idea to regularly check the value of insured watches and adjust the insurance as needed.

Serge Camain paid CHF 12,200 for his Rolex in December, and the catalogue price is now CHF 14,400. The watch has gained in value in the meantime. He will insure it for CHF 18'900.

To help the damage departement process the loss/theft quickly, Serge Camain recommends depositing the following documents with Helvetia:

  • the bill for the watch or certificates of market value
  • a certificate of authenticity
  • various photographs of the watch from different angles, of the watch on its own and on the wearer’s wrist
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