Engraving your watch is a great way to personalize it and immortalize a piece of your personal history. It has become commonplace these days. But, while many found satisfaction in getting their watches engraved, others almost immediately regret doing so. 

While it is ultimately a personal decision to engrave your watch, it is something that you should take your time thinking about. That way, you’ll save yourself from the potential headache and regret, wishing that you did not do it in the first place. 

In this article, we highlighted some points of consideration to help you decide whether to engrave your watch or not. We are also discussing the pros and cons of personalizing your luxury watch, particularly how it can affect its resale value. 

Should You Engrave Your Watch? 

Getting your watch engraved gives it a sentimental touch. Most luxury watch brands know this so well, that others offer complimentary engravings for special occasions. A case in point is the German watchmaker, Nomos Glashutte, which, in February, offered free engravings with each purchase of its watch. The brand allowed up to 22 characters to be inscribed on the stainless steel case back. 

There is also a wide range of businesses that specialize in catering to the watch customizing segment within the watch industry. From watch strap makers to outlets that offer a complete overhaul, the watch customization market is steadily growing. But with all these said, is watch engraving for you? Ask yourself the following questions. 

• Why would you get your watch engraved? 

Most luxury watch owners have their watches engraved to mark a special occasion, whether that be an anniversary or promotion. Others also give them as gifts to celebrate graduations, birthdays, etc. Whatever the specific reason, it often boils down to marking a significant event and if it means that much to you, then go ahead and get your watch engraved. 

• Can the watch be engraved? 

Watch engravings are usually done on the case back. But, if your watch has a sapphire case back, then it may not be as easy to do so compared with the usual stainless steel material. You can still get it engraved. However, you may have to take it to an engraver who specializes in glass engraving. It will surely be more expensive and you should ask yourself whether it’s really worth it. 

• How will the engraving affect the resale value of your watch? 

Put yourself in a collector’s shoes: would you purchase an engraved watch that has no meaning for you? Sure, while some enjoy the sentimentality and history of a watch, most would say that an unengraved one is more preferable. So, if you’re planning to sell your watch someday, reconsider engraving it. A smart alternative, though, is to find a replacement case back to engrave instead and keep the original. 

The Pros and Cons of Customizing a Luxury Watch 

Other than engraving, some of the most usual changes watch owners do with their luxury watches is to customize the band, bracelet, or strap and/or swap out the dial and case with bespoke options. The variations you can do with your watch are abundant. While some are looking to customize their watches for something different, others would frown at the idea of modifying such an expensive purchase. 

So, before you start attempting to engrave the case back of your watch, remove its dial, or change its bracelet, explore the benefits and drawbacks of luxury watch modification. 

The Benefits of Customizing Watches 

Investing in a luxury watch gives you a sense of status and accomplishment. But, while style, material, and size options from different brands abound, nothing quite grants you the same satisfaction you can get with owning a bespoke. Sure, a watch’s key function is to tell time, but a customized one is a fashionable way to showcase your sense of style. 

The Potential Downsides of Customizing Watches 

With all these benefits, it helps to remember that customizing your watch does come with some repercussions. These include the possibility of permanent damage, lower resale value, and difficulty to get it serviced. 

• Servicing

Some manufacturers will refuse to service a watch that has been modified with other parts. This much is true with the likes of Rolex and Cartier, which will not touch a watch if its dial and bezel are replaced or if you have had any diamonds added. Don’t fret, though. There are third-party businesses that will service your customized watch on-site. 

• Potential Damage 

There will always be risks in modifying something as expensive as a luxury watch. If you’re considering major modifications on your watch, don’t expect too much that the end result will look exactly the way you want it to be. Parts may be damaged in the process or the changes could have your watch turn out looking cheap.

• Resale 

Probably the most concerning factor about customizing a luxury watch are that it can lose its value in the secondhand market. In general, collectors prefer watches in their original condition the scratches, dents, and discoloration included. These signs of wear and tear commonly appeal to serious watch collectors. There are even cases when these imperfections help watches fetch higher prices than those that have been kept in mint condition. 


Luxury watches are some of the most prized items you will ever own. You deserve to have it your way, whether that means having it engraved or modified in the exact way you want it to look. After all, you paid hard-earned money for it. 

But, before getting anything done, consider these pros and cons. You can get your watch engraved, and in case you want to restore it to its original state, the service can be costly. There’s also the risk of permanently damaging your watch. Plus, buffing away an inscription could leave the metal of the case back thinner, altering its feel on your wrist.

We hope this article helps you out in deciding whether or not you should personalize your watch by engraving it. Good luck!