Jewelry Trends

Is a Watch Considered Jewelry?

Dustin Lemick


Dustin Lemick

Although used primarily to tell time, many watches are considered jewelry designed with a strong emphasis on aesthetics and craftsmanship, incorporating precious metals, gemstones, and intricate detailing that can qualify them as jewelry.

Luxury and designer watches, such as Rolex and Tag Heuer, are considered functional tools and decorative fashion accessories, much like other pieces of jewelry. However, not all watches are jewelry – it depends on their design, materials, and the context in which they are worn or used. For example, a simple plastic digital wristwatch might not be considered a jewelry category like a gold or diamond-encrusted watch would be.

Is a watch considered jewelry? Whether you are a watch enthusiast or just curious, we can help you understand if you need to protect your timepiece with watch insurance for any repairs or replace it if lost, stolen, or damaged.

Is a Watch Considered Jewelry?

What You Will Learn

What are High-End Watch Brands?

High-end watch brands are renowned for their superior quality, precious materials, and rich legacies that span over a century. These brands blend tradition with innovation, making timepieces as functional as beautiful and wearable art. The following luxury watch brands are often considered fine jewelry. Each has its unique approach to watchmaking and has contributed to the rich history and diversity in the world of horology.

  • Rolex: The most iconic watch brand, Rolex, is known for its precision, durability, and prestige. Rolex watches consist of premium materials like 18K gold and platinum. Some well-known models are the Submariner, Daytona, and the Datejust. These watches are often considered jewelry due to their high price tag and exceptional quality.Suggested Read: How to Tell if a Rolex is Real | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance
  • Patek Philippe: This Swiss watch brand is known for its intricate mechanical watches. The brand is a favorite amongst horology enthusiasts for its timeless designs and complex complications. Although they are sports watches, the Calatrava, Nautilus, and Aquanaut models also feature design elements such as diamond-encrusted bezels and gemstone hour markers, which elevate them to fine jewelry status.
  • Audemars Piguet: Famous for introducing the Royal Oak in 1972, Audemars Piguet creates striking and innovative timepieces. The brand often experiments with materials such as ceramic and carbon, pushing the boundaries of watchmaking.
  • Vacheron Constantin: As one of the oldest watch manufacturers in the world, Vacheron Constantin is known for its classic designs, intricate detailing, and technical sophistication. The Patrimony and Traditionnelle collections are great examples of their prowess.
  • Omega: Omega is known for its precise timekeeping and was NASA’s choice of timepiece for the first moon landing. Models like the Speedmaster, Seamaster, and Constellation are popular among collectors and enthusiasts.
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre: This brand is renowned for its vast array of in-house movements and popular slim watch models like the Reverso and Master Ultra Thin. Jaeger-LeCoultre brand has a strong commitment to traditional craftsmanship.
  • Cartier: Cartier’s watches are considered a luxury staple due to their elegant and timeless designs. Models like the Tank and Santos are not just watches but style statements.

High-end watch brands are renowned for their superior artisanship, precious materials, and rich legacies that span over a century.


When is a Watch Not Considered Jewelry?

While high quality watches are akin to jewelry or an important fashion accessory due to their aesthetic and decorative nature, there are situations where a watch might not be considered pure jewelry.

The primary function of a watch is to tell time. Many individuals view watches as functional or utilitarian objects rather than decorative items. This perspective is particularly prevalent with more straightforward, affordable watches designed primarily for practical use. 

For instance, cheaper brands that make digital sports watches out of plastic and rubber for tracking physical activity or a child’s inexpensive watch would not typically fall under “jewelry.”

Modern smart watches, like the Apple Watch or devices from Fitbit or Garmin, serve numerous functions like fitness tracking, notification alerts, and music streaming. These multi-function devices blur the line between a traditional watch and a wearable tech device. 


So, is an Apple watch considered jewelry? An Apple Watch is not usually considered jewelry. This is due to the design ethos for Apple Watches often emphasizing technological innovation and functionality over traditional aesthetics or ornamentation associated with jewelry. Many believe these devices belong in a separate category and are more akin to a consumer electronic device than jewelry.

In certain professions, watches are integral to the job, not just a fashion accessory. For example, dive watches are designed for underwater diving and must meet specific ISO standards. While often well-designed and beautiful, these watches are tools first and foremost.

High-end watches from luxury brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, or Audemars Piguet can have substantial financial value. If lost, stolen, or damaged, repairing or replacing these timepieces can cost thousands of dollars.

Do You Need Jewelry Insurance for a Watch?

Whether you need jewelry insurance for a watch depends mainly on the monetary and sentimental value of the watch. When you wear watches, they are at risk of damage from impacts and weather. They can also be easily stolen or lost.

High-end watches from luxury brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet can have substantial financial value. If lost, stolen, or damaged, repairing or replacing these timepieces can cost thousands of dollars. While most brands offer a watch warranty with purchase, many owners of expensive watches insure them for better coverage for situations not covered by the warranty. Insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection against unforeseen circumstances.


However, your homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy typically caps coverage for jewelry and other luxury items like watches at around $2,000 for an individual piece with a $5,000 overall limit. This limit generally is only a fraction of the cost of a luxury, jewelry-quality timepiece. You may be able to purchase a floater or rider for individual pieces, which offer coverage for circumstances not covered by your standard homeowner’s policy at a higher cost. 

Dedicated jewelry insurance policies offer ample replacement coverage for potential problems, including theft, accidental damage, and mysterious disappearance. The insurance company may pay for repair or replacement costs, often up to the full insured amount for the watch. When insuring a high-value watch, ensure the piece has a professional appraisal to establish its value accurately.

Protect Your Luxury-Brand Watch With Dedicated Coverage From BriteCo

A dedicated jewelry insurance policy can provide comprehensive coverage for high-value pieces like luxury watches. The first step towards protecting your luxury watch is getting a professional appraisal. The appraisal ensures that the value of your timepiece is accurate in your insurance policy

At BriteCo, we offer a convenient online white-glove appraisal service. For a flat rate of just $26, you’ll receive a professional appraisal of your luxury watch, including a certified appraisal valuation, within 24 hours. If you prefer an in-person appraisal, we can connect you with a trusted partner in your local area. 

Your appraisal should be updated every few years, as the value of luxury watches can increase over time. As part of your BriteCo insurance policy, we reappraise your piece annually to ensure you have enough coverage. 

BriteCo’s insurance for luxury watches offers affordable and instant coverage, ensuring your valuable timepieces are protected wherever you are in the world, 365 days a year. The cost of jewelry insurance typically ranges from 0.5% to 1.5% of the appraised value per year, meaning a $10,000 luxury watch policy can cost you $4 to $12 per month. With zero deductibles and prompt claims replacements, BriteCo provides peace of mind. 

BriteCo’s specialized watch insurance policies are supported by an AM Best A+ rated insurer, guaranteeing reliability. Our comprehensive coverage includes loss, theft, damage, and mysterious disappearance. 

Use our online tool to get a free quote to protect your luxury watch at an affordable price, or contact BriteCo to learn more about our policies.

Also Check:

How to Remove Watch Links | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance
How To Properly Clean Your Watch | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance
What are the parts of a watch? | BriteCo Jewelry Insurance
How to Clean A Stainless Steel Watch? | BriteCo Jewelry

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Dustin Lemick


Dustin Lemick

Dustin Lemick is the Founder and CEO of BriteCo and a third-generation jeweler with over thirteen years of retail jewelry experience. He holds a Graduate Gemologist degree from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has in-depth knowledge and expertise in appraisal systems, diamond and gemstone markets, retail pricing models, insurance replacement models, and jewelry quotation pricing systems.