Buy a second-hand watch, our complete guide

Buy a second-hand watch, our complete guide

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Because we can not always afford to buy a new luxury watch, the opportunity is a great alternative to save money and have fun with a beautiful model. Before embarking on this purchase, however, it is important to know some basic tips and rules.

Learn about the model in question

This part is the first thing to do if you want to buy a used watch. Choose the model you like, then list all the important information: operation, purchase price new, brand, type of bracelet, movement, features, etc. This information will allow you to know your subject well against the dealers and to be better “armed” against possible counterfeits, because they are numerous on the market of used watches.Once you have all the necessary information, the real research can begin.

Buy a used watch

The estimate of the watch

The timepiece you will buy will usually be:

  • Nine, that is, never worn.
  • In very good condition, that is to say, little worn and perfectly maintained. It will only require a slight polishing and /or a bracelet change if it is leather.
  • In average condition, that is to say a lot worn, moderately or not at all maintained. He will then ask for a complete overhaul, a polishing of the box and the mechanism, a replacement of the bracelet, without forgetting the tightness to be redone.

Our advice

  • Buy a watch that works, even if the mechanism requires some repairs. If it is broken or blocked, however, it is better to drop to turn to another model.
  • After a certain amount, you can not pay in cash. In this case, ask the dealer to pay by check. This will ensure your good faith and serve as security in the event of a dispute.
  • Make a specific point about the possible work to put the watch you like in good condition: cleaning, overhaul, repolishing, changing the bracelet if it is leather, sealing, etc.

Buy from an individual

This solution will be better suited to those who are familiar with the watch industry. The prices are generally more interesting (no intermediaries) but one must also be particularly vigilant and, thus, know its subject.

If you buy from an individual, it is essential to watch the watch in every detail (general look, needles, bracelet, cleanliness, etc.). Same for the operation by trying each button. If you are confident enough, you can open the case with a small knife or a watch opener to check the condition of the mechanism. On the other hand, if you have the slightest doubt or if the seller refuses, do not hesitate to take the timepiece to a professional.

Another imperative, the individual must provide the box and the original papers : invoice, certificate of repair operations if there were, certificate of sale with serial number, make, model etc. All these elements will allow you to authenticate the watch as well as its origin, but also to avoid counterfeits. This also proves that the seller is careful and relatively reliable.

In case of absence of invoice, you will have to authenticate the model in an official shop. This authentication is all the more necessary when it comes to a watch of great value.In addition to the information on the watch, you will also record the reseller’s identity information (passport number, driver’s license or ID card, detailed contact information, proof of payment, amount and mode of settlement).

Buy from a professional of the occasion

If you do not know much about watchmaking, it is better to call an expert. This one will indeed reassure you, to direct you and to advise you. The main advantage of the professional reseller is that all authentication and review work is done by itself . The models he presents are in perfect working order. He may even propose a new guarantee whose duration he will fix.

Obviously, unlike the retailer, the expert takes a commission on the same work done upstream, so the price is a little higher than buying an individual. However, you will have more choices regarding payment terms.

Attention: be sure to choose a dealer with a storefront, whose reputation and reliability are guaranteed. You can visit these sites: