Are Watches Considered Jewelry?

Many people consider watches to be great pieces of functional jewelry. Especially for men a watch is considered one of the few items that can be considered jewelry. However, some people believe that watches aren’t considered jewelry because a watch actually has a functional element to it. Want to know which is correct? Let’s see!

Are watches considered jewelry? Yes, watches are considered jewelry. Jewelry is an personal ornament that you wear to make yourself look better. As long as your watch fulfills this function it can be considered jewelry.

Now that you’ve got a quick answer it’s time to dive into a bit more detail. Let’s first see if all watches are consider jewelry or if there are watches that do not fulfill all the criteria. After that we’ll discuss which brands are definitely considered to be jewelry and which may fall into a bit of a grey area. Also, we’ll see if smart watches and regular watches are considered jewelry for insurance purposes. Let’s continue.

Are All Watches Considered Jewelry?

Watches can be considered jewelry if you wear them to make yourself look better. That’s something we have already established by now. However, that isn’t the only criteria that a watch should fulfill in order to be considered jewelry.

That’s because items are normally only considered jewelry if they contain precious metals or jewels. This is where we enter a bit of a grey area. That’s because not all watches are made out of these materials. Some are made out of stainless steel or leather. These aren’t really considered to be rare materials.

Finally, the purpose of the watch is also a big factor in determining if watches are considered jewelry or not. Some people only have a watch on their wrist because they find it very convenient. If the main purpose of your watch is to tell the time, and the watch doesn’t have any precious metals or jewels then a watch is not considered to be jewelry.

Which Watches Are Considered Jewelry?

Now that we’ve defined what jewelry actually is it’s time to see which watches are considered jewelry. As you may have noticed the definition of jewelry can be a little subjective. In order to give you an idea about which watch brands are considered jewelry I’ve compiled two lists below.

The first one contains the cheaper brands that normally don’t contain any precious metals or jewels. These watches can be considered jewelry if your personal opinion is that jewelry doesn’t necessarily need to have precious materials.

The second list contains the mid-range to high-end brands that are always considered jewelry. These watch brands tick both boxes: they make you look good and they contain high-quality materials that are precious.

Watch brands that can be considered to be jewelry but most often do not contain precious metals or jewels:

  • Timex
  • Nixon
  • Seiko
  • Fossil
  • Stührling
  • Hamilton
  • Casio
  • Citizen
  • Michael Kors
  • Daniel Wellington
  • Any fashion brand (for example, Tommy Hilfiger)

Watch brands that are considered jewelry because they contain precious metals or jewels.

  • Patek Philippe
  • Audemars Piguet
  • Vacheron Constantin
  • Tag Heuer
  • Lange & Söhne
  • Jaeger-LeCoultre
  • Rolex
  • Hublot
  • Breguet & Fils
  • Chopard
  • Girard-Perregaux
  • Blancpain
  • Cartier
  • IWC Schaffhausen
  • Ulysse Nardin
  • Panerai
  • Piaget
  • Breitling
  • Omega
  • Montblanc

Finally, it must also be noted that there are special categories of watches that will definitely be considered jewelry because they aren’t really that functional. Take for example a pocket watch. These days those watches aren’t really functional anymore and their main purpose is to complement a certain outfit. Therefore they are considered jewelry.

Are Smart Watches Considered Jewelry?

No, smart watches aren’t considered jewelry and there are several reasons for that. First of all, most smart watches aren’t necessarily bought because they will make you look good or because they fit your outfit well. By definition this is the main purpose of jewelry. Because a smart watch doesn’t tick this box it’s not considered jewelry.

Furthermore, smart watches are mostly worn because of their functionality. They have internet connection and they have apps which you will use a lot. For this reason a smart watch is more a functional piece than jewelry. As we have already established, functional items can still be considered jewelry. However, smart watches are so much more functional than ornamental that the term jewelry seems a little far fetched.

Finally, there’s the insurance part of the story. Insurance companies don’t consider smart watches to be jewelry and that’s because they fall in another category: electronic devices. According to insurance companies a smart watch is basically the same as a phone. However, the word ”watch” is used because it identifies the form. That doesn’t make it jewelry.

Is A Watch Considered Jewelry For Insurance?

If a watch is considered jewelry for insurance completely depends on the policy of your insurance company. That’s because there isn’t one single jewelry insurance and many companies will have varying rules. These rules will differ based on country and state.

Also, cheap policies are more likely to not have watches included in them. A more expensive policy could cover it. If you want to find out if a watch is considered jewelry according to the rules of your insurance company then it’s best to contact them yourself.

If you don’t have a lot of jewelry you can also consider to only insure your watch(es) depending on the value of these watches. That’s because there are companies that offer separate watch insurance policies. You can find these policies via your own insurance company or via the company from which you bought the watch. These policies will normally protect you against damage, theft or loss.

Another good reason for opting for a watch insurance instead of a regular jewelry insurance is the amount of coverage you will get. Most jewelry insurance policies will put a limit on how much they will cover.

This becomes especially relevant if you have a watch collection that has a lot of value. It would be a shame if your $12.000 Rolex gets stolen and your jewelry insurance will only pay you $3.000 as part of their policy. A special watch insurance will cover the total appraised value of your collection.


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