Over the years, we’ve received many questions about purchasing pre-owned luxury watches. These are our top tips for buying a used luxury watch.
Ultimate Luxury Watch Buyer’s Manual
There is a way to make sure you are satisfied with your watch. It is important to do your research and understand the market for pre-owned luxury watches.
Learn about the various types of pre-owned watches
There are many types of preowned watches. We’ll show you the differences from the newest to the oldest.
- We’ll discuss watches currently being sold by retail boutiques and authorized dealers. These watches are often still being made at the time of purchase. As luxury vehicles, watches will lose some of their original retail value once worn. A modern, pre-owned watch can still have value as it may still be in great condition and covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
- The second type is watches that have been discontinued or phased out of production. Many watch manufacturers update watches with minor, aesthetic changes or, in certain cases, retain the exact design while adding a new movement inside the case. The older models are eventually discontinued and removed from production. These watches are available at a discount and sometimes even brand-new. They can also be sold as NOS (new old stocks).
Find your perfect pre-owned watch.
It is often a personal decision as so many iconic watches are out there. If you aren’t sure which watch to buy, ask yourself what features you want in a timepiece. From there, you can work your way up.
- Sometimes, you know what you want.
- Sometimes, you may know that you need a particular type of watch with specific mechanical features (e.g., A chronograph watch with a stopwatch function and a mechanical dial.
- Sometimes you want a watch that looks one way.
Find out what drives you to purchase a used luxury watch.
- Consider, for example, the resell value of a watch you want to make a family heirloom. Patek Philippe and Rolex have higher resell values than most brands. This depends on the model and a few other factors, which we will discuss later when we talk about valuation.
- Another motivating factor that can be used is the desire to buy a watch that others will recognize. This results in endless compliments about their fine style and exquisite watch taste. This is where brand recognition is important. Consider the following brands, in order of most to least well-known: Rolex Omega, Patek Philippe and Chopard. There are many more, but these are the most well-known brands.
What is the value of a pre-owned watch?
When valuing a timepiece that has been previously owned, there are many factors to consider. These valuation points are important to consider when buying or selling a luxury watch. Knowing where the value comes from will help you determine why two watches might be sold at different prices.
These are some of the obvious points to be considered:
- The brand name of the watch
- The age of the watch
- The watch’s condition is:
- If it has one, the wear and tear of the leather strap
- The model number of your watch
- If the watch is a limited edition
- If it’s an iconic collectible model or series
Here are some tips to make the most of your money
Sometimes, a preowned watch’s casing is in good condition with no visible scratches or dents. However, the leather strap may have been worn down, so it no longer looks brand new. It is possible to purchase a new strap directly from the manufacturer. While OEM (original equipment manufacturer) leather straps can be expensive, they can add value and style to your watch.
You can polish the watch case if it has light scratches. This can improve the appearance of pre-owned watches. Over-polishing watches can lead to a loss of value.