What to Do with Old Watches?

Old watch on the arm of the future president of the USA

When it comes to watches, many of us have a collection of old ones that we no longer wear. Maybe they’re broken, outdated, or simply not your style anymore. Whatever the reason, you may be wondering what to do with them. The good news is that there are plenty of options for repurposing or disposing of old watches sustainably and responsibly.

Most people will donate the old watch to charity and you can do some research to find a charity that aligns with your values and makes a difference while decluttering your collection. Another option is to sell your old watches online or at a local pawn shop. 

But for now, let’s talk about the more creative option such as turning the old watch into jewelry.

Turning Old Watches into Jewelry

You can reuse old watches in a variety of ways. Creating unique pieces of jewelry from them is one of my favorite ways to repurpose them. You can give your old watches a new lease on life and make something beautiful and unique that you can wear or give as a gift by doing this.

Remove the watch face from the band and use it as a bracelet. The band can be embellished with additional beads or stones to create an intricate design, or you can use the watch face itself as a pendant. It can be hung from a chain or cord as a necklace.

When it comes to adding additional elements to your old watch jewelry, there are a lot of options. You can use beads, stones, or other ornaments to create a more complex design. You can also use wire to wrap the watch band or face and create a more intricate design.

Overall, turning old watches into jewelry is a great way to repurpose them and create something beautiful and unique. Whether you’re creating a bracelet, necklace, or charm, there are a lot of creative options available.

Preserving Old Watches as Family Heirlooms

I’ve seen watch enthusiasts and I understand the sentimental value of old watches. They are not just timepieces but also family keepsakes that hold a significant place in our hearts. Therefore, preserving old watches as family heirlooms is crucial to keeping the memories of our loved ones alive.

Keeping old watches in a dry, cool, and dark place, such as a drawer or a safe, is the first step to preserving them. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, moisture, or extreme temperatures.

It is also important to maintain old watches regularly by having them serviced by a professional watchmaker every three to five years so that they are cleaned, oiled, and adjusted correctly.

If you plan to pass down your old watch as a family heirloom, consider creating a record of its history. This could include the date of purchase, the original owner, any repairs or modifications made, and any sentimental stories associated with the watch. Keeping this information in a safe place will ensure that the watch’s history is not lost over time.

It is crucial to keep old watches in proper storage, to maintain them regularly, and to create a record of their history. These simple steps will ensure that your old watch will endure for generations.

Repurposing Old Watches

You can repurpose old watches in lots of creative ways to give them a new lease on life. Here’s what you can do:

  • Create unique jewelry: The old watch faces can be removed, and the watch parts can be used to create one-of-a-kind jewelry. Vintage watch parts can also be used to give your jewelry some character. 
  • Make holiday ornaments: Make a festive ornament with the watch face and hands, or make a steampunk ornament with the watch parts. 
  • Design a photo frame: Create a unique photo frame using the watchband and watch face, or use the watch parts to embellish a plain photo frame. 
  • Create bookmarks: Make a stylish bookmark out of a watch band, or add some parts for a more elaborate design. 
  • Use watch parts for crafts: With the small gears and springs, you can add some texture and interest to your scrapbooking or other craft projects.

Old watches can be repurposed into something beautiful and unique if you use your creativity.

Dealing with Electronic Watches

The following points should be kept in mind when disposing of electronic watches. As with any electronic device, it is imperative to consider its environmental impact.

You can recycle your old watch. Many electronic watches contain batteries that should not be thrown away in the trash as they are hazardous to the environment. Drop off your old watch at a local recycling center that accepts electronic waste.

If the watch is no longer working or cannot be repaired, it’s important to dispose of it properly. Look for a local electronic waste recycling program that accepts watches, or contact the manufacturer to see if they offer a take-back program for their products.

Repairing and Refurbishing Old Watches

It may be feasible to repair or refurbish an old watch if it is no longer functional. Both will restore a watch to its former glory, and both will give it a new appearance. Here are some things to keep in mind when repairing or refurbishing an old watch.

Selling Old Watches

Before wasting time repairing or refurbishing an old watch, you may want to consider selling it. If you have a valuable watch that is not functional, it may be worth more as a collector’s item than as a functioning watch.

Repairing Old Watches

In case you need to repair your old watch, you can take it to a watch repair store or to a watchmaker. Watchmakers are professionals specializing in repairing and maintaining watches. The watchmaker has the expertise and tools necessary to diagnose and fix any problem with your watch. As well as replacing worn-out parts, they can clean and oil your watch’s movement to ensure that it runs smoothly.

Refurbishing Old Watches

You can refurbish your old watch to make it look like new. This process involves polishing the case, replacing the crystal, and refinishing the dial. Watch refurbishment can be performed by a watchmaker or a watch refurbishing company.


When it comes to old watches, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. It depends on several factors, including the value of the watch, its condition, and the owner’s personal preferences.

It may be best for those who own valuable or collectible watches to sell or consign them to a reputable dealer or auction house in order to earn a significant return on investment.

For those with less valuable watches, donating them to a charitable organization or recycling them may be the best choice. Many organizations accept donations of watches and other jewelry, which can be sold to raise funds for their programs.

For those who can’t bear to throw away their old watches, repurposing them into jewelry or decorative items can be a fun and creative option. If you have a little imagination and a little basic crafting skills, you can transform old watch parts into stylish and unique items.

A decision about what to do with an old watch is, ultimately, a personal choice. By weighing the pros and cons, you can determine what suits you best.

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