What to Do With Old Watches: Recycle Them!

Wristwatch, Watch, Accessory, Timepiece, Time

Do you have an old watch that you no longer wear? What are you going to do with it? 

There are numerous reasons why you might be ready to part with your old watch. Maybe you want to sell it to make some extra money, or maybe you want to pass it down as a family heirloom. 

Whatever the reason, there are a few things to think about before deciding what to do with an old watch. To give your old watches a new lease on life, sell, donate, or recycle them! In this guide, we will go over the advantages of recycling your old watch and how to do so.

What is watch recycling?

To recycle something, you must want to give it a new purpose

For example, if you want to get rid of a watch because it no longer works but doesn’t have a plan for its next life, or you decide that it can be used as jewelry or something similar, you are recycling it.

Even if you decide to keep the watch, recycling means you’ll find a new way to put it to use. Using an old item for something else is always preferable to purchasing a new one because it reduces the amount of waste and energy required in production. This is true not only for watches but also for other items such as clothing or shoes.

Some people believe that recycling simply means giving something to someone else rather than throwing it away, but this is not the case. Recycling means reusing something for a purpose other than the one for which it was originally designed. Donating your old watch does not obligate you to recycle because the watch may still end up in a landfill.

If you want to recycle your watch, there are a few options. You can either give it to someone else who will repurpose it, or find a way to repurpose it yourself. If you choose the second option, here are some suggestions:

  • Make a new piece of jewelry out of an old watch.
  • Repurpose the watch by using it as a pen or pencil holder.
  • Make a keychain out of it.
  • Make it into a bookmark.
  • It can be used to decorate your home.
  • Wear it as a necklace or bracelet.

What are some of the most common uses for old watches?

There are a few common uses for old watches that you might not have considered before. You can recycle them, use them as parts for other projects, or pass them down as family heirlooms. Here’s a closer look at each option:

  • Repurpose your old watch: If your watch is no longer functional, you can recycle it at a jeweler or watch repair shop in your area. They might be able to repurpose the watch’s materials to create new pieces for other watches.
  • Using an old watch for parts: If your watch is still functional, you may be able to use it as a component in another project. For example, if you have a broken watch, you could repair it with parts from your old one.
  • Passing down your old watch as a family heirloom: You can pass down your old watch as a family heirloom if you want to keep it but don’t have any use for it. You could find someone in your family interested in watches and show them your old timepiece.

How to recycle and reuse your watch

If your watch has seen better days, don’t just throw it away. There are numerous methods for reusing and recycling your old watch. Here are a few suggestions:

  • It can be sold to a jewelry store or an online auction site. This is an excellent way to get some extra money for your old watch. Before you try to sell your watch, make sure you know its condition. If it requires repairs, either make them or reduce the price accordingly.
  • Don’t forget about old watches from deceased family members and loved ones. They can be a wonderful heirloom for future generations of your family to cherish for generations.
  • Repurpose the watch’s components in other crafts. If the watch is no longer functional, you can repurpose its components to create a new craft project. You could, for example, use the face of an old watch as a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry ornaments.
  • Donate it to a worthy cause. If you don’t want to keep your old watch or can’t find its use, donate it to a watch recycling organization. This is a great way to help a good cause while also getting rid of your old watch.
  • Make use of it as a paperweight. If all else fails and your watch is no longer valuable, you can always use it as a paperweight. This way, the watch isn’t completely useless and can still serve a purpose.
  • It can be repurposed into something else. If none of these options appeal to you, there’s nothing wrong with simply repurposing the watch. This can range from a new watch band to a piece of jewelry. Use your imagination and have fun with it!

Vollebak's Garbage Watch Is Made from Recycled E-Waste | Cool Material

The advantages of recycling an old watch

There are numerous advantages to recycling watches. It not only benefits the environment by keeping waste out of landfills, but it also allows people to reuse and repurpose valuable materials. 

This is especially useful in the case of watches, as they frequently contain precious metals and stones that can be reused in new watches. Furthermore, the process of recycling watches allows watch enthusiasts to save money while also discovering a new favorite timepiece.

The recyclability of old watches

When you’re ready to recycle your old watch, it’s critical that you know how to care for and clean it before sending it off to be recycled or repurposed. 

Most companies require that all batteries be removed before sending in a watch, and some even prefer that the entire movement be removed. If your preferred company does not provide removal instructions, check with them ahead of time or seek their advice through online resources.

After you’ve cleaned the insides of your old watch, it’s time to clean the outside. Some people will send in watches that aren’t clean because they know their preferred company has professional cleaning equipment. However, if your watch has seen better days or has been heavily used, consider taking it to a local jeweler for a thorough cleaning before sending it off.

Finally, when mailing your watch in for recycling or repurposing, include all of the original packaging as well as any documentation that came with it. This will ensure that there are no issues during the receiving process and that your old watch is properly handled.

The process of selling old watches

If you want to sell an old watch, you should do a few things to get the most money for it. Watches can be recycled and refurbished to give them a new lease on life, so look for a reputable jeweler or recycling center that will do this for you. 

Here are the steps to selling an old watch:

  1. If you intend to sell your vintage watches for cash, the first thing you should do is thoroughly clean them, making sure there are no dings or scratches and remove any corrosion from where metal meets metal. A jeweler can do a much better job than you, but a quick cleaning with a toothbrush and some soapy water should suffice. Before continuing, make certain that it is completely dry.
  2. Remove the band. Spring-loaded or screw-on bands are common on watches. If it’s a spring-loaded band, simply push the little buttons on the side, and it’ll pop right off. If the band is screwed on, loosen the screws with a watchmaker’s tool or a butter knife before removing it.
  3. Remove the back of your watch to reveal the model and serial number, as well as the movement type (mechanical or quartz) and battery type if it’s a newer model. You should also check for scratches on this part of the case before selling it, as buyers will be able to see them. A jeweler can buff out any scuffs you may have accidentally made while polishing your old watches.
  4. Locate a reputable jeweler or recycling facility. When your watch is clean, and all of the parts have been removed, it’s time to sell it. Look for a jeweler specializing in vintage watches or go to a recycling center that will recycle the materials rather than sell them new.

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