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Buying Used Luxury Watches: What to Consider

January 21, 2022

Buying a used luxury watch can let you own an amazing timepiece without the typically high price tag of a brand new model. You’ll also be able to find models that are no longer being produced and either buy your first luxury watch or add some variety to a collection you’ve already started.

Here’s what to consider when you’re buying used luxury watches.


What do you need to be careful of?

You can certainly find used luxury watches that meet your expectations. To ensure you’re buying a top-quality timepiece, be careful of the following:

Replicas have become harder to spot over the years, and even if the case is genuine, the movement may not be. You’ll need to rely on a highly trained watchmaker and expert to tell the difference.

Replaced parts
The best used luxury watches retain their original manufacturer finish and have not been overpolished. They’ll also have all of their original and correct manufacturer parts including the bezel, crown, and clasp.

After-market modification
Some luxury watches have been modified by, for example, adding gemstones on the dial or case. You may like these changes and still want to buy the watch, but you need to be able to recognise when the original watch has been altered.

Signs of possible damage
Used luxury watches are available in varying conditions, so it pays to be aware of potential signs of wear or damage. Check metal bracelet bands by holding the watch horizontally and see how the bracelet reacts. Also, look for signs of excessive wear or damage. This includes watermarks or rust on the dial or a cracked crystal.

Lack of documentation
If the seller can provide a watch’s original box, operation manual, and warranty card, this increases the chance that the used watch you’re looking at is authentic. Of course, a lack of this documentation doesn’t always mean your watch is a fake, but it’s another clue to use. Look for high-quality printing and box construction, and check to see that the serial numbers on the watch match those in the documentation. Similarly, the existence of an original receipt or service receipts can help verify a watch’s authenticity.


Where should you shop for used luxury watches?

You’ll have plenty of online options when you’re buying a used luxury watch, but if you choose to shop online, be sure to check for information about the seller’s reputation, rating, and buyer comments.

A safer option is to buy from a local dealer who specialises in used luxury watches. You should also research this business online before you buy a watch from them, but you’ll be able to closely examine the watch before purchasing it. In addition, you’ll have a physical store you can go back to if your watch isn’t what you expected or paid for.


How do you pay the right price?

Research the prices that several different sellers - including physical stores and online sellers - are charging for a particular used timepiece. And if you’re looking at online sales sites, make sure to look at the “sold” listings. That way, you’ll see what someone was willing to pay for the watch, not just what a seller’s asking price was.

In general, you’ll probably want to see a used luxury watch priced at least 30% off the Recommended Retail Pricing (RRP) or Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). This number can vary according to the watch brand, its condition, and other factors, but it’s a good benchmark.


Why should you insure your luxury watch with JewelCover?

Whether your luxury watch was bought new or used, it needs insurance coverage from JewelCover to protect it from theft, damage, loss, and more. Home and contents or travel insurance may not cover your luxury watch, and you may be in for an unpleasant surprise if you expect it to be covered only to discover that it isn’t. That’s why your timepiece should be covered by JewelCover watch insurance.

You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your watch is covered against theft, loss, damage, mysterious disappearance, and natural disaster, and your coverage extends worldwide. Our policies pay an agreed value that’s shown on your policy rather than paying “up to” a certain amount, as many insurers do. 

We’ll also provide a revaluation of your luxury watch each year at no charge since its value can fluctuate over time. And if your timepiece needs to be repaired or replaced, you’re free to go to a watch expert of your choice.


Get the coverage your need for your luxury watch

Simply fill out this short form if you’d like to get an instant quote in under 30 seconds to start the process of insuring your luxury watches and other jewellery with JewelCover. You’ll find that we have no hidden fees and won’t be beaten on price or benefits.

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