6 Tips for Buying Used Luxury Watches

by TimeOnYourHand

Buying used luxury watches can seem a bit overwhelming, although these tips will help you make sure you get an absolutely genuine watch in great condition.

Luxury watches are the perfect addition to your business or casual wear. Brands like Patek Philippe, Breguet and Breitling offer some of the world’s finest design and craftsmanship, creating timepieces that are truly a work of art. Most high-end watchmakers, including Breguet and Breitling, require a substantial budget in order to purchase just the right look. If you don't have the money for a brand-new watch or simply want to avoid price depreciation, used luxury watches may be a good option for you.

Here are some tips you might want to consider before you make your purchase.

Image: Charlie J at Flickr

Do Your Research

Begin by researching the available used luxury watches currently on the market to get an idea of what you want. You'll find an overwhelming amount of brands and models, although some hard to find watches will require a lot of work to find. There are also some classic watches that do very well on the secondhand market and are available in relatively high numbers, including many Rolex and Hublot watches like the Hublot Big Bang and the Rolex Yachtmaster. Consider what you want your watch to say about you and choose something that reflects your style, rather than following the latest trends.

Narrow Down Your Selection

You can often narrow down your choices by looking at the features of the watches. Think about how you plan to wear the watch. If, for example, you want something more professional and versatile, look for a stainless steel band that goes well with anything. Stainless steel watches are also very lightweight so they're good for an active lifestyle. If you plan to go swimming or diving, look for a high degree of water resistance. You may also prefer a mechanical watch over a quartz, or a chronograph model.

Consider the Value

Most luxury watches depreciate in value rather quickly, so buying preowned luxury watches is often the best value. Still, you may want to check the original price of the watch to see how much it has depreciated since it came onto the market. You should also take the time to find out if the secondhand price of the watch is stable across many dealers, as this shows it has a relatively stable value.

Check the Condition

If you're buying luxury watches online, make sure you get plenty of pictures of the actual watch for sale, not just stock photos. Condition is everything, so make sure you have an accurate idea of any issues with the watch. Most dealers who sell used luxury watches offer only those in excellent condition, although you want to be aware of any known condition problems like scratched crystal.

Is there a Warranty?

Next, check if the watch has an original warranty in place. Many luxury brands offer lifetime warranties on the watch, many of which transfer to the new owner when the watch is sold. This should be an important consideration for you, although it isn't necessarily a deal-breaker. The dealer may also offer some type of warranty of their own on the watch they sell you.


Finally, as you're probably not shopping for an overpriced replica, ensure the watch is authentic before you make your purchase. All reputable watch dealers will include the serial number of the watch as well as any paperwork that comes with it. Because counterfeit watches are such a problem, work only with the most reputable dealers like Time on Your Hand who employ professional watchmakers to examine each timepiece for authenticity.

Updated: 11/04/2012, TimeOnYourHand
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