Watches are 'popular trade-in' for pawnbroker

First published: 20-01-2010

Watches are among some of the most popular items in the pawnbroking industry, with one man in particular explaining how his industry has evolved over the last 12 months.

Paul Aitken, the managing director of, has accepted many things from people hoping to free up cash quickly, particularly those wanting to maintain a much more luxurious lifestyle.

He explained that, among the items he has taken in the last year, were two works of art by Banksy worth £30,000, a Patek Philippe watch with a value of £35,000 and a seven-carat solitaire diamond ring worth £160,000.

Mr Aitken continued: "Around 80 per cent of high street pawnbrokers will not lend against watches so this is another area that is booming in - in fact 30 per cent of our business made up through watches such as Rolex, Breitling or Cartier."

One hard-up land-owner contacted to find out whether he could hand over sheep and cows in exchange for £10,000 in cash, but was flatly refused.

A watch perhaps very unlikely traded in to is a Saddam Hussein Eterna timepiece, which was produced at the height of the dictator's popularity and distributed among his men, with Hodinkee recounting the story to the world following its acquisition of the strange offering.


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