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04/21/2017
 3 minutes

How to photograph a watch

By Balazs Ferenczi
How to photograph a watch

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and it is especially true when selling your timepiece. Great photos are fundamental to a successful private seller ad on Chrono24. Every private seller wants their photos to represent their watch in the best way possible. A sharp image of a well-presented timepiece under great lighting is something you can achieve at home. We will share a few tricks with you that will elevate the quality of your images and hopefully help you sell your watch. Don’t worry, these simple tips do not require any special training or equipment – just a camera, a watch, and someone to snap the photo.


1. Hands

Most watch brands set their watches to a certain time when photographing their products. Usually, they set the time to 10 past 10. This setup gives a nice balanced look to the timepiece and leaves the 12 o’clock position open, where most brands place their logos and names. This is a simple trick that will make your photos look more professional.

2. Cleaning

Once the hands are set, you should clean your watch. You need to wipe it very thoroughly with a lint-free cloth. It should not have any fingerprints on either side of the case, especially not on the crystal. Use a soft cotton wipe or lens cleaner. Anything will do as long as it’s soft enough – even a dry t-shirt works. However, make sure you never use a damp cloth.

3. Setting

Another mistake people often make is to place the watch on a surface that is not meant to be photographed. If you have the box and papers, use them as the background. Otherwise, use a non-reflective surface. A table top or any other surface will do as long as it’s not too glossy. Try to avoid glass or high-gloss plastic tables or backgrounds. Neutral colors like beige, gray, or light brown work best.

4. Angles

Omega Speedmaster Collage
Omega Speedmaster Mark II, Images: © Bert Buijsrogge

You want to represent your timepiece in the best way possible. Do not overcomplicate the photos. Try to take shots that show potential buyers the watch from every angle. Take pictures from the front, back, and sides. You can also lay it down flat and take a photo of the watch with the open bracelet or strap. Highlight any damage or deep scratches the watch might have by taking a close-up photo.

5. Diffuse daylight

This is an easy but useful trick everyone should use. Try to position the watch in a way such that the sunlight is coming from the 12 o’clock angle. Then take a piece of paper or light plastic board and place it at 6 o’clock. This way, the light that comes in bounces back from the white surface and spreads onto the object (in this case your watch), casting even light on all sides. A normal sheet of A4 paper is fine, but it’s even better if you have something that can stand on its own so you don’t have to hold it. This way, you can hold the camera more steadily with both hands.

+1 Tripod

If you want the best quality, you can invest in a tripod or borrow one from a friend. Using a tripod will make things much easier. Even if you have the steadiest hands, photos can come out blurry. This is due to the micro movement of your hands when holding the camera. If you do not have a tripod, try putting the camera down on a stable surface such as a pile of books. Focus on the watch, set a 10-second timer, release the shutter, and let the camera do the magic for you.

Follow these tips and you will have nicer, more professional images. They will help you represent your timepiece in the best way possible without spending any money on gadgets you may never use in the future. Shoot as many photos as you want and pick the best ones. It takes practice, but eventually you’ll get it.

Sell your watch on Chrono24.


About the Author

Balazs Ferenczi

I’ve been interested in watches for as long as I can remember. I've always thought the only “jewelry” a man should wear is a nice watch. It also says a lot about …

Read more

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